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Wheel to the storm and fly August 28, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.

I am reduced to speechlessness, dredging up old words as I cannot find any new for the fourth anniversary of The Event. Perhaps the old words were prophetic beyond any original intent. For some reason, Bob Kaufman’s famous quote “I want to be forgotten” keeps coming to mind, which I understand to be a Zen desire to vanish like Lao-Tzu into his words.

Perhaps I ask for too much. If history and the city consumes us all one-by-one but the city lives on, that perhaps is what was always intended, why were were all lured home. In the end, perhaps Pynchon[‘s character Tyrone Slothrop] has given us the model to surviving it’s after the end of the world. If history has gone too wrong for any one of us to stop what is happening around us, maybe it is better to amble down a shady street in New Orleans without a particular thought in my head except the distant sound of what might be Slothrop’s harmonica, to disappear into the random noise in the signal.”
In the Zone
Wet Bank Guide
August 5, 2007

Perhaps my writer’s block is just a symptom of a quiet desire to find the next path through the mountains, to stop a minute and study the horizon and look for the pass that leads to a place where what the country calls Katrina and what we call the Federal Flood is not the center of everything. That’s a hard task, but in place where this is no “post” in the traumatic stress, it’s probably a good idea.

Or perhaps my inclination to sit on the porch and sip a beer, to study the sky and try to recall the name of the slightly gray shade the haze gives to the blue and listen to a little music, is the most natural thing in the world. Perhaps tomorrow I will make some gumbo with the windows open so the whole neighborhood asks me when I step out on the porch with a cold one, “what ya got cooking in there smells so good?”

Home. What we all wanted was to come home. Perhaps tomorrow is a day to just quietly be: at home, in New Orleans.

Flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words
Wheel to the storm and fly.

Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design.
Nothing to tell now.
Let the words be yours, I’m done with mine.

All those ships that never sailed
The ones with their seacocks open
That were scuttled in their stalls…
Today I bring them back
Huge and transitory
And let them sail
–Bob Kaufman


1. jeffrey - August 29, 2009

I’m not sure what to do today either. I started to try and write something angry and stopped… then I started to try and write something sad and stopped. Mostly I’ve been reliving the evacuation in my mind. It was the first time in my life I decided to leave. And it was the last time I left the city I used to know. Four years ago today was the end and the beginning of so many things. Maybe there will come a time when that moment truly is no longer the center of everything… but I don’t think we’re there yet. At least I’m not.


2. Kirsten Corby - August 29, 2009

Man, I know what you mean. I didn’t want to think about it, talk about it either, but of course that was not to be.


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