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Channelling Samuel Beckett August 31, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Odds&Sods, quotes, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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I write about myself with the same pencil

and in the same exercise book as about him.

It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning.

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

Thanks to V of One Particular Wave for this one.

Remember August 27, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Corps of Engineers, flooding, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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A sign as flimsy as the Corps’ levees August 16, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Citizen Journalism, Corps of Engineers, flooding, New Orleans, NOLA, Uncategorized.

Sign at Corps of Engineers 17th Street Canal Site
Courtesy of
Habitat for Urbanity I posted about this at Wet Bank Guide already, but not the actual photo. I’m dumbstruck.

The I’Ching of August August 14, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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In May, shortly before the kids and I left Fargo, ND for Toulouse Street, I fired up the Electronic I’Ching I keep on my Palm Pilot. I have a lovely hard back text with a rice paper front piece and a forward by Carl Jung, but that was packed away. I don’t structure my life around these bits of Chinese folk wisdom as if they were tomorrow’s weather, but I find it focuses the mind, starts trains of thought that truly help shape my future. I think the western aversion to such things causes us to miss out on a tool for the shaping of our own destinies.

That, however, is not my subject. I am posting this (saved for months on the laptop) to consider the third and fourth lines of the first hexagram. As I said, I treat this as an oraclular mind exercise, and not as a prognostication of future events. But I found in terribly interesting that at the start of the peak of the hurricane season, it would tell me this:

19-Lin Approach (K’un Receptive + Tui Happiness)

Approach has Supreme Success
Perseverance furthers
When the eighth month comes
There will be misfortune

The earth above the lake:
the image of APPROACH.
Thus the superior man
Is inexhaustible
In his will to teach
And without limits
In his tolerance and protection of the people

41-Ken Keeping Still+Tui Happiness

Decrease combined with sincerity
Brings about supreme good fortune
Without blame.
One may be persevering in this
It furthers one to undertake something.
How is this to be carried out?
One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice.

What, then, is the misfortune of the eighth month? Perhaps it will be as simple as Lusher Middle not opening on time for my son, as it appears it will not. One can only hope. It is a city of misfortunes that we live in now, but as the ancient oracle reminds us, perseverance always pays. “It furthers one to undertaken something” I am reminded. How often have I read this line? Yes, the storm may come, but as the last post here says, once you have chosen (or been chosen) to live here, there is nothing to do but keep rowing.

And the image is of the earth above the lake, of the land rising up. I will probably not work this into my panel at Rising Tide lest I be thought a flake, but the rest of the first hexagram will weigh on my mind. “The Superior Man is inexhaustable…in his wili to teach and without limits….in his protection of the people.” I had toyed with sunsetting Wet Bank Guide on 8-28 and starting a new project, but somehow this calls me, sends my mind off in directions that tell me now is not the time to stop. Yes there is much to do that calls me away from the keyboard, but there is also much to say. For a writer, saying is doing.

“If furthers one to undertake something.” In the whirl of reporters friends in journalism have siced on me to talk about our decision to move to New Orleans, as I am forced to reconsider the decision again and again (as if I needed the prompting of microphones and notepads), I find at the end of each such exercise–even as I consider the lastest baleful headlines–that I have done the right thing.

In the second hexagram, I hear an echo of the feeling I get when I open the envelope and am reminded of the frightful mortgage payment on a dry house. But as it says “decrease combined with sincerity/Brings about supreme good fortune/Without blame”. It also tells me I might bring “two small bowls for the sacrifice”. Yes, I have taken my children out of the place they knew and the friends they had come to love, but they will start school next week. In the elastic way of children, they will make new friends, have new adventures, and do so in one of the great cities of the earth.

I remind my son, whenever he confronts of a challenge, of one of the tenets of Tae Kwon Do, in which he holds a junior black belt or ‘Poom’ rank: indomitable spirit. I remind him of the time in basketball he had a terrible cramp, but only five kids showed for the game. If he left the court, his team would forfeit. He played on in pain. I have to remind myself when I see the first hexagram warn of misfortune, of the phrase that would likely top any concordance of the oracle: perseverence furthers.

I return again to look at the picture I posted the other night, and think: I have chosen (or perhaps been chosen) to be here. There is no other choice but to row into the wave.

The great wave near the coast of Kanagawa August 12, 2006

Posted by The Typist in art, Japan, New Orleans.
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Hosuki The Wave

I found this postcard of a picture by Hokusai while in Washington. I put me in mind of my recent Wet Bank Guide post View from Under the Volcano. The foamy fringe is a nest of threatening fingers reaching out to swamp the boats. The moutain is distant, cold capped, oblivious as the gods. The men’s backs are turned to the wave, and bent to the task of rowing. They did not choose the sea; the sea chose them. It is the world they were granted by their ancestors, a way as deeply ingrained in their souls as the salt in their sea-glare furrowed brows. The sea is a mirror of the sky, sometimes placid and other times fierce with wind, and where else shall men live except beneath that broad and pitiless blue? They have heard the tale of tsunami, whole villages swallowed by the sea, places where people no longer beach their boats, coasts given over to ghosts. Still, they rise up with the sun and go down to their own nets. When confronted with the Great Wave, there is nothing to do but row.

The ex-pats make the LA Times August 9, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Bloggers, Citizen Journalism, Mid-City, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
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The story that my wife and I (and Ray and Ashley and David) have all been waiting for has finally made the LAT:

Sense of Duty Lures ‘Expats’ Back Home to New Orleans

By Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
August 9, 2006

NEW ORLEANS — When Mark Folse told his mother-in-law he had decided to move his family here shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit, she handed him a magazine article about New Orleans’ gang problem.

“The understated text was, ‘This is where you’re taking my grandchildren?’ ” said Folse, 49, a New Orleans native then living in Fargo, N.D. …

“The more people who come back, who value the city for what it was and what it is, the more difficult it will be for them to wrest it from us,” Folse said.

Watching the catastrophe of Katrina unfold last August, “I felt an overwhelming need to come here and plant my flag and buy a house, and try and save New Orleans,” said Folse, who tests computer software for a national bank that lets him telecommute. “Admittedly it sounds grandiose and self-serving. But I felt I had to come here and be part of it.”

There rest is here


The Music Will Never Die August 7, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Jazz, New Orleans, NOLA.
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I found this Harry Connick Jr. and Bradford Marsalis trad jazz vid on You Tube, and thought I’d put it up here in honor of Satchmo Fest, the French Quarter Festival group’s late summer traditional and brass band jazz event in the French Quarter.

Ok, WordPress seems to not play nice with YouTube, so here’s the URL:


Middle Aged Men Gone Wild in the French Quarter! August 7, 2006

Posted by The Typist in French Quarter, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods.

Big Daddy gettin’ funky with the Hot 8 at Satchmo Fest.

Greetings from Washington, D.C. August 4, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, NOLA.
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Katrina Memorial

The National Katrina Memorial….