a strategy for new orleans

we just finished our second day of organizing and storytelling in new orleans. everytime i come down here i want to just stay for months and just toss myself into the work. nothing i’ve ever seen in a space quite compares, this doesn’t have the sense of totality that a hood has, its a random, neighborly chaos. everyone here says hello, keeps moving forward…but i can’t overemphasize how little desire there is to think about exactly where to, to think too big. the idea that tomorrow isn’t promised, but that there is a good and honest way to exist today permeates this place.

and there’s a numbness, and under that a great seething sense of the many many layers of wrong. looking at the sides of the buildings there are multiple water lines, layers upon layers of evidence that this city was drowned in a toxic flood. that sense of toxic lines crossed, residue…resides in people, so that if the door opens into the room where injustice is being piled up, things start pouring out, pret-a-porter. each small story i hear, in a normal world, would be its own incident to organize around. immigrant day laborers abandoned and unpaid, insurance denied, abandoned empty miles of projects barbed wired against homeless squatters, rushed ridiculous elections, and the MIA black folk…altogether it is becomes a wall, and moving forward requires flying, or leaps and bounds, or some other kind of magic. so i am here, organizing some humble magicians, falling in love with some more people.

in the backdrop there is work to finish for the league, and  i have to figure out how one moves across a country anyway. i am almost too excited about ruckus to start thinking about it, and then last night i slept with a CAT. i’ve always been allergic, and thus a dog person…but if i could do the cat thing then maybe, just maybe, i could have a pet again!

{note to self: single with cat is not something to jump for joy over!!}
{self to notetaker: f-u! i want a pet!}

the league here is going to do a voter guide, so we pulled out all the old ones, and i felt really nostalgic for the early gritty work we did, when no one quite knew what to do, to look at all these community owned voter guides. shana and i had some reminiscing to do – remember the first this and how that happened and then remember l’il sarah? and naina! and jen and keisha! we agreed that birthing is the only word to describe any of it…

i have a full day tomorrow, may it be some of my most focused and productive work ever.

i am now listening basically nonstop to a country classic women’s mix – emmy lou, dolly parton, loretta lynn, then gillian welch and lucinda williams – calms me.

sleep come easy!