Thursday, October 20, 2005
The Soul Of The City
Seven Years Bad Luck, New Orleans
My soul vibrated at a strange pitch those days. The world I grew up in torn apart. The future clouded and gray. Trapped, stranded in the silent French Quarter, so near the places of my childhood, the reasons I'd come here, yet unable to get to them. A stranger at home. The prodigal son talks like a Yankee now. And the babble of history around us in the Quarter, oppressing me with it's weight. Ursulines Street, the nuns came here almost 300 years ago, to teach the little Octoroon girls how to marry well. And the history made the current misery seem indulgent. How many have died in this ancient city? Hurricanes, floods, epidemics, murders, wars. Ghosts at every turn, making me feel a coward for my anxiety.
"This is nothing new," I felt them spit, "we've seen it all before. Grow up. You're not special. This is life. Life is death. Move on." But I can't.
A magazine contacted me, they were putting together an issue on Katrina and New Orleans, and wanted to know if I had any images of renewal, of hope, of the spirit returning to the city. I understand their desire. They want to move on. It's been so long, after all. Isn't it better, now?
No. The people are the spirit of the city. How can the spirit return, when the people can't?
Posted by clayton cubitt at 2:55 AM