While I have been linking to Katrina related blogs and such, I haven’t offered my own thoughts on the devastation in awhile. Truth is, I’m still in denial. I saw some NOLA friends while at MLA in DC and one asked me, “How can you speak of everything so calmly? That was your childhood home…” Believe me, everyday I have some sort of flashback of walking on the bike path a street away from my parent’s house or some books that I always kept there along with other childhood knick knacks and tons of other memories of people and places, but I guess I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that the entire city flooded and entire neighborhoods are vacant. I just can’t, and knowing that it won’t be til 2007 or so when I actually can go back, PhD in hand, and try and DO SOMETHING to help, I’m not sure when it will really hit me. My friend Rudy just got back last week and calls everyday with a report of what street he’s driving on and what he’s seeing, but that juxtaposed with the images from August 29-September 6 or so makes me feel so lost and helpless all over again. While I am thrilled to be able to focus on the city and the storm and the responses to it for academic purposes, it will be difficult at times to comprehend the damage and how best to represent it in writing.
As I wrote this my friend Greg called and when we got to the subject of Mardi Gras he said simply, “I’m ready. New Orleans is ready.”