Monday, May 14, 2012

New Orleans

 New Orleans

New Orleans, how breath-taking you are.  How beautiful you are.  How lively you can be.  Laughter.  Passionate hugs. Music of sax and violin, jazz, blue and brass carrying on the air.  Breezes with scent of salt and chicory coffee.  Artwork and jewelry glittering in the sunshine. Ghosts whispering around the shuttered windows.  A path memorized for victims of a hurricane not yet forgotten.

New Orleans.  How much I miss it.  How much I felt so alive there.  Home.  How much I'd do anything to return there.  Some day I will be there and not leave.  There was a path I walked and I intend to walk there again.

A path was opened raw and new with the Hurricane Katrina slamming into New Orleans, August 29, 2005.  I was there in spirit with the Deaf community, suffering the trauma of Hurricane Katrina and flooding and then the double trauma of ignorance and abuse with being Deaf in the aftermath.  With my charm and determination, local people opened their hearts and gave what they can, from 'All from a Dream's comic books, Hampden Branch Library's books, to the local deaf community's donations of sheets, pans, hearing aids, TTYs, and kitchen supplies.  Despite my own trauma that occurred almost two months after Hurricane Katrina, I wanted to make sure that the survivors got their packages.  They did. The path was completed.

There was a labyrinth built at the Audubon Park, built a year after Hurricane Katrina, to remember the dead, the lost.  The labyrinth was built with hearts heavy with grief and lightened bit by bit with perseverance and joy, completed with tears and love. I knew I needed to walk the labyrinth.  When? How?  I did not know.  I waited.

A path was opened with a surprising offer.  I jumped to the opportunity with dearest friend, traveling to New Orleans. Sassy juice and rowdy laughter between us.  Among ghost-hunters and demon-slayers, I found fellow spirits.  Hearts alike to me, minds open, some went along on the path, both in packs and by the lone wolf.  Among the confusing roads to Audubon Park, the labyrinth was hidden among the oaks with moss spilling into the grass.
The labyrinth is there.   Awaiting.  Waiting for my foot to step on it.    I shook my sandals off, letting the bare feet kiss the smooth stones that create the labyrinth.  The breeze bringing the life, the ghosts and the stillness interacting together.   A blank journal opened with fingers and a pen traveling from path to paper.

Where do I go from there?

I feel in limbo here- sunshine and clouds playing peek-a-boo- there are ant hills, silence in nature, sun so bright.  So many branches, twigs and leaves gracing the stones. The path is open- the stones are cool beneath my steps.  Barefoot to Mother Earth.  To feel Her heartbeat, I am in her womb of stone.  Growing and bidding my time, my breathing, knowing there is time for me  I need to be patient and to watch and watch.  It is not yet for me to act.  The Nature is connected here- the fire, the air, earth, water and spirit- breezing loving upon me.

Where do I go from here?

Wait. Wait. It is not your time- your time is not here in New Orleans- not yet.  Go learn, go love, go explore.  Not yet in New Orleans.

Go to school. Seek your place among students, you will be a teacher, both in the classroom and out. You will teach life you will give hope and presence in the speedy path of people.  Teach them to slow down, to smile, to embrace.

You have a world of love, trust and strength awaiting you.  Challenges and tears await you.  Heart break and grief awaits you.

Where do I go from there?

Grow.  Walk the path, wipe your tears away.  You do not stay where you live.  It is not your heart. It takes joy out of you.  You are on the bridge, looking down at the water wondering when you let go and go into the cold water.  It is not your time.

Where do I go from here?

Go back to school.  They will take you.  Trust in them.  Trust in Me.  Trust in love.

Where do I go from there?

Patient, patient.  You are impatient.  You let worry block you.  Your fear of stepping on the wrong foot.  Stop.  Chill.  Trust yourself.  Love yourself first.  Trust in the spirits.  There are spirits looking upon you- they are here with you as We are.  You are closer to them than you think.  They will protect you, you can see and listen to them if you open your heart.  Accept what is given to you, keep holding the hands, let them guide you as they have been guiding you since your first death.

Where do I go from here?

Go back to school. Life rich in experiences and love is at hand only if you stay on the rocky path. You have more tools than you think.  Trust in them.  Look with your hands, your eyes, your heart.  They are there only if you look.Look at the sunshine. Feel the wind!  Feel the bug biting your arm.  Feel the hard stones beneath your toes.  The green grass dancing in the breeze.  The curve of the path as it should be in your life.  Long and short  They are lessons for you if you listen to your heart and slow down.


Where do I go from there?

People, who will love and hate you.  Love wins.  Great loss, breath stolen from you. Heart bleeding.  Many will slow you down.  Patience.  Patience.  Believe in yourself. We believe in you. Keep going, the path is not  of anger.  You are not tied.  You are not trapped.  Trust yourself and we are there for you.  You well know what you see when you see.  You are on the journey. The curves, long and short, that is life.  No short cuts awash for you.  You suffer, and you love.  You cry and you live.

Where do I go from here?

Take yourself.  Walk.  Seize what is offered.  Now remember, remember, we will be with you as always.  Remember us.



I remember.  And I hold the lessons close to my heart, and is preparing to step on the new path.



As written during the walk on the labyrinth, March 25, 2011.
http://www.labyrinthataudubonpark.org/

All photos were taken by me on March 25, 2011.

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