Do you know what it means…

As I weave the rings together, I half-watch various TV series that I remember enjoying, and this time, it’s Treme – a show based in New Orleans, centered around the music of the city – and the pain & frustration that Katrina left in her aftermath.
The first show of the series begins three months after The Storm – one month before I moved there, and the first time I ever stepped foot on the magick of its soil.
I find tears coming to my eyes frequently, as I remember the amazing people, the fun & friends I met that remain in my heart to this day, and the spirit of the city.
I had never experienced a city stronger, with more resolve, nor people with more love for their home.
Until I moved there, I had never truly understood what that word meant – only that I had never had one. I chose to call it mine shortly after I moved there, and in a strange and not so subtle way, I could *feel* that it accepted me into its arms. It loved me back.

I performed on the street as a living statue while living there, and my most common pitch – one of the best ones in the Quarter – was on Decatur Street in Jackson Square Park, directly across from Cafe’ du Monde.
I have many funny, sad, & beautiful stories from those months, one being a NOPD officer who had grown kind-of friendly with me in passing, and one day, as a group of about 15 tourists stood around me gawking & ignoring my tip box, I hear, seemingly over a PA system: “Put. Some Money. In The Box!” – and turned just enough to see him sitting in his car, smiling at me. I almost laughed at how quickly they reached deep into their wallets & pocketbooks, but couldn’t break character.
Another day there was the child being dragged along by his mother like a piece of old luggage, on her way to the next tourist shopping destination. She had him by the wrist, his arm stretched as far as it would go as he tried to look around at the people, the horses & carriages, and all the things that a young boy should be able to take the time to explore, to wonder about & ask endless questions to an annoyed parent.
As they were walking by me, the mother didn’t look twice in her one-person shopping stampede – she had the blinders of a well-oiled consumer, but the *boy*… the boy, he noticed that maybe something just wasn’t entirely right with that statue, with it’s white skirt gently luffing in the breeze, scuffed shoes… there was something that caught his eye, and as he looked up at my face, I caught his with mine – and I winked at him. It was something small – I just wanted him to know that *I* saw him. That he had a friend.

His jaw dropped and eyes popped open to near the point of being nothing but a caricature of a lazily carved pumpkin, and as he realized his feet needed to keep moving due to the ignorant machine of the relentless force dragging him along, he jogged to catch up & ran a little ahead so she might see him, remember he was there and listen as he said with the hope of her hearing him – “Mom – there’s someone *IN* there!”

A couple people in the series are street musicians, and as the camera switched to the other person, I saw that they were standing exactly where I did, and according to the show, exactly where I would be just a little over a month later.

This time, my eyes weren’t deep enough to keep the tears from falling.

Gods, I miss New Orleans.

NOLA.Statue

Into the Storm

Sitting in my bed, comforter pulled up to my waist, warm and… not happy, not blue, but if I had to think about it (and it seems I need to now that I wrote that) – feeling… what? Perhaps something of a positive indifference, if that makes any sense.

Grey skies, scattered rain & the wind howling through my windows which I intentionally leave just a crack open for exactly that reason. I like the feeling of safety & warmth inside, the storm not able to affect my life, as much as it beats against the barriers that surround me.

But I also miss the exquisite storm, the way my blood pulsed feverishly, passionately through my veins feeding off of the uncertainty of every day. I miss the directionless path, trusting that it would take me where I needed to be and it always did. I miss the way the words would rip themselves out of me, tearing me apart & puttin me back together like a puzzle that always found a place for the extra pieces.

I miss the feeling of the feeling of the road under my wheels.
I miss the fever.
I miss the storm I once was.

The wind screams & moans through my windows, calling me, summoning me.

It’s time to join it.

loving someone to life

Glancing over the past few years on Facebook Not for anything specific that i can recall now, perhaps a photo, or just wandering down the long valleys where the memories are kept…I brush away the moss & dust that has settled on them as life goes on, the wonder and appreciation of new paths, changing lives casting shadows over the older moments we have learned from…

Is it only me that feels this nostalgic sorrow for not remembering every mention of love and caring that people have invoked my name in? For months on end I now read them, on after the other, wishing me well, calling to others for the sake of my support, reachingout to people I don’t even know because someone that they know needed help to stay alive.

The thoughts of what was call tears to my eyes, and as they roll down my face, no longer gaunt and skeletal but full, shining and healthy as if none of this ever happened…

I remember how very much I owe to them, to the people who gave so much love to keep me alive.

I come across one line, a line I have never forgotten that took all the strength I had to write.

***November 27, 2011 · San Francisco, CA · 
Drowning, please, need someone to take me to emergency room ASAP
If I remember correctly, Bob found me only semi’conscious in my motor-home… nothing but what I wrote is clear until I woke up somewhere around ten days later in the ICU having little idea what had happened, only that I didn’t have the strength to talk or even write.
I remember trying. I couldn’t form a single legible letter.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I owe so much, in such profound ways.
To all of them… for the chances they have given me, and all that I have been blessed with since…

and now, I need to give them the most honest and loving thing I can possibly create, as small as it actually sounds…

I need to give them all of me, all that they don’t know, all that I could never say then, never disclose.

I need to give them a book; my book…

and inside of it, the closest thing to my soul that I can offer.