Friday, March 23, 2007

VOLUNTEERING IN NEW ORLEANS

"GOIN HOME CAFE SIGN ON ST. CLAUDE"


AmeriCorps (Louisiana)
American Red Cross
America's Second Harvest (70115 zip)
Catholic Charities
Citizen Command Center
City Park
Covenant House
Common Ground
Episcopal Diocese of New Orleans
Emergency Communities
Greater New Orleans Volunteeer Connection
Green Light New Orleans
The Green Project
Habitat for Humanity NOLA
Habitat Gulf Coast (MISS)
Jesuits (New Orleans Province)
Katrina Action
LA Rebuilds - volunteer resource link
Lean On Me - Help for Families
Lutheran Disaster Response
Mennonite Disaster Service
New Orleans Mission
Network For Good
NOLA Yurp
Operation Noah Rebuild
Phoenix Project of New Orleans
Plenty International
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Relief Spark
Salvation Army
St. Bernard Project
St. Rose Outreach (Miss)
St. Vincent De Paul Society
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Volunteers of America
Volunteer Louisiana
Volunteer Match
We-Kare
Wikipedia - Aid Agencies - Katrina

There are also people who just come down to New Orleans and find a place to help like myself. For me, I have found that all I have to do is walk down the street..

Peace and love.

MORAL, ETHICAL, AND SPIRITUAL QUANDARIES

QUANDARY

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

quan·da·ry Pronunciation [kwon-duh-ree, -dree]
–noun, plural -ries. a state of perplexity or uncertainty, esp. as to what to do; dilemma




To get a visual orientation of where Metairie, LA, USA is in comparison with the city which is to the East and other areas I speak of in this blog, here's the link to a map: http://www.google.com/maps?q=Metairie,+La+70001&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title )

Twice now when I was in the town of Metairie LA, I have had a similar reactions concerning volunteering in New Orleans, from 2 different residents who are relatively (income related) well off, that concerns me. What concerns me? First, I feel what they are saying to me, others may also be feeling. I will have to wait and see what my experiences prove about this intuition. Secondly, I perceive racism. I perceive it to be very old and very ingrained in the local culture. I do not judge, I am only sharing what I perceive, see and hear. And I feel I must speak out and share what I am seeing.

The tombs in the pictures on my home page are from Metairie Lawn Cemetery. Now it may have been the custom for the wealthier New Orleanians of the past to bury their dead outside of the city, or this may have always been a wealthy area. There is "Old Metairie and Metairie." Whatever the history, just by driving through Metairie and then driving through the city of New Orleans especially Orleans Parish, you eyes will help your mind to note the very visible difference in income levels and opportunities for prosperity.

The first person I speak of owns 2 houses in Metairie, a house in Aspen CO, and drives a Porsche. The second, I have no idea of his living situation and so may only surmise. What I have observed is that he is familiar with the staff at the library, so I assume (dangerous ground! I will proceed with caution!) he is a local, he owns a house in the area (he told me), and whenever I have seen him he has his brief case with him.

The first person said to me when I shared about wanting to spend most of my time volunteering in the more visibly ravaged areas of New Orleans - "but I need help too!" The second person said to me "well my house was flooded are you going to come and help me?" Even though he was joking I felt the kernel of truth in what he was saying, I felt he was saying "why them and not me?" And I felt the first person, angrily saying the same thing. Why are "they" getting all the help? "I had to pull my self up and make something of my life…"

Note: (3/16/2007) It happened again. This time with someone I thought would have a deeper understanding and more compassion because of the suffering he has endured. He is from Palestine, lived in Jerusalem. He understands what it is like to be racially profiled. He shared with me his experiences of standing in checkpoints and what it was like to be singled out especially because "he was a Muslim man and his name was Mohammed." And he had started off the conversation sharing how he feels it is his moral duty to help the less fortunate than him.

But as I began to speak of the poor who were still suffering in many New Orleans Parishes (I was having breakfast/lunch whilst working on the pictures for the slideshow on this blog and he mentioned he saw the pictures and it was what prompted him to speak with me. He wanted to find out what I did for a living.) In response to what I said, he replied to to the best of my shocked recollection, "well the poor, well - I had to earn everything I have, I came here and I had nothing, I married a good woman and look at how successful my life is now". I could tell he was a good man, a well-intentioned man, yet it seemed to me that he too had succumbed to the racism that is like an unseen virus in the air here.

And this at the core of what troubles my heart. The 'they/them" of these conversations.

Who lives in the most visibly ravaged areas of New Orleans? For the most part, African American New Orleanians. And who are the ones who lived in the now abandoned projects? Primarily, African American New Orleanians.

And this is what profoundly bothers me.

Forgive me, even before I begin, for I have never been to New Orleans before this February and can only share my perceptions as an outsider. My only claim that may give me a "right" to speak about what I perceive to be witnessing, is a heart which is so fully engaged and open to New Orleans and its inhabitants.

Whatever I write on this blog are my perceptions and they are very difficult subjects to speak on. I don't know what is "P.C." "Politically Correct" - I only know what my heart sees and hears, and can only speak from this uneducated, and perhaps to some, politically and/or incorrect place.

Here are the concerns of my heart relating to these conversations and the sites I have seen in the city:

1. The implication that the "poor" "the African American New Orleanians" not said, but implied - are lazy, didn't earn the help they get, didn't work as hard as these people have and that is why they are poor. And as such, in some way, "they" do not deserve all the "help" that is flooding in.

Here is the dilemma. I can understand that everyone here has been affected by Katrina. But there is a difference between losing a source of income, having trouble with getting your insurance claim fulfilled and having to dip into your 401k or even the only savings you have, or having to take on a second job or a loan to de-mold and gut your house. It is a valid hardship that I can only surmise on.

Yet there is a difference, and here is a 'quandary' as the pictures will show, between a change in your financial position, standing or equity in your house, and losing everything, especially, when you may have had so little before. There is a difference between living in Metairie or Kenner or even the nicer neighborhoods in the city of New Orleans and living in the midst of abandoned houses on streets - on whole blocks - where the houses are destroyed. Some not repaired at all, some have been bulldozed, some are being repaired. The difference is perceived in the unconscious and sometimes conscious, mind and the heart.

The schools are abandoned; the hospitals and infrastructures that supported the community are no longer or just recently coming into service. The National Guard is patrolling your neighborhood. Their is a significant difference between the lifestyles of the lower income families and the poor living in Post Katrina New Orleans and neighboring Parishes, and the mid to upper income families living in Post Katrina New Orleans. I think the exception to what I have seen is the Lakeview area where I have learned that many retired folks lived.

Yet I am inclined to wonder whether further analysis may prove once again a segregation of communities mostly based on income levels and/or racial makeup.

2. Shockingly, the implication that it is somehow unfair that the peoples in the Lower 9th Ward, Orleans Parish, the projects, the community of Desire, St. Bernard Parish and the list could go on with other Parishes and neighborhoods, are somehow "getting all this help".

My mind has difficulty grasping this concept.

Is it that many native New Orleanians have not really or recently driven outside of their normal environs in some time and have forgotten what it looks like in the still ravaged parts of the New Orleans area? I show the pictures I have taken in the coffee house and recognize the surprised looks in some of the faces of the people I am speaking with.

I feel that there is a level of disconnect in some ways, and I understand, everyone suffered from the effects of Katrina, many of their wounds are psychological if not physical, yet my soul cries out at the living conditions of many African American New Orleanians and the suffering they continue to endure.

And somehow, even though I was not here before Katrina, I know in my heart that the suffering of these communities has been ongoing for many generations and the storm "blew the cover" off of the hidden-insight-truth.

I look at many of these homes now, mere shells, destroyed, ravaged, and I perceive before the Katrina - stories of generations of families living together - making it, just making it, falling through the cracks. I see pride and despair. I see those trying to rise out of the grinding poverty and the "opportunity" how oddly put, brought forth by the ravages of the storm to get out, to start a new life, with new opportunities. I also see strong communities put asunder, I see generations of aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and parents, living together in community and now many of these communities have been destroyed.

What is the hardest to witness (and yet it is nothing compared to the level of suffering of having to live it) is how those who had to stay or wanted to stay or have come back to rebuild, live in communities where all is lost. Daily, what they see around them is destruction. The schools, the clinics, the stores – opportunities to buy to meet your needs and to have a job – are all gone in many of these communities, football fields and basketball courts in disarray, abandoned churches and community centers. One of the only tangible signs of hope for many is the single sounds of hammers at work.

Here now reader, is the crux of what I want to share with you most of all...

This is what I perceive as I travel through the lower income communities and the abandoned projects recording what I see and hear with a camera and my heart:

When I talk with the people I have met on the streets, when I drive through blocks and miles of ongoing suffering and destruction something so horrible comes to my heart and my consciousness, that it has taken me days to begin to even verbalize it, and first only to those I know and trust in the safety of our friendship – I believe some level of 'racial cleansing' is occurring here.

How can I say this horrible thing? How can I accuse I know not who - I don't believe their is a "master plan" - for I perceive it to be more of an underlying (shall I venture to say, 'political in nature' ) consciousness of "well the storm cleared out a previous problem for us and for now, we will just leave these buildings empty." I don't claim to understand the political public housing policies here or the political past concerning affordable and public housing. I can only wonder why so many buildings that offered affordable housing to the lowest income earners in the area "the working poor", have been left abandoned - blocks, miles - of affordable housing.

How can I say that I perceive at some level, some degree of social engineering may be taking place; perhaps a change in the makeup of the population of New Orleans? I don't have a college degree or the education to know this to be true.

All I have are my eyes and my heart. And my eyes - see the projects empty, see abandoned blocks and neighborhoods of homes - where I surmise the previous tenants were renters or their house was paid off (but they could not afford insurance, or were just making it, or had just bought their houses and had plans for the future, or they can not afford to rebuild), as well as those who were in poverty, undereducated with few opportunities for the future and perhaps they fell deeper into their despair by aligning with (or being genetically predisposed to) drug use, alcohol use, mental illness and/or getting into trouble with the law or solving their problems with gun use.

I see the majority of low income housing and housing for the income-less pretty much still in a state of devastation (except for the rebuilding projects of Habitat for Humanity, Common Ground, church, secular groups and some government projects). Yet, with all their noble efforts, there is still so much to do. So many homes and buildings that are untouched.

Dear reader, it is only when you drive around each of the areas can you fully comprehend who is really suffering and who had been suffering. And I have to ask, if most of the affordable housing isn't being rebuilt, and the projects haven't been gutted and repaired, then where are all the people who previously lived there? And what was the percentage of the population of African Americans who lived in these areas? I have been told by a social worker that it was @ 80%. So where are they?

And here is my other question – if you don't rebuild low income affordable and public housing, then "these" people – this is where I believe the core of racism is implied, won't come back, "because they can't afford to come back". They can't afford the hikes in housing due to the lack of available housing for all. And they cannot afford to come back to communities where the schols are still closed, the supermarkets - empty shells, the churches empty, and the playgrounds, full of rubble and weeds.

This is the quandary. I do understand, and have been told by those who were born and raised here that the projects especially, were dangerous places to live. And that the storm for some seem to provide a way out for them. I do understand that living there was hard on many families. I also understand that I am talking about people's homes, lives, and communities. And these homes and communities still stand torn and ravaged. And even if the people who once lived in these communities wanted to come back, public housing is limited at best, and affordable housing is even more limited – so isn't the implied message especially for the people who were the working poor or Section 8 recipients "you aren't welcome back?"

Again, I apologize to those whom I may offend in my writings upon speaking on matters as an uneducated, 'outsider'.

My only retort to them is that I speak from my heart. My soul knows only brotherhood and sisterhood with all who share this planet with me.


Peace and love.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

MARCH 2007 A NATION SLEEPS WHILST MANY SUFFER...































A LESSON IN HUMILITY ON HELPING

“Here I am”,
my heart wide open,
ready to pour forth my love
and to help you in anyway that I can.

“Here I am”,
open to all, and in my naiveté,
unable to discern truth,
unable to discern the “well intentioned”
from the misleading help.

“Here I am”,
my heart open, loving you,
wanting to help and in my well intentionedness,
I have inadvertently hurt you.

“Here I am”,
witnessing your pain,
becoming aware that my well-intentioned, loving heart,
has unwittingly become complicit with ignorance
and I have falsely raised your hopes
and the outcome of my ignorance has hurt you.

“Here I am”,
after a time of reflection and contemplation,
“awakening” to the realization
that my well intentioned, open heartedness,
always seemed to begin with “here I am”
not with “here you are”.

Will you forgive me?
Will you be able to trust me again,
will you be able to trust that I have learned my lesson
and allow me to be “with you”.
Peace and love.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

NEW ORLEANS - TRAGICALLY, HAUNTINGLY, BEAUTIFUL...





"As I walked along Magazine Street today through the Garden district into the French Quarter I found myself musing on how Magazine and St. Charles Streets were the "beautiful facades" and when you turned the corner, sometimes you would see streets that housed pain and despair.

At certain points along Magazine Street, I found stylish and trendy stores filled with rugs, antiques, clothing, and eateries for the well heeled. This was the "beautiful facade". Some of the grand Louisiana homes added to this illusion. Then I would look around the corner at the street behind and sometimes see houses still in ruin. In the next instant - a Bentley convertible with 4 guys was cruising down the street in all their ostentatious glory followed by a beat up sedan. There is something about the senses experiencing so much, most of it visual in content and eclectic that is uniquely New Orleanian. The decrepit and the beautiful stand side by side. The quirky and disruptive mingle amongst the stately and elegant. It was odd to see so many Mercedes Benz's and Cadillac Esplanades and really what seemed to me outrageous ostentatiousness in the midst of an area that has suffered so much devastation.

I could perceive as I walked through the streets, the lingering suffering and horror of the trauma of what happened during and after Katrina, as well as this "other-worldly" self-absorption by the wealthy white New Orleanians. And it did to me feel (?) I am struggling to find the words - racially oriented - self-absorption. That perhaps even before the storm, the poorer (and not always African Americans) yet it seems to me, that the outer class distinction or wealth distinction I witnessed today (and on other occasions) has been the difference between the predominately African American population and the Caucasian population.

You know, from day one there has been a difference in my experiences that seems to be "outwardly" racially oriented. It is the African American New Orleanians who have and continue to touch my heart so deeply.

Note: 3/12/07 I was reflecting for a few days after I wrote this why I would write about racial orientations. And it occurred to me that it was because I am in an area of the country where racism is still a part of the societal code. However subtle. Or in other cases - not. I have been picking up on energies - forms of consciousness that have to do with racism and it pains me that people can still be this way. As humans we are "99%" genetically the same. Our skin color plays such an insignificant role in who we are as humans. Yet still in the consciousness' of some human beings there is hatred and dislike and all manner of darkness in relation to "skin color".

The African American New Orleanians have been the most "real", the most "vibrant", the most "open", the most "present" human beings that I have ever encountered. I have found these native New Orleaninans to be the first to smile and greet me in the streets. Thy are usually the first to let me into traffic, the first to speak with me in line, and the first to have a conversation with me.

My heart feels delighted when I am in the presence of these native New Orleanians. I am an outsider. I am from MA not New Orleans. I talk differently, look different and my car has license plates from another state. It doesn't matter, I am accepted and greeted warmly.

My experience of the Caucasian population of New Orleans has been for 90% of the time, the exact opposite. My experience has been that the Caucasian New Orleanians and tourists, that I have met or passed in the streets have been like most Caucasian Americans I have met in my travels - self-absorbed, guarded, seemingly on the ready to shield their eyes so that they do not have to make eye contact, and quick to put up their masks when they do! Of course MA still takes the award for the most "grim" faced Caucasian population in the country!

I also want to mention I am not naive, (well perhaps I am somewhat naive, but not totally naive!) I have been to parts of the city where I can feel my skin crawl. Where there is violence. Where there are drugs, alcoholism, psychosis, inflated egos and family secrets that harm children. There are those who have looked at me menacingly (it is rare) - mostly when I see people look at me as I travel through their neighborhoods, through their very visible suffering and pain; I see the locals look at the state plates on my car, look back at me and I perceive that I see in their eyes, that they know I am here to help. I also see others look at me with anger and I wonder who has come before me and exploited or hurt them in their pain. For you must understand, that well meaning and well intentioned people come here and take "tours" in tour buses through the neighborhoods. And whilst you may hold in your heart that it may bring donated funds to the neighborhood and this is true, the other side of this truth is to imagine what it feels like to have your suffering "part of a tour".

I feel humbled and honoured when I meet with New Orleanians who have suffered so much, many who are still suffering, and they share their sufferings with me. A woman was sharing with me the other day about her fear to use the stove in her FEMA trailer as she is afraid the trailer will burn to the ground, so she cannot cook 'at home' and must eat out; it was an obvious ongoing hardship for her; the eating out, as well as the fear of staying in an environment that was so unstable. Another woman shared with me how she came back to help her brother who had been shot, how she has taken on the responsibility for helping him, taking classes to learn how to help him with his colostomy bag, as well as working long hours. What I have to offer is my "being with" anyone I meet in the moment and when these people whom I meet are able to 'see' me and to know that I am "with" them, that I seek to be present to their suffering, to "see" them in their suffering, then in that moment, my life has meaning. The people of New Orleans and LA I have met have been through so much and continue to endure through incredible hardships and suffering, in which many who are reading this blog cannot begin to imagine.

I found when traveling to Metairie, (for I have been blessed with a car and enough money to afford some organic greens/staples foods at the Whole Foods Market – the only place in town and the country - where you I am guaranteed to meet rude, rich, seemingly 'entitled' Caucasian people!) (and the only place where I have gotten some serious attitude from African Americans and Caucasians alike who have to work there and endure the customers and how they treat them!) that there is a difference to me in the "visible signs of destruction" is less and the people are much more affluent.

There are still some FEMA trailers scattered around, mostly by the canals, buttheir suffering is nothing like the visible desolation of traveling through the Lower Ninth Ward, Chalmette, Lakeview, East Orleans, and St. Bernard's Parish (as a few examples).

And the thought occurred to me more than once as I have driven through the more affluent areas of New Orleans and its suburbs, that it is so easy to slip into the illusion of safety and comfort, to be rude and self absorbed with each other when most – to all - of your needs are met. It is also so easy when you are in an area that has less visible devestation to forget, to feel safe - and to forget others who continue to live in horrible conditions. It's only a part of being human isn't it? To want to have a "mental or emotional" rest from all the suffering around you that you are powerless to change even if you wanted to?

There is something about the experience of suffering that can bring the arrogant and haughty back to their hearts – in those moments their humanity shines through. Unfortunately, as I have seen throughout the passage of my lifetime, these moments are more of a rarity than the norm.

Peace and love

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE STREETS

Whilst I am safe, warm, well fed, bathed, and have most of all my needs met; a sister and brother sleep on the streets tonight. And I only "know" of them because I saw them. There are so many more that are out of my sight - yet never out of my heart.

"She" was Hispanic, possibly in her late 40's early 50's. She was curled up against the wall like a child, facing out towards the street, under the streetlight. She looked so vulnerable, so exposed, so unprotected. "He" was African American, positioned about 10-15' away from her. He was crouched down with a hood over his head, his left hand doing a repetitive motion towards his chin. I could feel his pain in those motions. He created privacy for himself by keeping his face partially hidden by the hood of his jacket and crouching down.

I prayed as I observed them, that the angels would lie with them. There was so little I could do. I have "seen" them, they are now in my heart. You will "see" them as you read these words.

Today, I saw a brother on the street under the highway with a piece of foam from a cushion for his head to lie upon. Often the homeless sleep in open places during the day. It is safer.

I have known homelessness since 2001. This one of the rare experiences for me to be "living inside". And this is only due to the grace and generosity of "C". My life is usually lived in parking lots, using public toilets, and showering at gyms.

Yet compared to my brothers and sisters who live in the streets, my experiences of "homelessness" have been relatively cushy.

There is so much to deal with psychologically when you are homeless, when there are not four walls surrounding you. There is the experience of feeling exposed and the other experience that goes with it of feeling there is no place where you belong or are wanted.

Society for the most part, treats the homeless as something to be rid of like pests or as a homeless person you are treated as a "threat" to the security of the one with the home. In my experiences of being homeless, people have treated me like I am less than human. Then there are those in their 20's who will often glamorize my experiences. Being homeless is very difficult and I feel so much compassion for those who only have a shopping cart or a few plastic bags.

My eyes are "vigilant" in seeing my brothers and sisters on the streets whether I am walking around or driving. It feels important to "see" them. I give them what I can, when I can. Who am I to judge?

Perhaps for a moment what I give will help to create for them, a moment of peace, something to eat, and yes, sometimes even the drink or the drug. For some, that last drink or drug brings them to AA or NA and to a new life. For others it is their passage through intense suffering into oblivion.

As I said, there is so little I can "do".

Peace and love.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO OPS AND SUFFERING

President Bush visited Mississippi to "show how great rebuilding is going".

NEW ORLEANS — Stung by criticism that he and his administration had neglected the hurricane-tattered Gulf Coast, President Bush on Thursday made his first visit to the region in six months, proclaiming, "This is a hopeful day."Bush, standing in a muddy lot near new homes in Long Beach, Miss., said: "Part of the reason I've come down is to tell people here in the Gulf Coast that we still think about them in Washington…. Times are changing for the better, and people's lives are improving. And there is hope."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-katrina2mar02,1,7696792.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

Oddly enough, he did not visit the New Orleans area - such as the Lower 9th Ward - and have reporters following him to document the level of destruction here.

80% the city of New Orleans was under water and had incredible destruction. Now try and imagine 80% of Boston or New York or LA going through that level of destruction... Large portions of New Orleans look as if bombs have hit the area as the result of the hurricane wind damage. The destruction is hard to imagine if you are not here to take it all in. The scope of the destruction and the ongoing suffering of the population can be hard to really comprehend if you have not 'seen' it first hand.

I also noticed whilst looking for images to go with this posting that when I visited MSNBC.com http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10816346/ I was led to the "KATRINA THEN AND NOW" under the section called: Multimedia: A look back at Katrina - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10816346/ The images seemed to me to be the "happy versions" of "one year later" that seemed to support the headline spin (deception)...
"President hails progress, says building boom is on the way."

The images seemed to say, "Look at how good things are going". It really bothers me. I am not saying they were consciously practicing deception (I am not a mind reader in this sense) – what I am saying is that "I am here, and guess what, the far greater reality is not the nice cleaned-up pictures that have showed up on this website." The reality is that this place continues to look as if it was heavily bombed in many areas...

I am claiming that it was a deceptive political maneuver on the President's part not to have himself and his entourage of reporters drive through the "reality of the Lower 9th Ward, St. Bernard's Parish, and Orleans Parish. It was a deceptive political maneuver to not show the FEMA trailer camps, which are desolate, depressing places of row upon row of white FEMA trailers with no trees, nor decorative touches to give it any sort of homey feeling...

And it was "all about his political and ideological agenda" when his visit to New Orleans focused not on the destroyed neighborhoods, the lack of affordable rental housing and the poverty, but on "CHARTER SCHOOLS" which for the most part are religious schools. I am not arguing the merit or not of religious schools. I went to one for 8 years, had an excellent education whilst there, and to this day, enjoy beautiful handwriting (I could have done without experiencing and witnessing the sometimes brutal disciplinarian tactics). What I am saying is that "his agenda" was about Charter Schools. The people whom he represents as President, I believe, should have had an agenda that was about "the people". As in, "We, the People. Not he, the Decider."

In my opinion, the President let the people of New Orleans who are still suffering down yesterday. And his speech verbally confirmed for me how disconnected he is from the "reality on the ground".

Here's my parallel reality version of what he might have said if he "walked the talk" of "compassionate" conservatism and (in my judgment only, in this situation) actually followed the teachings of his favorite 'philosopher', "Jesus"…

In this parallel "compassionate" reality, you might have read quotes such as the following, as he toured the still devastated city:

"This administration has looked at the situation and can clearly see that the City of New Orleans and the state of LA is having problems raising the funding necessary to match the funding clause in regards to billion dollars we legislated for you to rebuild… This administration is going to wave the 10% matching funds clause needed to be raised on your part so that the other half a billion dollars we promised you can be released to the City so that rebuilding and cleanup can be accelerated. This administration has recognized that as a result of the devastation of Katrina, the economy in this area is severely depressed, we are aware of the severe housing shortage, low income levels, and the high rents being asked for what housing is available; as a result, we are going to help you by releasing you from this matching funding clause so that you rebuild New Orleans."


Peace and love.

Friday, March 2, 2007

A TEMPORARY 'HOME' IN NEW ORLEANS

It's a little efficiency, more than enough room for someone who has been living in a Eurovan for years! Hardwood floors, an eccentric bathroom, in an old New Orleans Victorian. Its shabby chic. I gives thanks and praises for this gift of 'home".

The only downside is the constant "noise" from the traffic on the street. It is hard on my nervous system as there is always activity on the road outside of my window and room. And even though whenever I am in the room, I keep in earplugs, I am still aware of the noise from cars and trucks. I miss the quiet of the New England woods... But not all those trees !!!

Note: (3/16/2007) A dear friend of mine pointed out how ironic it was that I who have been homeless has a 'home' for the time being because I came to help if I can, those who lost their homes.

My love and gratefulness to my spiritual sister "C" who is making it financially possible by supporting the rent, food and gas, so that I can volunteer and help as needed.

To my heart, she is the "archetype of the healing" to the story of the rich man who went to the Master and asked Him how to enter the Kingdom of God. The Master shared "to give away what you have, only then can you enter". This precious woman gives so that I might help those who are suffering. I am awed by her generosity and kindness and without her, my suffering would be so much greater than it has been through the years.

Blessings to my sweet blessed sister "C".

Peace and love.