Thursday, March 27, 2008

DYK - New Orleans Remix

So Dina just got back from New Orleans - I believe she was attending ASCD's annual conference. She writes:
So I tried to write about New Orleans.

About what it was like to see azaleas blooming in March. About the rich muddy waters of the Mississippi, who “ain’t never gave us no trouble,” said one lifelong resident to me, as if the river is a quiet neighbor who keeps the grass cut. About the cabby who recommended a local’s restaurant so far out of the tourist center that it amazed the second cabby who picked me up there. And about the feeling, as tangible as breath, that emanates from the citizens who talk about Katrina– every last one. It took me until the flight home to realize why I felt like it was familiar to me. It is the exact feeling that comes from European family members when they speak of surviving World War Two.

I was nursing a seven month old baby and managing a toddler when Katrina hit in 2005. My sympathies were abstract, my mind elsewhere. My lip service didn’t do it then, and it doesn’t now.

So I gave up on writing about New Orleans. This came out instead.

What came out, you might ask? This.

I think she asks some interesting questions at the end. What are your answers?


  1. Thank you, Karl. It's an honor to see this up here. I need to reiterate my debt to you and to Scott, who also provided the music file. -- Dina

  2. Thanks for making it Dina. Hopefully somebody, somewhere will see it and it will make a difference. Stranger things have happened (I speak from experience . . .)

  3. I became enraged as I watched the multitude of survivors of Katrina on CNN. I was offended as I watched Congressional hearings during which a member of Congress stated explicitly that he would not believe the testimony of New Orleans residents. It was clear to me that old attitudes dominated this discussion and that the healing would have to be facilitated by those who were most hurt. This presentation is a welcomed edition to the body of work which documents our response to the Katrina tragedy. I am inspired to continue to channel my rage into substantive contributions to the effort to assist in rebuilding the lives of the people of the Gulf Coast.

  4. I read your blog sporadically, so I only found this today. It had been months since I'd cried over Katrina. I can only hope the incoming Democrat (I'm being optimistic) will remedy the situation starting next January.