7 years. Has it been so long? So long since the event when so many of your children lost their lives, were failed, were flooded, were heartbroken, were scarred, were alone. In my memory like yesterday, and a thousand years ago at once.
7 years is a lifetime of the human body, shredding and growing anew.
7 years to learn and change, grieve and be brave, leave and resent, leave and reminisce, become complacent and remain the same. Have we done enough? Of course not. But we have danced. We have danced, and laughed, and sang, and costumed, and second lined, and drank, and died, and been born, and held together while pulling so far apart. We have loved one another and forgiven above all else. Above ego and pain we have banded together and though we are short on patience, we are long on compassion.
A sideways wind blows tonight, Grandmere. A little boy named Isaac is throwing a little tantrum, like little boys do. Pulling at your skirts and being an unreasonable pest. Rain stings against my skin as I stand out in it and looking at me you can't differentiate the tears on my face for the water falling from the sky. I have listened to the fears and shaky voices of people who have never gotten over what happened 7 years ago. The betrayal, the loss. Not of things but of a sense of safety.
Wind whirls and spins and shrieks outside of my home. Sirens fill the air as your children feast on one another. It all sounds like the mournful, panicked wailing of a lost woman and I lay here in the darkness, holding you close to me on this anniversary. Loving you madly, with an irrational loyalty, in completion.
New Orleanians, I love you. New Orleans, I love you.