Saturday, November 17, 2007

new orleans

i walked the quarter the other night, just as the fog was coming in on little cat feet, as sandburg might say and i was struck by the wonder of it all. the quarter is never more beautiful than in the season of winter, with its cracked and creaking buildings whispering of brittle mornings in the time of stirabout and tea. i stood at the royal street entrance to pirates alley and in the mist, i could have been debating a brisk walk down any uneven lane in england or france. behind me, a man took up the violin and played something sad and haunting and terribly appropriate for the city these days. i was prone to sadness but before i could fully give into it, i heard the far off cry of the pie lady, singing out her wares and thought of how lucky i am to live in new orleans. storm or no storm or even because of the storm. this city is a heart that never tires. i guess this entry is foolishly sentimental. in the fog, it is easier to overlook our many flaws but maybe that is the point, we all need a holiday from the litany of problems to be calm and rediscover what it is about this place that keeps us here. is it a walk through the shrouded quarter or a second line romp through a sunlit neighborhood? is it the music of sweet little dive bars tucked away in unexpected places or the insistence of celebrating life and mardi gras the first year after the apocalypse? for me it is the simple and the complex. it is the nuances and smells. the architecture and the people. the something you can't quite put your finger on and so a meat pie from the pie lady during a quiet quarter stroll is one way to name it. Besides, she has the best damn pies and a right fine singing voice and i could have wept to hear her when she first came back after katrina. as i recall, i did weep.

4 comments:

Morris said...

i've always felt that the people who truly feel at home in New Orleans and that can call her home with reverence are those people who understand that her ability to weave herself into your heart and mind is not something that requires understanding but rather is something that you intuitively know has become part of the fabric of your being and once entwined will never unravel- Spoke I am happy that we share that contentment!

Alternative Arts New Orleans said...

very beautiful post, spoke

spoke the cat said...

morris, that was lovely!

spoke the cat said...

thanks alternative arts