Friday, May 13, 2011

the lazy mississippi, a hurryin to spring

I just spent an afternoon on the levee in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans, watching the brown Mississippi lap the tops of willow trees, which grow on what were sandy banks just last week, and are now the bottom of a river. I was with my good friend Cassidy, who skipped rocks and told me about string theory and the names of clouds. I saw Canadian Geese zooming along the surface at unprecedented speeds, a heron gliding for a length of time that defied physics, and a rickety-looking steamboat called the Creole Queen. I left feeling absolutely elated.

The magic of the city of New Orleans is that death sits quietly along it, just beyond the levee, like a stone in your back pocket. The only thing to do about it is to live, deeply and viscerally and excruciatingly. Any time something less important tries to grab your attention, the river rises and reminds you: life is here and fleeting, it's made of dirty music and tugging sorrow and wet, honeysuckle-scented breezes, and if you don't catch it exactly NOW, it is likely to be too late.

1 comment: