Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Please Wake Me

I got up early this morning and headed straight for the shower. As I stood there with the water falling over me my mind suddenly turned to New Orleans and for a moment I thought I must've been recalling a bad dream I'd just had. Those thoughts quickly passed and I could feel this pang develop in the pit of my stomach, once again. I don't think any of us who aren't directly involved with the nightmare which is New Orleans can begin to understand what they're living and dying through. I know I can't. The stories are so heartbreaking.

I was watching Oprah yesterday and they showed a 25-year-old man hugging his 14-year-old dog and nuzzling its face. He would soon have to board a bus for some faraway place and leave his beloved companion, aged and scared to fend for itself and to say goodbye forever. I had tears in my eyes watching this as other dogs ran in and out of camera view having already been left to themselves. Finally, the producer of the segment interrupted the scene and told the man that he would take his dog for him and two other dogs he'd found and care for them until they could be reunited. How sad is that? I feel guilty even mentioning pets when there are hundreds if not thousands of children who have been separated from parents possibly forever.

Thursday, September 1, 2005


What a desperate situation Katrina has created. I'm sure there are some good people who are reaching deep to help their fellow man but the stories which are having the biggest impact on me are the ones of looting and kicking your fellow man when he's down. I'm not referring to the people scrambling to try and feed their families. I'm thinking of people returning to homes to find them not only left in a shambles by Katrina but also picked over by looters. I can't say that this is any sort of low for humanity because it's not. I just need to see some stories which assure me that there is more good than bad occurring there amongst those who remained.

Having said all that, the looting is such a minor occurrence in the scope of what the area has to contend with. It's no doubt a sickening response to a tragedy. The larger concerns are how do you reintegrate one million people who until the storm were contributing members of society and are now for the most part wards of the state? How do they pick up the pieces when there are none left to pick up? Do they rebuild the city or just plow it under and start anew knowing that this won't be the last time the area will face a similar storm and resulting catastrophe? Make the city some sort of Venice where they embrace the water rather than fight it.

We're a resilient people but there's a perfect storm developing which has the potential to send our economy into a recession which could take us years to come out of. Maybe it's late and I need some sleep. Maybe I've just had my fill of bad news for a while. I'm not very optimistic at the moment. I need to ride.