On This Day


The things that I saw.

Today.

Fourteen years.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long. Time doesn’t matter. Like anyone who was in New Orleans at the time, I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember evacuating from Hurricane Katrina. I remember coming home to see my house had flooded. I remember my neighborhood looking destroyed. I remember seeing neighbors in far away places. I remember all of us being so happy that we were alive that when we ran into each other we danced in the streets. I’m sure New Mexicans thought we were nuts. We were.

I remember the essential goodness of people. I remember trading computer lessons for home cooked plates of soul food. I remember neighbors helping neighbors. I remember my friend helping me carry the big furniture out of my house and piling it up along the curb. I remember my neighbor, who I call Uncle Joe, telling me not to go see the other neighborhoods because it was all too much. I remember taking a self tour and coming back to my house, shell shocked. I remember Uncle Joe saying, ” like a moth to a flame…”

I remember this day, fourteen years ago.

Today, we all still get a little weird. I suspect we all have a form of PTSD that peaks on this day. I’m pretty sure that we all learned a lot. We learned about our strength. And, our resilience. We learned to get angry with the proper people — FEMA. We learned how to rebuild.

Make no mistake. We aren’t done yet. There are still wide swathes of the city that still aren’t anywhere near whole. The Lower 9th Ward is one of them. I’m not sure it will ever be. There are streets and houses that still carry the scars of the storm.

There are daily reminders too. A car was pulled out of an underground canal just last week. It’s likely it was there for fourteen years. It is also likely that it is a Katrina car.

So.

Today is a day to reflect. A day to mourn the folks who died. And, a day to celebrate those who made it back.

As I write, Hurricane Dorian is churning through the Caribbean. It looks like it will be a category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall somewhere in the middle of the eastern Florida cost. God speed to those folks. It may continue on, striking the gulf side of the state. For now, it look like it will turn to the north. At least that’s what the predictive models say. Or, it could head towards us.

God speed to all of us.

Advertisements

9 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing, Mr. Ray.
    I “liked” this (as I do with your other posts) simply to express that I read and appreciate each one.
    As you know, Japan is also in a region where there are many natural disasters. While not trying to compare, I could also find many similarities, mainly: genuine humanity & goodwill “when it counts” and the incompetence of our govt (or those who are supposed to protect their countrymen) and how those hit hardest are still left without a home.
    Once again, thank you for sharing. I always look forward to reading and viewing your work.
    Best wishes,
    Takami

    PS – I am sure you must have received notification of NatGeo “YourShot” moving their platform to instagram…I will stop it at that. (I only mention it because you had mentioned using YourShot a few times in previous posts.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your Shot moved as a result of Disney buying Fox, which bought NGS a few years ago. Not only is Your Shot moving, but they terminated 70 NGS staffers, cut NG Traveller and only the main magazine is safe “for now.”

      I thin Fukushima compares to Katrina. I think the old saying, absolute power corrupts absolutely comes into play. At least at the top. Lower level administrators just don’t care.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for replying, Mr. Ray.
        That explains a lot. It is terrible how so many people have lost their jobs. They are making it almost impossible for creative people to support themselves. Heck, they are making it impossible for “corporate drones” (who, in theory, should have some form of job security at the expense of selling our souls and investing all our time) to try and survive.

        I am grateful you understood and remembered about Fukushima. Yes, it is exactly as you say.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s all money now. And, that money is mostly concentrated in the hands of very few. I don’t know what it’ll take to change that.

        How could I not remember? That was truly a disaster that keeps on giving.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It is as you say.
        “…that money is mostly concentrated in the hands of very few. I don’t know what it’ll take to change that.” — This feels like the million-dollar question, that most of wish we had the answers to.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.