Just a teeny, tiny, tee-niney little pinch in a liter of water every day. Why not? It’s nature’s little secret, demonized as poison, but actually, scientifically amazing for you.
This is a big day in the life of Summer Burkes. Maybe it will be known as the day I cracked. Calgon, take me away. Houston, we have a problem. Elizabeth, it’s the big one.
Today, for me, The Quickening started. I feel it. Everything about this Earth is faster. Even my body knows it, moving in cycles all close together and annoying-like. I feel I need to move, to get out, to run to the hills. Maybe it is a product of my nomadic tendencies and my desire to live life on intuition rather than plans. Maybe I’m Chicken Little … or maybe I’m one of a million canaries in this coal mine.
I smell oil. Right now. I live in New Orleans. The oil is supposedly 250 miles away.
Enjoy this piece, originally written for Evolver by Natalie Pierce (Evolver.net New Orleans Regional Coordinator).
At a time when Evolver.net Spores across the world gear up to explore and discuss local resiliency, one city’s suffering reminds us that even as we defend ourselves, we are a global family and that another’s suffering is also our own.
If resiliency is defined as the ability of a system to deal with change and absorb shock, then New Orleans is the symbol of resiliency in America.
Yesterday morning, in our little slice of Holy Cross heaven where the Mississippi River meets the Industrial Canal, I walked out the door thinking about something besides the oil spill for a change … and that’s when it hit me. In the face. The day’s first breath of “fresh” air oiled the inside of my nose and mouth with the unmistakable smell-taste of petroleum.
“If it were possible to cure evils by lamentation and to raise the dead with tears, then gold would be a less valuable thing than weeping” — Sophocles
New Orleans. Hi. I love you so much. But you have cancer. Again. I know. And this time it’s a different kind. You’ve come out of remission with a newer, deadlier form of cancer. This comes as a shock, because we all thought you were on the road back to health. It’s going to take so, SO long to clean it up.
So anyway, besides the oil spill … It’s Springtime at the Village, and presto, we got ourselves a community garden! Our new star volunteer, Cara Walton, wrangled some volunteers and whipped up a raised-bed garden in the back yard. This fall, with any luck, we will have fresh home-grown fruits and vegetables.
Our doors and windows have been open for the past three weeks. New Orleans is unseasonably … perfect. After Jazzfest, according to local wisdom, the houses will all be shut tight and air-conditioned — for the next six months. We will all become vampires. The sun, she’s already getting tropical on us.
The 101 Runners, ostensibly the world’s only current and costumed Mardi Gras Indian band, played at legendary club Tipitina’s a couple nights before the High Holy New Orleans Holiday. Under the majestic portrait of Professor Longhair onstage, they commenced to playin’ bout sewing costumes and meeting rival spyboys in the street.
One more round of similarities between Mardi Gras and the Burning Dude and we’re done:
You can either pay someone else lots of money to build your floats (theme camps) or get together with your friends and work on them really hard.
Your parade can have all the permits and map placements it wants … or it can be as underground and DIY as a basement rave. Except Mardi Gras will always be infinitely cooler than a basement rave, because it’s been going on for a couple hundred years, and the ornate and variegated etchings of tradition have deep-ass roots like unkillable kudzu vines.
So we were always led to believe Mardi Gras equaled Girls Gone Wild. Period.
We were so, so wrong.
We would get mad, working at the Burning Man festival with our dusty cranky faction of miscreants, when others more wet behind the ears would say, “Yeah, Burning Man’s great! It reminds me of Mardi Gras!” …
You don’t know what you’re talking about, our subconscious would scream. Have you any idea what it takes to live in a van for 2 months out of the year, in one of the harshest environments on Earth, laboring like a hard-time prisoner and eating nothing but Pabst Blue Ribbon and bacon? … Do you have any inkling as to the effort involved in building a fantastical city out of THIN AIR for FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE, and that we have to TEAR IT ALL BACK DOWN TO NOTHING?
(The subconscious, you see, can become quite the Bill Hicks-level righteous aggravationist when faced with 10-hour days under the hot sun in hangovery dust storms.)
But you know what? On Friday and Saturday nights? When we’ve built the city infrastructure and every-thousand ticketholders have come and added the bells and whistles and finally put down the tools to suit up in their finery and go out on the town and look at what other people have been working on all year in their spare time? It DOES seem like Mardi Gras. Now that we’ve been to Mardi Gras as New Orleans residents, we get it.
Our first parade ever was Muses, on Friday night.