I don’t know what to write today. I barely knew what to see today. It’s the fourth anniversary of Katrina, and I am acutely aware that I wasn’t here then. I was living in Hartford, Connecticut, trying to finish my dissertation, missing California, and hating the uncomfortable broken-down office furniture the college had moved into our furnished apartment. I wished I was home. When the storm hit, I was riveted by the news coverage, horrified and sad, disbelieving of what I was seeing on CNN. But I wasn’t here. I didn’t lose my home, my neighbors, my neighborhood. I didn’t find myself separated from my family and friends, unsure how to find them, or if they were there to be found. I didn’t spend the next months and years bouncing around, trying to start over, trying to find home. I didn’t face the stark reality that I never really mattered. I didn’t face survivor guilt, I’m not having a flashback as the thunderstorm that’s just starting as I type this pours rain on my roof. I don’t struggle to move on, or wish others would. I simply cannot imagine what it was like to have lived through and continue to live with that storm, those levee breaks, that flooding. I really have nothing today. I rode my bike over to Bayou St. John tonight for a birthday/anniversary party. I was surrounded by friends enjoying music, beer, conversation, a slight breeze, and the wildlife of the bayou. I took this picture of the lanterns my friends strung up, dangling in the twilight. It is so, so beautiful here. I don’t want to live anywhere else.