I had initially planned for 2014 to be the year of letting go, but somewhere along the way, it morphed into something deeper, something more intensely personal. It was the year that I finally came home.
Why dwell on Katrina, people asked. Everything turned out OK, in some cases better than OK, people said. But they were not here. They did not see. They cannot know. They do not care. The things I heard, the things I saw while covering the coast after Katrina are things I don’t think I will ever forget.
If he had been the one to leave, I could have had the cold comfort of anger. But this. This is like slitting your wrists and taking forever to die.
Sometimes you are so outnumbered, you will not win, no matter how hard you fight. At 3 a.m., you’ll try, again and again, thinking this time, you’ll see your misstep and change the outcome. You will fail. The hardest fight is in the daytime, in ordinary life, where you must decide each day: fight or flight, run or stay, trust or fear, love or hate.
November 2009. A late season hurricane, when the only provisions anyone had left were dusty cans of Spam and half-spent candles lying like forlorn soldiers in the bottom of the cabinet alongside roach traps and jugs of distilled water.
A year later, the earth continues to revolve on its axis. The stars did not fall from the heavens, and my life did not end — not by a long shot. You couldn’t have told me that then. I wouldn’t have listened. I wanted to be miserable, and I was. The moon is not larger tonight; it only appears that way because it is closer to the earth. So, too, life itself is a matter of perspective.