29 08 2008

These are the numbers I have tattooed on my back. Last year, in December, I decided to go ahead and get two tattoos. One of them would be those five numbers, the symbol of the fleur de lis below it, and below that, my favorite scripture… Psalm 23.

The numbers represent the date of Hurricane Katrina. The fleur de lis represents my city (it’s our symbol)… so for me, it represents HOME. And the scripture is one that during Katrina, I really had the opportunity to study. Granted, it’s a very known scripture (almost cliche), but I think that really analyzing it and studying it, it showed me just how important it is/was to lean on God, especially when you dont think you’re strong enough to handle something. He can be there to comfort you and to guide you out of the Valley.. but that also, it didnt mean you wouldnt go through the valley, just that you would come out stronger.

Part of the reason I got it is because it symolized an event that pretty much shook my whole world, my whole understanding of home, and changed so much for so many people (and I dont even consider myself one of the people who had it bad). It was my way of saying that I will never forget. And getting it on my back was my way of saying that although it was “behind” me, it still continued to push me (all 3 things) into being better and doing more for my community.

But just like, in CCB’s post about things not going away, Katrina. Will. Not. Die.  On the 3rd anniversary of this storm (today), New Orleans is bracing for another storm that seems to be following a similar path… and I dont think anyone believes that those levees are ready to handle that if it indeed does occur. More importantly, I dont think the people who’d come back and have been trying to rebuild all these last 3 years are prepared for what might happen if it follows that path.

I’ve been speaking with family members of mine… and the sentiment seems to be somewhere along the lines of, “I know I was one of those people that said you had to come back if you could, but… if something else happens… I just dont think I could do it again.” And thats understandable. But so sad. I know people who’ve just finished rebuilding their homes, just moved in a couple months ago… and now they’re packing up again… bracing for the unknown. Again.

I know people who were just talking about coming back and trying to make it work, but with this storm looming, their doubts have been fulfilled all over again.

I know people who have children and pets that still cry when it rains (a normal rain), so they’re in panic mode right now.

And sadly, I know people who are just tired. They’re tired of feeling like they’re doing it on their own. They’re tired of feeling like the government doesnt care that they’re back. And they’re tired of hoping and wishing and praying that this time, this summer, they wont have to worry about it. And Gustav isnt making it easier.

On the eve of the anniversary of Katrina, I found myself telling many of family members to just hold on and discussing with them the scripture that I have on my back. But even I, listening to them, questioned whether it was worth it or not anymore.

I always said I wanted to move back home in about 5 years… now, I dont quite know anymore.




One response

27 08 2010
A “Quick” Note on Katrina « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] A “Quick” Note on Katrina 27 08 2010 On Sunday, it will be five years since Hurricane Katrina hit and devastated a large part of the Gulf region – including, especially notable for me, my city – New Orleans. And because of that, a lot of people and organizations have been doing things to acknowledge the 5 year anniversary. The sound of five years tends to seem like it should be a benchmark, a time that we should reflect on what happened and see where things are progressing forward. So you have your Spike Lee documentary, PBS specials, MSNBC specials, CNN specials, and articles written galore – and I wasn’t going to pile onto that mass of commemorative musing, but in the end, I decided to write a quick something on it (which if you read the blog and/or you know me in real life, you know that quick is relative anyway… but I promise it won’t be as depressing as this post I did a few years back). […]

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