Cat’s Claw On a Blighted House at St. Andrew and Simon Bolivar

Oh, spring has more than sprung in New Orleans, and the days are just plain beautiful. Today was a bit windy when I hopped on the Surly and headed down to the gym–I had a little scare when I thought a gust might push me into traffic–but other than that, the day was sweet. As S. said to me a couple days ago, it’s like one day the city just exploded. I had forgotten how green our trees are. That also means that it’s cat’s claw season. Cat’s claw is a terrifically beautiful plant, but it is also terrifically destructive. It grows inside houses–between floorboards and in eaves and through walls. It literally rips houses apart. I stopped at Simon Bolivar and St. Andrew to snap a picture of a house that seems clearly blighted from all sorts of conditions, but today all I see is the bright green pelt with those stunning yellow blooms brightening up the place. Looks pretty, but it is incredibly destructive. I was reminded of the film we watched in my class this morning–Life and Debt. It’s all about what’s underneath spectacular surfaces–“If you go to Jamaica, this is what you’ll see.” The narrator, Jamaica Kincaid, says at one point in the film, after talking through and around the incongruity of the immense natural beauty of her country and its utter financial and social ruin in the web of economic globalization and its inexorable logic of debt slavery, “There is a world of something in this, but I can’t go into it right now.” Exactly.

3 thoughts on “Cat’s Claw On a Blighted House at St. Andrew and Simon Bolivar

  1. Hi Kate,
    Found your blog last week and have been enjoying it very much. Finding your site shows that this cyber world does have a heart and soul. I have bike tour company and would love to put a link to your blog on my links page with your permission. Please check out the site and let me know. Looking forward to your ride tommorrow……
    Spoke more, speak less
    Bob

    • Hi, Bob! Thanks so much for your kind words, and of course I’d love to see a link to my blog on your website. I will do the same. Cheers!

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