Friday, August 25, 2006

In Retrospect

Everything must change

In the days following the levee break in New Orleans, I remember poignantly seeing the word REFUGEE splashed across my television screen and the huddled masses crying out for help; any help. Crying out for water, ice, food, any of the things that only hours before perhaps they’d taken for granted. Refugee - one seeking refuge. This is America, land of the free, home of the brave, land where our fathers died and so on. There are no refugees here. But, looking at those faces, the need, the want, the disbelief; the horror crystallized my understanding that anarchy is not so far removed from us after all. This could have just as easily been a foreign land, some third world country without even the barest of necessities. Perhaps that’s why so many took offense to the term. None of us wants to acknowledge how quickly things can fall apart. The very things that we put our trust in fail. The Superdome - undoubtedly a superstructure – was no shelter against the ravages of Mother Nature. Everything is transitory. When we set about to define ourselves as infinite, nature reminds us that we are not.

Nothing stays the same

In a moment, in an instant all you hold dear can be gone. The things that you believe are forever vanish in an instant. But more than the destruction of structures there is the laying open of festering wounds. The bearing of age old hurts. All the hatred and inequality living in New Orleans bubbled to the surface, buoyed by the cresting waters of the swollen Mississippi. Floating like bodies in the dank and fetid waters of change.

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