It’s Fat Tuesday, and I’m indulging in some wistful homesickness for New Orleans, one of my favourite cities in the US. The city definitely influences much of what I create– the riotous colour of carnival juxtaposed against the black iron balconies of the French Quarter, the cities of the dead, the motley beads of carnival, particularly vintage Czech ones, were some of my earliest inspirations as well as the stories of Marie Laveau and the markings on her grave, which inspired the piece below.
It’s also the New Moon– time to embrace new beginnings. New Orleans’ survival after Katrina is truly something to celebrate. I remember vividly watching from across and ocean as the destruction of the hurricane and the ineptitude and racism of the Bush Administration threatened to destroy New Orleans and the surrounding area. I felt quite helpless and anguished. When English people are incredulous about why I would leave the US, sometimes I wish I could explain the feeling of doom much of the country shared while George Bush was president. I love Bob Forrest’s cover of Randy Newman’s “Louisiana”– which sums up that emotion very well. Here he sings it with his son.
Blessed New Moon to all my readers, may you bring some New Orleans style carnival and maybe even a bit of the city’s survivor spirit to whatever you choose to begin now!