Three years on. Long enough to heal, but I haven't. Long enough for others to say "move on," which they have. Long enough for others to forget.
But for me, it's still there. It will always be there. Katrina was a death, and you don't easily just move on from a death. It was the death of my home, the death of the homes of those that I love. It was the death of my innocence--where before, I thought that, even despite our disagreements, we were all Americans, Katrina demonstrated that we were not. That there are those that hate us, simply because we're here. Because many of our citizenry are black and poor. Because we are "them" and not "us."
Three years on. Three years of despair, of anger, of disillusionment. Three years of being told that we're not good enough. Of comparisons to evacuees from forest fires who are treated to massages and live entertainment, as opposed to a people left on their own, to do the best that they could, with no water, no food, and guns pointed at them. Three years of emails about the self-sufficiency and resiliency of Minnesotans during blizzards. Three years of "finishing what Katrina started."
I don't want to be angry. I don't want to despair. I know what it means to live in a place where you can embrace life without turning your back on death. Here, we can be the yin and the yang, the light and the dark, the black and the white....
But still, three years on, I grieve. I grieve for my losses. For my family's losses. For my city's losses. For the lives lost.
I just can't put into words how I feel sometimes. When I think about it, I can feel it well up inside of me, this giant ball of anger and hurt and disbelief. Ourselves alone. But why does it have to be that way? Why do we have to deal with the callousness of others, who haven't lived here and haven't experienced it? Why is our suffering less than that of an Iowa flood victim? Or an Oklahoman living in Tornado Alley? Or a Californian living where wildfires strike, year after year. Why, simply because we live in New Orleans, are we less than?
Katrina, three years on.