Friday, June 10, 2011

Here I Am, Today

Gotta write some things down to get my head together. Sister left this morning. We had a lovely time, but now it's time to switch gears and get a focus on real life. Whatever that means. It's a bit of a tough transition, but I'll manage. Jo is busy with work, J is working at the farm where he has taken work. He'll be away four days out of seven, and with Jo not taking work at the farm as originally planned, I'll have to find other living arrangements. They've been gracious, but the house is too tight for the three of us. Haven't found anything promising today, so might try a guest house for a week or so just to get acclimated and rested. Sharing space is tiring, though it is wonderful to see Jo. Her work life is stressful just now, and a houseguest may not be the ideal addition to an already chaotic situation.

This weekend the three of us are working the Creole Tomato Festival, which I'm looking forward to. I'll be able to meet with a potential employer here. More details on that to come when I myself know more. It's also strange to need to keep up on Metro work, I feel so far removed from Mpls and all that's in it. Ideally, I'd like to transition away from that job and fully immerse myself in the culture here, not having to think about what's happening up north for awhile, although of course I already miss my peeps. I am feeling a lowgrade kind of stress, but overall this transition has been rather smooth. Here's to knocking on wood and hoping it continues in that direction.

A few impressions of what I think and hope will be my new home, at least for now.

Yesterday I was greeted by a man dressed as a red devil. Horns, red paint, and silver teeth. He was window shopping and looked in no particular hurry, with no particular place to go. He looked up from his business, smiled at the two of us, and in the haughtiest, most erudite English accent wished us a simple: "Hello."

These are the sorts of things that happen in New Orleans. If you feel like dressing up like a devil for the day, to do some shopping for tea cups, go right ahead. No one will mind. People are warm and chatty here. It's easy to make friends-- before you know it someone is offering up their favorite places to eat and imbibe, a sage word of advice, and a phone number. When you pass folks on the street, if they are local, 9 out of 10 of them will address you. "How y'all doing?" they say. It's a beautiful example of the southern hospitality that I believe is alive and well. A simple acknowledgement from one human to another.

Of course it's hot, but mostly I'm unbothered by it. It's wonderful to forget about the notion of sweaters and jackets. Like one man said to me: "You'll never wear socks again." Fine with me. I wake up to the sounds of trombones and horseshoes clomping down the street. The men tell you what a beautiful lady you are, and then they let you pass by without further harassment. This quote aptly describes the people here:

"There is something left in this people here that makes them like one another, that leads to constant outbursts of the spirit of play, that keeps them from being too confoundedly serious about death and the ballot and reform and other less important things in life."

There is a collective sense that money and ambition is not all there is. Sure, folks want to get ahead as much as they do elsewhere, but they're willing to push pause now and then on the race to get where ever it is they may be headed. I'm happy to be leaning on a corner along with them.  

That's all for now. I think I'll take in a courtyard, a spot of shopping, and a glass of wine. You know, for inspiration.

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