Sun and Clouds at Bienville & S. Rampart

I spent today reading and writing at home until I heard that tell-tale crash in the other room, the one that says the cats are up to something. It turned out they were teaming up on a lizard, trying to play it to death. After watching the lizard play dead and then try to scramble away, only to be caught up in so many paws, I locked myself in my bedroom and wondered what to do. N. said to just get out of the house–great advice. I packed a little of this and a little of that onto my bike and headed out to bike as far away as possible from the nature going on at home. I decided to exercise my Friends of the Cabildo membership to check out the new Katrina and Beyond exhibit at the Presbytere down in Jackson Square. After looking in vain for a proper place to lock up the Surly (seriously, French Quarter, can we get some bike parking up in here?) I went in, unprepared for the emotion of the exhibit. Section after section highlighted the lies told to people, the way survivors were treated like criminals, the way official after official after official passed the buck instead of passing some water. I thought back to yesterday’s meeting and the way anger took over the crowd, how no matter what the guys behind the tables said, none of us seemed willing to believe them. The public trust has been eroded to such an extent that it is sometimes hard to imagine how to get it back. It will start with real change and real solutions. And heeding the cry I hear so often lately: nothing about us without us is for us. I left the museum and unlocked my bike, watching that gaggle of tourists in their matching khaki shorts, polo shirts, and daiquiris visit the city. I wonder what it’s like to just visit this city, to just stay in the French Quarter, watching the street musicians and living statues entertain, without seeing the rest of this place. I rode over to S. Rampart, where I stopped to snap this picture of the sky shot through with rays of sun. It is just so beautiful here–there’s nothing like it. But this sun isn’t a metaphor for redemption. There’s no necessary redemption. We’re going to have to work at it, and promises made need to become promises kept.

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