Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm Home

The Pastor's retreat to Florida was lovely. Seeing undamaged buildings, no debris piles and gorgeous landscaping helps placate my eyes. For three days, until yesterday afternoon when we returned home, I didn't see evidence of the Storm.

Coming home to abandoned water heaters leaned up against gutted homes, debris piles of limbs, stumps and demolished sheet rock felt dreadful. The retreat area looked like a disney fantasy area. Home to the storm area is ugly.

Several of my readers comment that I don't blog much these days. Lent/Easter kept me busy with other things but ministry isn't the entire reason I've been silent. Trying to spare you the incessant reflections on the storm kept me from writing here. The writer's maxim of "write what you know" must be true at this time in my life because I can't write about much else than storm stuff.

I'm fighting depression, weariness and trying to be cheerful for others when I feel like running away. This is as close to the truth as I can get.

Those of you who know me realize that I am not whining. I DO see the positives around me and am able to enjoy the improvements, restorations, blessings and bouts of happiness in this beat-up geographic area.

For whatever reasons, my life is here in the storm-tossed Gulf Coast. Must be something for me to learn here and I'll do my best to learn the lessons of life.

I'm not mad at God for this time in my life. Rather, I feel a tickly at the edges of intuition that I am both held in God's presence, as well as, living what most of us will never know. I am starving and filled at the same time.

Thank you for being with me,

St. Casserole


cheesehead said...

Oh sweetie, that last paragraph was gold!

And, I was in Florida last week, too!

Anonymous said...

Clearly you are no whiner. The situation is just sucky. A friend of mine from NO who just lost her mother said that NO is one of the few places where you can break into tears anywhere and it's perfectly fine. So she is free to grieve in the dairy section of the grocery store, in line at the dry cleaners, etc. She looks at the car beside her at a red light and sees someone crying, and she doesn't think that driver is crazy. Just tired and sad.

peripateticpolarbear said...

sweetie, just tell the's our problem, not just yours and if you don't tell us, it's easy for us (us being the royal we, being the whole dang country for all of us have blood on our hands, really) to forget it.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I can only say that I totally understand.

nightwoodkitty said...

You are a beautiful writer.

Quotidian Grace said...

Razzlefrackzit, St. Cass. You can write about it all you want. Lest we forget!

Here in Houston we expect to see more electioneering from Mayor Nagin and his run-off opponent Landrieu as they campaign for votes here. How weird is that? We even have billboards urging votes for Nagin around town.

People are being bused back to "satellite" election centers just over the Louisiana border. Talk about asking for fraud? Will that happen again in two years?

My niece is having a terrible time teaching this year with the addition of many Katrina evacuees from New Orleans to her school. They are so far behind and frequently absent as their families travel back home for various reasons. They aren't getting funding to cover the additional school costs.

And the hurricane season begins again in June.

Songbird said...

Oh, sweetie, we want to hear it all, as they have said above. I love to hear your "voice" in writing about anything.

Lorna said...

You write, we read and we remember.
You cry and we cry too.

It's part of being the body of Christ. Now it may be TOO MUCH for YOU to put your thoughts together, and it may be that the tears fall too fast for you to see the keyboard - and that's ok - but please, please, please don't NOT WRITE cos you are afraid we can't take it.

ok sis?
We love you and I do appreciate that you take time to share your life with us.

I hear you say this "I'm fighting depression, weariness and trying to be cheerful for others when I feel like running away. This is as close to the truth as I can get." and my heart grieves and sobs. But I want you to know we are here for you - and won't run away even when it's grey and hard. OK?

blessing on you - may his light shine- and continue to meet you as you starve and as you are full. Amen

Aola said...

I'll chime in with everyone else.. we need to hear what you have to say. We need to not forget, because we can,we are far away and don't see what you see so we need to hear your voice.
I was watching CNN this morning about Rosie O'donnell taking kids back to see their neighborhoods and I just was startled at how bad it still looks after all these months..

keep reminding us and we will keep lifting you up.

annie said...

St. Casserole, thank you for being considerate of us (in such a typically Southern way!) but it is my humble opinion that we do not necessarily need to be spared your "incesssant reflections on the storm".

There are a lot of people who do not know how long the aftereffects of these storms linger, do not know the changes in daily lives that continue to be wrought long after the storm itself has faded from the news.

It's like our preacher said in a semon recently, if we continue to say "I'm fine" when we are not (or choose to remain silent), we miss the opportunity of being ministered to.

As long as you are able to write about the truth of life after a hurricane, there is not only the opportunity for you personally to be ministered to through your caring readers, but there is also the opportunity that others will know and perhaps choose to minister in some way to your area.

And the other thing is there is another season right around the corner. Some area, some state, someone, will be affected by this problem all over again. Our government needs a cohesive and consitent plan for dealing with the aftereffects of these storms.

It's odd that you mention being in Florida and not having to see storm damage. That thought has both convicted me and comforted me. Convicted me because, before last year, Florida had some terrible bouts with hurricane season. When was the year they had several very damaging storms in a row? I don't remember. It didn't affect me. And while my heart went out to the state of Florida when the storms were in the news, when the "drama" was happening, once that died down, I no longer thought much about it, to tell the truth. But I know they suffered with the remains of those storms long after the big story was over, had to deal with the same issues we deal with now, had to face rebuilding the parts of their own beloved state that had been ravaged by hurricanes.

The comforting part is that they have made progress in the rebuilding. They have picked up the pieces and moved on toward their "new reality". We, the residents of the Gulf Coast will surely, in time, and by the grace of God, be able to do the same.

It's not easy, living in the place where you now live (and I mean living in every sense of the word I can think of-- literally, emotionally, spiritually, pyschologically). Please, write to us of whatever it is you need to write, for it is in those true and sometimes painful words that we see your precious heart.