There just aren't words to describe the waves of emotions that wash over me, and many others across our country and our world, as we learn more and more about the unspeakable suffering wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
I simply cannot imagine what it would be like to be living in the hellish aftermath of the storm. I don't want to imagine what it would be like to survive such a devastating hurricane only to see people die around me, to be attacked and perhaps raped in what has been dubbed the "Sewerdome" or the Convention Center, to finally escape by bus only to have the bus overturn, to head to who knows where...without anything. All lost. And, all around me, more tragedy: mothers separated from children, people in despair, ill, dying...
Many were already living in tragedy before the hurricane, already devastated by poverty or disease or the many tragedies that befall us in this world.
And so, when I can't bare to think about the people any more without weeping, my thoughts turn to the city. I scan pictures for familiar sights. "Oh, look," I say to the children, "that landmark survived." Sometimes I find myself wishing that I had done more touristy stuff while in New Orleans. Many of the places I'd planned on seeing in the future are no more. A sentimental German song keeps running through my mind, about the old houses still being there, the old streets still being there, but the old friends no longer there. Only, in this case, houses, streets, and old friends have all been lost.