". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Manhattan Is Dead

As we know so well, it isn't the storm or the even that is the worst, but what the destruction it leaves behind, and the days afterwards. Here, we are surrounded by the love and understanding from the gut, by so many people. We're very fortunate. Though my freezer back home is stuffed with meat ... though the weather's turning colder now. And since Wall Street is down there, we know all the Powers That Be from corporate to political will do their best to get the power back as fast as possible.
The west side of lower Manhattan -- unlike the east village and below that took the brunt of it -- won't be as much physically damaged from flooding. But the power station at 14th Street blew about 9:30 PM. So there is no electricity, and no cell phone service either in our third of Manhattan.
Our Manhattan, at the very least, is dead. Flooded. No power. Haven’t heard from a soul in Manhattan. Can’t find single photo from our neighborhood. Where will the Halloween Parade go?
Harlem and Brooklyn are fine, thank goodness.
"The damage across our city is massive. It will not recover quickly.... The power grid and transit will take a long time." Mayor Bloomberg, speaking about an hour ago.
At the very earliest power won't be restored for at least three days, and likely longer than that. Buses will run sooner though the airports won't open for some while. A number of the hospitals and health care facilities are without power or even had to be evacuated. But two thirds of Manhattan are OK. I can watch the local NYC television stations via streaming on my laptop -- our local public radio station's AM band transmitter got knocked out, which is usually the best source of local information. They are located a few blocks away from our building.
Right now I'm feeling like I felt on 9/11 -- not the gut-wrenching fear and horror of Katrina down into my bones, knowing how people were suffering -- and dying. What I've got is that detatched shock of non-recognition of everything, that kind of alitude sickness because the normal anchors of reality gravity are gone. Hopefully we'll get our normal back fairly soon, though full recovery will take a very long time -- and maybe climate change won't ever allow full recovery, before another massive storm hits.

Ned has to visit a class t Tulane this afternoon, and this evening he's doing a presentation on Angola (Africa)  and the spiritual and musical world of the past that impacts the culture of Louisiana.

It's unreal. This whole time I've not felt we're in New Orleans at all. My mind is up north. Just as duing that disaster of the Failure, my mind wasn't in NYC, but down here.

The Stock Exchange is opening tomorrow.


T. Clear said...

Been thinking about you guys. It must be very surreal to be so far away from a home that has suffered this destruction.


Foxessa said...

More surreal is we're here, and we're glad, and -- o it is awful.

We knew it would be awful so we ran.

Love, C.