Monday, April 6, 2009


Wow. It's been an unbelievably long time. Unbelievably. You can't believe it.

New Orleans in spring is absolutely my favorite thing in the known universe; it can only be described as emulating pages and pages of graphic novels I only wish I could write, about the quirkiest, rosiest, most erratic and messy and totally breathtaking place in the universe. Vignettes really don't suffice (Man on one of those tall, tall bikes rides down the cobblestone paths under the highway while a bright white egret pecks at empty bags of seafood-flavored potato chips; little girl with pink and white paint on her face lounges on a rusty pink lawn chair under a tent with her family, who play in a jazz sextet all afternoon on one of those offshoot streets near Decatur; rotting house erupts in a rash of butter-yellow flowers all over the roof, like some giant angelic mythical beast sneezed there randomly or something). It's caterpillar season. The caterpillars are 1) abundant; 2) black and fuzzy; 3) ABUNDANT. And you know what comes next: butterfly season.

Ari visited x weeks ago. Enchanting, obviously. The best day, to paint it for you, was when we rode the ferry to Algiers in the 70-degree weather and found ourselves the only two people at the world's most freakishly adorable coffee shop, playing Scrabble with the old-fashioned board, and drinking sweet tea with lemon. There was also strawberry shortcake, car rides with the window down, tromping tramping trolloping through City Park, outlandish meals involving barbecue shrimp cheesecake, and of course everything else New Orleans has to offer. Ariana felt like a missing puzzle piece. As if she was saying, "I know you knew something was slightly amiss before. You felt a lack; well baby, I'm it."

And beyond that, work is exhausting and overwhelming and world is unraveling at approximately 250 million miles per hour. There are just too many festivals and friends and meals and causes and NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY. So I decided to break my summer up between New Orleans and Colorado and Portland and to rest and relax and breathe and take each instant at a time, because I'm rotten at doing that in general. It's been A LOT of summers since I've given myself that kind of freedom.

I kind of know that attempting to blog about all this is not only futile, it's counterproductive because I tend to come off as really pretentious when I'm trying to get something really enormous across -- like a huge desire or a big love of some kind. But I wanted you to know that I have not disappeared off the face of the earth, and I'm not lying beneath some semi-moist rocks crying my eyes out and woeing about the state of the universe.

I'm going to Leah's seder on Thurdsay; Philip's seder on Wednesday; my grandmother's house on Friday; camping with James on Tuesday (SPRING BREAK WIN); camping with my students again on Friday... EXHAUSTING, RIGHT?! We actually went camping last weekend, and it was A THUNDERSTORM. That was about the most badass outdoorsy thing I've ever done, and I have to admit, I wasn't always the best sport about the six or ten feet of water inundating our camp site. But I did my best, and my students did their best, and in the end we got to see the historic Vicksburg, Mississippi, where integral battles of the Civil War were fought (cooler than I think I'm making it sound).

Hannah fixed my bike; I have been eating much more exotic kinds of pizza than I ever have before; Totally Vegan Potluck is the best thing that has ever happened to my palate; it is 70 degrees basically every day; we saw the Human Rights Film Festival; my heart has been shifting between bursting with joy and tucking in on itself from being overwhelmed. And sometimes it breaks. Because school is harder and harder every day and the realities of the education gap are clearer and clearer, and the shitty stuff is more and more obvious.

But as always, c'est la vie. ONWARD.

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