Back in August of 2005 I was blogging at my little blog and had decided I was going to quit blogging. Then Katrina hit. I was compelled to continue blogging. After more than 3 years of blogging primarily about the recovery in New Orleans, I have come around full circle to that decision to quit political blogging. I find I don't have much to say anymore...at least I wouldn't say it any better than many others do.
I am not a writer, or pundit, or journalist (citizen or otherwise). I am just an American who felt strongly about the necessity of this country to right the wrong that had been done to the Gulf Coast and in particular New Orleans. I believed and still do believe that it is a moral imperative and that in not doing so we, as a country, as a community, risk losing our soul. I would submit that as a society we lost our moral compass when bodies were allowed to remain in the streets of N.O. for days and weeks, or in homes for months and even a year in some cases, as the powers that be argued over who would foot the bill to recover the remains of the victims of the flooding of New Orleans. There is something very wrong when such a thing can occur in a great nation. It is that issue that kept me blogging about New Orleans when many had moved on and moved me to question and look deeper, for if we were failing at such a basic level, what other failures were occurring I wondered. Of course time would reveal many failures and limited successes on our part as a nation and that is what I attempted to chronicle.
After a year I realized that chronicling was the word that best explained what I was doing. Early on I admit I had hoped my blogging could perhaps bring change but after a year I knew that was folly, hubris and naivety on my part. I had wanted to do more, always more. But as is so often the case when we seek to give, we find we receive so much more than it would even have occurred to us to be possible. That was the case for me and I am forever grateful to so many for that.
I made many trips to New Orleans over the past years. I was given the opportunity to witness the people of New Orleans lift their city from ruin...out of love. Because it has been their doing...when often they waited and waited for help, fought against the misunderstanding and falsehoods, became the pawn in political fights, faced the sting of abandonment and worse. They taught me so much about what community is and that it is worth fighting for. I unabashedly admire them and I came to love their city.
I was in New Orleans a few weeks ago and this trip was purely for pleasure. As I rode the St Charles Avenue street car line for the first time I thought ...this was what it was for...to have this moment, this experience, one so rich in history and so unique in the American experience. I was relaxing and enjoying New Orleans for perhaps the first time post Katrina. I thought though my work hadn't come close to achieving what I naively had once hoped for, I hoped now that in some small way my work could be seen as an attempt at support of what they have done. I hadn't changed anything but I hoped that perhaps my blogging efforts had helped them feel not so alone. If I achieved that I guess that is pretty good.
Witnessing their love for their city made me look anew at my own. I realized how much I had taken for granted here. I find myself now falling in love with my own local and am better for it. I had wanted to move to New Orleans yet this journey instead brought me home.
Finally I have been graced with wonderful friendships which will last a lifetime. It was lb0313 who invited me, a stranger, into her home. I can never thank her adequately for the many experiences and all she has shown me, but thank her once again I will. Thank you dear friend.
As another anniversary approaches, focus will once again turn to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It is my fervent hope that such focus will last more than a day. If one were to ask me what to blog on that day, I would say post the simple yet poignant graphic the NOLA bloggers post, seen here. Then write about New Orleans on the day after and the week after and in the months after the anniversary. Because it is not over, they are not OK yet. I hope we can make them and us OK once again.
I want to thank all of the great readers and commenters here at First Draft. You're the best. I have so much gratitude to extend to Athenae for bringing me here, for her editorial guidance over the years and especially for her friendship. You have been so supportive, words can not do it justice but Thank You A!
As for my future, I plan to do some bike blogging at this site--Bike Scout. Stop by anytime
Thank You ALL and if you will indulge me one last time....I always found writing to be painful but I did so enjoy making my little videos. So here are a few of which I am particularly proud: