Nov. 16, 2013: I officiated a civic tree-blessing ceremony on the bayou. We had a real-live fire dancer and Big Chief David Montana led us in singing “Indian Red.” Still can’t believe this really happened. It seems remarkable that someone like me, without any relevant credential, would be invited to do something like this. Many […]
The nearest airport is in Connecticut, so when your plane lands you still have a good long drive to get to Amherst. You talk to the shuttle driver. She has an accent you can’t place, but she’s lived in Massachusetts for at least a decade. She drops you off at Allen House, a little bed […]
I’ve been doing it again: writing elsewhere. I’ve just finished up a series of six essays for College Contemplative on the topic of “Contemplative Faculty Development.” Introduction My Story Stepping into Silence The Transformative Banquet Sustaining the Dialog What’s Next Read at your own risk; I apologize in advance for the length. I wrote these […]
How did this shopping cart full of miscellaneous hardware come to be parked in our yard for three months? Therein lies a tale. One day in late May, a guy came walking down our street. He started talking to Xy and somehow convinced her to hire him to cut our grass. Before I knew it […]
The traditional gift is china, or diamonds, but we opted for foam. Let me back up. Twenty years ago, my mom and dad bought a mattress for Xy and me, a wedding present. This year, as an anniversary gift to each other, we got ourselves a new mattress. That’s right, we slept on the same […]
On the Friday before the equinox, I caught a ride with Daniel Samuels up to the Old Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge. It was built by Huey P. Long in 1930. There was a really cool version of the state seal carved into the fireplace in the library. But I wasn’t there for the architectural […]
Friends, A nonprofit I helped found, the Friends of Lafitte Corridor, has a shot at $10,000. Here’s how: You have to vote for me. FOLC nominated me for the Louisiana Cox Conserves Heroes program. Now I’m a finalist. While I’m deeply honored to have gotten this far, I really want to see us win this […]
I rented a car and drove west. All by myself. I drove and drove and drove until I got to Austin, Texas. And I thought to myself, how uncharacteristic. I felt like I hadn’t done anything like this before, at least not for a very long time. There was a reason for this pilgrimage, of […]
Isaac is gone, but his odor lingers on. Seriously. There’s a smell in the air, a certain peculiar smell I can’t describe. I’m not sensitive to smells. I often think if I was more tuned in to my sense of smell, I’d have a radically different way of being in the world, more animalistic perhaps […]
It wasn’t until after Labor Day that I passed by the bayou and saw what Isaac had done to my favorite tree. This is the tree where my daughter got her name back in 2008. Throughout the 2010-2011 school year I stopped at this tree almost daily for a moment of contemplation. This tree survived […]
I’ve also been reflecting on our decision to stay in place for Isaac. Was it the right choice? There’s room for disagreement even in our house. Over the past week Xy has repeated “Never again!” whereas I’ve found myself saying I’m glad we stayed. So what were the pros and cons of that decision? It’s […]
Persephone and I took a photo of Xy raking up the “street salad” left behind by Hurricane Isaac. Then we drew our own interpretation based on the photo. Persephone drew the gusts and leaves; I drew the branches and the figure with rake, but Persephone drew the face.
We lost electrical service to our house for 98 hours. That’s just over four days. And during these four days I discovered something odd. I sort of liked it. It feels wrong, saying that when over a hundred thousand of my fellow citizens are still without power. The constant question around the city these days […]
After four days in the dark, our porch light’s back on in Mid-City.
So remember how I said we were heading out — buggin’ — evacuating? That didn’t happen. We were planning to go, but the hurricane parties here were just too good to resist. Actually the real reason is that our anticipated path was looking worse and worse for a return drive. Of course we could have […]
We had a wonderful Lammas. It has emerged as probably my favorite holiday, which is kind of funny considering I never heard of it until two years ago. It’s taken a few weeks but I finally got some photos up. And as an unexpected bonus, we even have a short movie, which contains the very […]
Dear Persephone, You are four and half years old today. We have continued our tradition, now well-established, of giving away stuff for your half-birthday. This year you didn’t need any explanation; you’ve absorbed the concept from years past. Over the last few weeks you’ve been selecting from amongst your possessions. You filled up a bag, […]
When I got back to New Orleans, I noticed the “Save the Picayune” signs and tee-shirts around town. With all respect to the good intentions behind this campaign, I feel it’s the wrong approach. Let me explain why. This could take a minute.
It’s inevitable when visiting some other place to compare it to home, especially if that other place is your former home. I lived in Bloomington for thirteen years, and I’ve now lived in New Orleans for thirteen years, so I can’t resist a few elementary observations.
I was headed to Bloomington anyhow. I’d been planning an extended Indiana vacation to visit family this summer. I like having an 800-mile buffer zone, but even I have guilt feelings which must be assuaged at least once a year. Aside from family, the first person I planned to look up in Bloomington was my […]