“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.” ~ Alice Hoffman
Today I sit hard-pressed, with a feeling of nostalgic torment coursing through my mind. I feel as though I must prepare or help, but I am far and removed from the place that concerns my attention. Though we are still days away from any real-time information, I am reminded of this very same week, 7 years before when Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything I ever owned and raped the land that I called home. Isaac is on approach along this very same path, and once again my friends and family along the Mississippi gulf coast are standing in the sphere of attention.
Even now, today, just as it was those 7 years prior, all news and attention of the media is pointed at New Orleans and Florida… Nearly no mention of the Mississippi coast, which then indeed took the full brunt of Katrina’s wrath, and still received little attention.I say that all should be equally attended to, so that nobody feels forgotten or less important than the other.
I was there at ground zero during Katrina, and nothing was left after landfall. And, when I say that nothing was left after she passed, I mean nothing but piles of rubble, ghostly ripped and torn trees, roads and bridges completely broken apart and washed out to sea. Only barren slabs remained, cleaned completely of carpet, tile and furniture.. Busses were on top of buildings and boats were stuck in restaurant drive thrus.. This is the memory that haunts me about those days, and I hope and pray that this is nothing of that magnitude.
We can never predict the outcome, only estimate. This gives insight into the “nature” of Nature. No matter the outcome, I must remind all of the simple fact that nature is balance. Where balance is needed, nature will work it’s magic. You cannot hide from the hand that shapes the land. This is a truth that all men must learn. When devastation looms, resilience and renewal follows. This is the eternal cycle of life and divine law. When the rain starts dropping, the storm starts stopping.
I wish all in the “cone of uncertainty” a blessing and prayer of peace and safety, and if you’re reading this, please keep all those who may be affected in your heart and mind. The days ahead are uncertain, but hopefully all will be well. I ask that we keep those in harms way in our own sphere of attention, that they may feel the love surround them from across the land and throughout their hearts. Godspeed to all back home. I am with you.
33 thoughts on “Attention Isaac”
I live in Florida, and was of course, inundated with the news of Isaac which has not yet made hurricane status. It was recently the 20 year anniversaryof Hurricane Andrew which I remember vividly to this day. It is a ghoulish delight the media takes in preparing and hoping for disaster…because to them the viewers are simply numbers not people.
My mother and were just discussing Hurricane Katrina this morning, and how all the focus was on New Orleans, when the brunt of the storm hit Mississippi and Alabama. Much of the devistation in New Orleans was post storm because the levees didn’t hold-something city officials had known for quite sometime. I remember those hardest hit by the actual storm were pushed aside for the more sensational happenings in New Orleans.
The destruction of a natural disaster is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and my thoughts and prayers are for all people in the path of any storm.
Indeed, it was well after landfall when the levees broke.. By that time, my home and thousands of others were washed away into the gulf. I remember only one news report concerning my coastal home, all the rest was about fema and New Orleans.. Sad that The media plays on fear and worry, the sensationalism is quite grotesque.
Sitting here in South Florida, listening to the wind and rain your thoughtful post arrive. My mother grew up in the 9th ward in New Orleans where she was born in 1918. Very little is left there now. Yet just as devastating and offer overlooked are remote and rural areas throughout the coast line; there just happens to be people there, too!
With family in both Louisiana and Mississpi now, I share your thoughts as ‘the cone of uncertainty’ moves up the gulf.
Nature’s beauty is to behold as those awake waves beat upon the shore. However there is nothing more awesome than lending a helping hand to those who have face natures path.
Thank you for being awesome in all that you do!
Thank you sir! Indeed! I would say that the MS gulf coast is far from rural.. especially now with so much rebuilding still underway. No matter, I still have many friends in New Orleans and all along the coast even into florida, it is and always will be one of my most favorite cities and regions of the country. If things go bad, I will most certainly return to help in any way I can.
With all the hype around us, we need a breath of common sense. I’m in nw Florida about 40 miles east of Pensacola. Been in the area for 16+ years, been through Opal, Ivan, etc., but this time I’m living in a mobile home (sometimes you got to take what you can). Hope everyone is safe.
Very true..I lived on the gulf coast for 20 years, about 2 hours west of pensacola, I know the neighborhood very well. Stay safe my friend..
My hope that went the storm starts stopping, all of the good people in its path have healthy mind and body.
A dear friend of mine in Nola lost everything to Hurricane Katrina, we hadn’t spoken in a while but I’m talking with her tonight, she’s terrified. My thoughts are with all of those in the path of Isaac.
I’m hoping it will diminish and miss, but it will land somewhere. I hope for the best for all in the path.
Keeping those who are harm’s way in my thoughts and prayers. May God keep them safe.
We all have to lose to gain and again…….just like the years of life we call age…..lose a year and gain what you have learned through that year. I saw a little bit of the clip on CNN about the storm that is building up……..I wish and hope that all of you would be safe from this wrath of nature. I can in a different way relate to what you are going through since I live in Pakistan, the heart of war zone, where no one is safe at any moment from any creature or nature.
I too know the war zone, being a former U.S. Marine, it is not unlike the wrath of nature at all but often times much worse. I wish you peace, and keep safe as well..
Amen. May God keep them all safe.
I know why you are deep and powerful now. thanks
I’m near the Miami-Dade/Broward County line going through T.S. Issac right now, have been for a day and a half, it’s huge, and the rain/wind is still kicking. This weeks been a little overwhelming. The 24th was Andrews 20th anniversary (went through that) and the 25th was Katrinas when it hit S. Florida as a cat 1 (before moving on to Louisiana/Miss.) I was at ground zero for that in Florida. Now Issacs here, on its way to the same region that Katrina went to. There honestly hasnt been much else on my mind this week. Like I said, its a little overwhelming, 20 years old memories are still fresh. I written a couple blogs about the storms, incl Andrew. It helped to put it down in writing. My thoughts will be with your friends on the Gulf coast and all the others. You wrote beautifully (as always) about it. It is the cycle of life, ever changing.
I traveled with the Air National Guard to Gulfport several days after Katrina, coming from Savannah, which is no stranger to hurricane damage itself. But none of us was prepared for what Katrina wrought. I saw a casino that had been in the Gulf, beached and protruding into the highway along the beach. The stench of rotting fruit was everywhere, while bolts of gaily colored cloth festooned what was left of the trees. There was a microwave sitting all by itself in a vacant lot. A single bench remained of what once was, I think, a Waffle House. The rest was gone, not a trace left, but someone had put up an American flag out front. One of the people along on that media trip said waving the flag of patriotism for the war at this tragic time was inappropriate. I turned on her, wide-eyed, and asked if she honestly did not know that the flag was there, as it has always been since the time of Francis Scott Key, as a sign that we will not surrender, no matter what. That we will recover and we will be strong again.
Later, we stopped at a distribution point in a parking lot where piles of clothing and other items were there for anyone who needed them. In another section, the ANG guys were handing out water, asking people how they were doing, trading jokes and niceties with tired, sad people who perked up, if only for a moment. A little girl skipped and danced among the piles of clothing, oblivious as only a child can be to the devastation of her world, because she had a mom who gave her bright smiles and reassurance.
“When devastation looms, resilience and renewal follows. This is the eternal cycle of life and divine law.”
You are so right about that. I’m nowhere near Isaac, but I’m watching events closely and hoping mightily for the best.
Yes, I lived just a couple of miles from the area that you speak of, right on the beachfront. I actually worked at the Grand Casino for a couple of years, which was among the rubble, broken and beached from its mooring. There were so many who came to help, and many did help to lift the spirits of those that lost so much with a simple smile or a hug.. I thank you for your contribution , for being there in a time of desperation.
My prayers are with all those in the path of this storm. God be with you all.
Mother nature really has a mind of her own. We can predict and still not be certain of the outcome. I am so sorry you ended losing it all during Katrina. Because of that tragedy though, what has been the silver lining?
Silver lining? many things.. A renewed respect for life, for nature and for hope. I realized then that devastation is merely a state of mind, no matter the material possessions lost, the spirit can never be broken completely so long as we learn from loss and long-suffering and strive to see the renewal instead of the destruction, even in the face of it. I witnessed many things after the days of landfall. Communities came together to help, from local regions and from across the nation. In times of hardship and struggle we forge our strongest bonds as humans and for that I am thankful.
You are indeed perceptive and I’d say very grateful. You came out of it, bruised, yet hopeful. What a blessing for people are more important than things any day.
You might find this blog of interest – it is a friend of mine who has been writing his Thesis based off the after-math of Katrina: http://greyzonedocs.com/
Very interesting.. thank you for the link 🙂
He is always looking for my stories and thoughts so do consider getting in touch with him. He has arranged volunteer work crews to go and clean-up. Even did one early last year. Still lots of work to do…
errr meant “more stories” and not “my stories” auto-corrected my own thoughts 😛
Ok great. I certainly will.. I’m sure we’d have much in common to share.
Hi Jeremiah. I can’t figure out how to send a private e-mail, but are you from New Orleans and living in upstate NY? We have a lot of geography in common (besides reading each others’ blogs). Send me an e-mail sometime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gary (your Isaac-soaked interlocutor)
I lived in New Orleans for a while, but longer on the MS gulf coast, just about an hour away in Bay St. Louis and eventually Long Beach and Biloxi. ANd yes, I’m currently in upstate NY.. and thankful to be high and dry.. literally..
I just flew to NYC and took a road trip from Dutchess County (Tivoli, Red Hook, Rhinebeck) to Rochester. Back to New Orleans just in time for Isaac.
Nice trip my friend.. I’m pretty far upstate, a stone’s throw from Canada at the top. I imagine that must have been quite an unwelcome homecoming. I still have family in New Orleans, Hammond and in Gulfport.. SO I know they’re quite tired of the rain, and the wind.. At least it wasn’t a total tragedy like it was 7 years before. For that I’m very thankful.