“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to the field, hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.” -Thomas Wolfe Continue reading Return To Old October
In the city of my birth,
On the third floor of Beckham’s Book Shop,
Surrounded by stacks of books I can only dream of reading every title,
Falling asleep on this worn out couch,
The musty smell making me dizzy.
They call it ‘the city that time forgot’ and continues to forget as we saw with Katrina,
Or the ‘crescent city’ for the bend in the river which Bienville saw as strategic,
Many nights I walked that same bend along the railroad tracks by the river’s edge,
Drinking hot beer procured from the abandoned Jax Brewery,
Oblivious to the rich history I was born into.
Wandering these streets of the French Quarters,
Past the painters, fortune tellers and street musicians trying to make a dollar,
I find myself in St. Louis Cathedral staring at the stained glass,
The pipe organ playing Bach while someone is blowing a horn in Pirates Alley,
Both melding into a complexed whole, as candles from the altar, burn our sins away.
So many nights strolling down Bourbon Street in a haze,
How many ghosts have crossed my path this night,
Dripping in the humid air of summer is like breathing thru syrup,
Or the damp cold of winter cutting you to the bone.
Growing up we’d take the Algiers Ferry across the river to the West Bank,
When night falls on a full moon you can see the city’s horizon shimmering on the water,
I think we only leave home so we can love it all the more.
It is then I understand this longing I feel for my city by the river,
You never really get over it, just strike an uneven peace between the heart
*Photo courtesy of Pixabay
For Miriam who never loses faith…
One way to understand the situation between the river, the city and the rest of the country is to see the division the river seems to necessitate, nearly straight down the middle of the United States, an intermediate temporal boundary between east and west that actually solidifies at the environs of New Orleans.
We feel as though we’re in touch with something greater than our individual selves; something sacred within that we can only catch a glimpse of when in deep meditation, which leads to a portal, to an awareness of the mystery of our lives. A gift from the universe that touches the masters hands across the veil of time and space.