life between the pages

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Saturday, September 03, 2005

stop gaps

well, he's finally made the effort to at least visit... and sorrily, was typically unprepared to rise to the occasion. even republicans are pretty disgusted. oh, waitaminit, i AM a registered republican. i tend to forget that, since i voted my conscience --that is, for the democrat-- in every presidential election since i was old enough to do so. i used to vote republican in local elections, but haven't been able to bring myself to do so for several years now. this used to be the party of lincoln. now it's the party of fascist trolls.
on tuesday this week i called my local red cross office, and asked: what can i do? i have hands and time to help. i can pack boxes, collect supplies, answer the phone, fold blankets, what? the lady who answered the phone asked me to hold a moment, and then another lady came on the line. 'thank you,' she said. 'we do not need any assistance at this time. there will be a meeting on saturday. perhaps you could come then.' (i'm thinking: saturday? that's 4 days from now. people are homelesss and dying --what do they do until then? i suppose this is what w. meant by 'be patient.') she took my name & phone number and said i would be called. well, it's saturday morning just after 9 a.m... haven't heard a thing. (4:00 p.m. update: still nothing. guess i'd better do something else. am checking the local options at church and salvation army. any suggestions you've found will be heartily welcomed.)
since we are not allowed to travel to the disaster areas directly, so many of us are wringing our hands and crying: what? what can i do? expending energies that are so much needed elsewhere. i don't use much a/c, but raised the thermostat from 79 to 83. the weather has been cooperative & breezy, i don't need it anyway so it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. all week i've only gone out for necessities such as school and work, coasting the car as much as possible to save gas. fortunately this morning i did see this well-meaning post on harry shearer's blog, containing two addresses to which we can send things most needed by the victims. the kids are eager to help. we've packed boxes of my nice clothing, shoes, things the children have outgrown or don't need, books, toys. Fortunately, I did find on this page two addresses for folks who are coordinating in-kind donations:
i am still nearly speechless with disgust and disbelieve in our administration's hubris and ineptitude. i read what i am certain is a true prophecy in van jones excellent post here:

one commenter on jones' blog says (paraphrased): 'of course tons of money will pour in to N.O., the city will be re-built into a resort of million dollar homes and billion dollar hotels. economic prosperity will once more flower the land. the only people who won't be happy will be the displaced poor.' and i have to echo, yes, yes. i know this, in my career i have seen it, and look, guitar georgie just admitted it!! (please note where the White House Press Office released this --to the Financial News section. this is not unintentional).
isn't this how it goes in our 'free' country? i have to put 'free' in quotes because we all know freedom isn't free. someone always pays. and look who's paying now:
yeah, and the home of the brave.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

Oh, this is all so sad and everyday it seems to get even worse. I can't understand it and I don't think I want to. It makes me sick that they will displace so many lower income people just to turn something resembling a profit. I did hear on CNN the day before yesterday, that several geographers have been consulted, including one whose specialty is the geography of southern Louisiana, on how best to avoid massive flooding like this should the levees breech again in the future. The S. LA expert was interviewed on CNN and said that the land between Lake Pontchartrain and the north side of the city used to be all swamp, and that his best recommendation is letting large parts of it, where the homes have been completely distroyed anyway, return to their natural state and remain that way perminently. Maybe they'll listen to him and other experts like him? It will take a long time to rebuild. This is just the beginning...

Meanwhile, like you, Mom has packed up a whole bunch of clothes and books for the people who have been taken to the Astrodome and have nowhere else to go. She just doesn't know where to send it yet... And she had one student added to the roster of her gifted science class yesterday, an 8th grade girl who escaped with her parents to her aunt and uncle's home here in Tampa. Her mother and father went back a few days ago to survey the damage to their home (they lived in Jefferson Parish). She said that the girl and her parents expect to be here at least through Christmas, but they do eventually want to return to New Orleans.