Revelry- Chaitania’s Blog, Have wonderful experiences!
“A Mantra for the Economic Down Turn, February 14th, 2009.”
Wings spread out over children of our destiny
In flight together, higher and higher
We soar as one
A love affair- Striving for OK
Never to abandon a travel partner
Like birds that mate for life
Depend on each while in flight
Care for each other as if forever
Persistence, compromises, little acts of love
Archetypal flight of harmony
Give way to feelings of continuity,
He, Bearer of Light
Me, To Inspire
Our destinies entwined
With wingspan of Eagles
In flight together as one
Our best for their best
Who knows what’s best
Everyone- Striving for OK
Hearts open, unfolding onto the world
Recipients, take in our love
We soar as one
A love affair- Striving for OK
“A Mantra for the Economic Down Turn Continues, February 14th, 2010.”
No Valentine Day love journey!
The mantra just drones on!
A love affair- Striving for OK
Everyone- Striving for OK
“A Mantra for the Economic Down Turn Persists, February 14th, 2011.”
Weary from keeping in flight these three years
A safe place to land
Can’t rest pending flock
Not yet, until flock flying on their own
Wings spread out over children of our destiny
In flight together, soaring higher and higher
Eyes of Eagle, looking for truth.
Our journey is over some say,
I say, not until flock fly on their own!
Cry from my wildness- No!
Relationship is key; heal the culture, says T. Robbins
Open the Heart wider, “Invite Your Enemy to Tea”, a Sufi way.
I want to fight back, bellow- Injustice!
What about the Economic Down Turn as our Plea, February 14th, 2012.”
An execution decree-
A blow to the head! Arrow to the heart!
Yelling (no guidance or comfort for the weakness) Survive!
A love affair- Striving for OK
“A Mantra for the Economic Down Turn, Turning, turning, February 14th, 2013.”
Healing the wounds from the bureaucracy battlefield
Forgiveness- our Way
A love affair- Striving for OK
11/6/2013, “A Mantra to Live By- Keep Hope Alive, The Dream Lives On, Forward We Go.”
Everyone– Striving for OK!
“A Mantra for the Economic Down Turn, Turning, turning, February 14th, 2014.”
Soaring as Golden Eagles higher, higher
In flight together as one
Our best for their best
Everyone- Striving for OK
Hearts wide open
Unfolding onto the world stage
Recipients, take in our love
We soar as one, Striving for OK
A prayer- Impermanence is our mantra!
Give children of our destiny- Hope!
In a dream, an Eagle Appears, a gift from the Gods is coming!
A love affair– Striving for OK
“The Mantra Goes On, February 14th, 2015.”
We must go deeper and deeper within
Sit in lotus position as faithful devotees
Pir V. Inayat Khan says,
“May always the pull of the future, be stronger than the push of the past.”
“The Mantra lives inside us, February 14th, 2016.”
The love affair goes forward as the dream lives on
A woman in the White House, a bit of equality!
In flight together, a new flock takes off as another begins
I see the landing field
A bed of flowers, soft and smooth, we’re coming in for the landing.
A Valentine Day love affair- Rose by any other name is still a Rose (W. Shakespeare)
Who knows what else?
Small and Easy is our mantra-
Striving- for more than OK!
Everyone- Striving for more than OK!
A love affair– Striving for OK!
So much fun to trip down memory lane, not only with my words but with photos too. A friend sent these pictures to me last week. For the record, here they are-
My first car, 1954 MG vintage, Las Vegas, 1973. Aspen Colorado, at Joel Silver’s Ranch, with Marcia Latham and me in Joel’s kitchen, and Joel and me with the horses. 1974.
A Southern Woman’s Myth
Stories and reflections about growing up in the south, in the 50’s, as a Caucasian child. Some stories are easier than others.A memoir- a series of stories with truth and imagination mixed in.
The Southern Woman’s Myth’s March story is dedicated to Andrew (Andy) Ojeda, and a Nominee for the Amazing People Doing Amazing Things honor.
In a dream, my grandfather, Pawpaw, came to me, handing me a book. I thought, “It’s my brother Frank that’s the book person.” He received all Pawpaw’s books when he passed. Frank’s the genius in the family. I’m talented, but not like him. I had this handicap that held me back. I didn’t read linearly for years, but only conceptually. You can imagine how this put me at a significant disadvantage in every way. I asked him, “Why are you handing me a book? That seems so odd.”
In the dream, Pawpaw continued to smile waiting for me to take the book with his hands stretched out to me holding that book. But I could only think how impossible with my issues of years unable to read like everyone else. Oh yes, I’ve unraveled my reading nightmare and learned to read. My specific puzzle related to my reading nightmare was I didn’t crawl. Yes! My mother told me that with one movement, I went from being on all fours, to standing and walking.
Oh, I could tell you what was on the page, like a story I could say to you, but couldn’t read the page word for word. Luckily my right brain compensated by using the higher cortex that gave me the ability to grasp the content on the page, and that allowed me to speak the content, similar to an oral storyteller.
My nightmare changed when, as a young adult, I found out through a system called Fundamental Development Movement Pattern. These patterns are the movements that all humans actively perform, starting in the womb as an embryo to its final movement of walking to develop the brain fully. It works like this: if you miss a pattern in the corresponding area of the brain and miss its particular purpose when the brain is asked to perform that particular task, the brain malfunctions. In my case, the pattern skipped was crawling, and the link to my brain’s ability to read linearly didn’t form.
In the 80’s, I went to a summer program at Duke University to study Fundamental Development Movements Patterns with Bonnie Cohen. The system is about the movement patterns that each human goes through from in utero to walking. It’s these simple developmental pattern that the embryo through toddler takes to organize their brain to develop fully. The pattern crawling that I missed trains the eyes to track from right to left. As we crawl, our eyes follow our hands, back and forth, and so it goes. My work with Bonnie taught me how to crawl.
Returning home, I practiced crawling for several months to complete the patterns. This work is still used today with patients that have suffered from strokes, seizures, or other brain injuries. In their cases, their original patterns become damaged, or worse, erased. However, in my case, no pattern had ever been established.
My next teacher was Debbie Smith, a linguist. She made a small hole on a piece of paper, covered the page except for the one word, then moved the paper across the page to train my eyes to track, and not go back into my old pattern of taking in the whole page at once. Then I began my practice by reading Shakespeare. I did this for one year. Afterward, I applied and was accepted into the American Student Summer Program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London to study Shakespeare for the stage. What an experience!
Back to Pawpaw. He lived in New Orleans but was originally from Spain. A short, stocky man, black hair, until he died at age 65, and blue-blue eyes. A self-made man with only a sixth-grade formal education. He started in the mailroom of the newspaper as a youngster and retired as the assistant editor of the New Orleans largest newspaper, the States-Item.
My father once commented on how Pawpaw died only six months after retirement. That the newspaper business was his life, and mandatory retirement at age 65 wasn’t a good idea for our society. I wish he had lived longer; I had to learn from him through osmosis.
In some ways, I might be the one most like him of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in that I follow what he stood for with his democratic principles and racial ethics. My mother said that Pawpaw once told her that the only way out of poverty and its enslavement was through education. Pawpaw sent my grandmother’s maid Lottie’s daughter, Rose, to college, instead of Rose becoming my mother’s maid, and continuing the cycle.
Pawpaw was truly an Amazing Person. And I nominate Andrew Ojeda, into the category of Amazing People Doing Amazing Things.
Many of my Southern family members have gone in other direction, more like the traditional South with racial divide, prejudice, and Republican principles. President Lyndon Johnson said it best when he signed the Civil Rights Bill. “I just gave the South to the Republican Party,” and he did. I think Pawpaw would be disappointed and saddened by this. He would never have allowed any racial talk or slurs. To illustrate: Our visits to New Orleans over the holidays, my husband, son, and I kept hearing from family members when something didn’t work or was a misfit, “A Democrat must have made it.”
Of course, we were puzzled but said nothing. On one visit, a cousin said to my husband,
“I noticed you seemed confused when we said a Democrat make it.”
“Yes.” my husband replied.”
“Well you see since we can’t use the “N” word anymore, we call them Democrats.”
Pawpaw died when I was six, just days after my birthday party in Bay Saint Louis Mississippi where he and my grandmother retired. I still remember all the fuss going on, as us children sat in the car out of the way; I assume to protect us from death. The motto then, Children are too young for death.
The day Pawpaw died, I still have that image clearly of looking out of our family car, hands and face pressed against the glass, when my cousin, Renee, age 11 said,
“What are they doing in there?”
My brother and I were still for a moment, but then my brother said,
“They’re preparing Pawpaw’s funeral.” My cousin’s, Renee replied,
“Why? Is he dead? But I just saw him yesterday.”
At the end of my dream, as I’m taking the book from Pawpaw, I see my name as the author. I was surprised, yet delighted!
For me, Pawpaw’s story of overcoming not having a formal education and rising to such a literary profession, and maybe, his highest achievement was to free Rose through education, has inspired me throughout my life. He gave me the courage to strive beyond my limitations, and to keep a mindful watch on my thinking and behavior towards those different from myself. I might like to claim that we are kindred spirits.
The months of August and September are Dedicated to Hurricane Katrina Stories.
Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005
Some stories need telling for its historical record
David Fleming at 82 years old was lost and found in Houston Texas after Hurricane Katrina. He was not only a victim and survivor of Hurricane Katrina but suffered for years with Post-Traumatic Stress.
David Fleming is a New Orleanian, from the St. Charles, Uptown area. He is my friend, even a guardian figure to me when I first lived in New York at age 16 years old. His sweetness is like my Mawmaw. I could say he was my New York Mawmaw, because when I was 17 years old, I contracted measles and was very sick from Spring until late Fall. It was David that took me in and cared for me. It was my dance mentor, Mike Herington that introduced us all to David. They had been dancers together in the New Orleans Opera Co. as dancers. Later my mother became good friends with David after he moved back to New Orleans to care for his ailing mother. He and my mom were Saturday afternoon churchgoers, card playing buddies or Saturday night bingo cronies. Though there are many other things I could say about David and his life before Katrina, it’s the story of how Hurricane Katrina unfolded for myself, and for David that I want to share with you.
Friday night before Katrina, I was in Seattle WA, where I live with my husband and son, watching CNN. The report was that New Orleans and all its parishes: Metairie, Jefferson, Slidell, Mandeville, Covington, and Pearl River, were being told to evacuate. Many hurricanes come and go to New Orleans, yet none has ever hit badly, so I didn’t worry. The next day we take off on our holiday to Lake Chelan WA. It still didn’t register the magnitude of this hurricane headed to New Orleans.
Sunday afternoon, while we were at the Walapola winery in Lake Chelan, eating crab cakes, a typical New Orleans dish and sipping wine, an uneasy feeling began to creep over me. I asked my son, Iman to call David. With no answer, we left a message on his machine. In our family, there’s an unspoken rule that we never look at the paper or listen to the news while on holiday.
Sunday evening, returning to our hotel, I couldn’t stand not knowing what was happening in New Orleans, so I turned on CNN. Wow, surreal images of Anderson Cooper in winds so high his face distorted and he had to hold on to a lamppost as he tried to report from New Orleans. Daunting feelings came over me, remembering a time when David and I were going to meet up with my mom. She was at my godmother’s house in Metairie for a Hurricane Party, or maybe more accurately, a group fear and stress reduction gathering. In hurricane winds of around 75 miles, we drove on the freeway with signs dangled on one side of its hinges, and the wind pushing the car. But what I was looking at on CNN seemed even worse, and more precarious.
Monday, I resist looking at any news, still in the mindset, that all will be just fine.
Tuesday, we head home, and at lunch I picked up a paper. Oh wow, the news is not very encouraging about New Orleans. That night when we get home, I turn on the CNN. In shock and disbelief, my mind began trying to match-up where family members and friends live in relationship to the TV images and reports of the disaster areas. I kept hearing myself saying,
“Tell me the street names! Give me more details!”
I can feel a pressure building in me just like the water pressure that builds with a hurricane. Internally I’m going through my storm.
Wednesday, I called my cousin in South Caroline to found out about my relatives in New Orleans, Metairie, and Slidell. She said they were OK. Some relatives had left town to get out of the hurricane; what a relief. However still no word about my brother or David. I email my cousin in California, who keeps closer touch with my brother, Frank. She emailed that Frank stayed back with his wife and their many dogs. He told her that he couldn’t leave the dogs. My brother lives in Slidell, and that area was not the hardest hit area. The worst areas were St. Barnard Parish, the Lakefront, and Gentilly. Those areas were under water. Slidell did get high winds, and my brother’s property has many trees. Next, I emailed all friends and family members with an alert-
“Frantic for news about family and friends! Please contact me!”
Leslie Staub was the first to email back that her mother Nancy Staub, my theater mentor, was OK and all of her family. She told me that her brother, Tommy is a hero of Katrina because with his boat, he shuttled out all the older folks in the neighborhood to dry land and safety.
Next, I went on Craigslist.com and posted: David, my brother, and Otis Bassoon, a clarinet player friend. Otis played on the Creole Queen boat on the Mississippi River and befriended me after my husband died. Another two friends, who introduced me to my husband, I posted was Dennis and Trina Drury. Also, I was looking for Mary Holiday, a friend from when I worked a show in the Quarter at age 23 with her husband, comedian, and actor Billie Holiday, who has passed away. I recall her advice about marriage once.
“Girl, remember to keep laughing when the going gets ruff.”
Flashes of New Orleans stories kept coming. Billie was a Lenny Bruce type character. He told me just for the laugh, while on the road at the hotel; he left the toilet lid paper wrapping on the whole time. He slid it off to use the toilet and back on again. He said the maid after a few days began to look at him strangely.
I vigilantly kept calling, only to hear, “All circuits are busy.”
Wednesday, I called Antioch University, in Yellow Springs Ohio, where I know David’s nephew, John Fleming lives and teaches at Antioch. John called me that next morning or evening, days blurred. John told me he had no word from his uncle, David. He’ll let me know if he hears anything. I told him about craigslist and how I placed those missing with nationwide distribution.
Thursday and Friday, no news; I continued to call all numbers, but only busy signals or the same message that all circuits are busy.
Saturday morning, I called John Fleming again. He told me they located David. He is in Houston at the Arena Dome. David has a niece that lives in Texas, and she and her brother, who was also from New Orleans and displaced are going to find David. Johnny will call me when they find him. Here is a good reason to have a large family. David is from eight siblings and too many nephews, or nieces to recall all their names and places they live.
Saturday late afternoon, the phone rings, David’s voice. I screamed with joy and,
“How are you? What happened? How did you get to Houston?”
First anniversary year, 2006, David came to visit us in Seattle and received Five Element Acupuncture with Dirk, my husband.
Following years, 2007 & 2008, David continued to come each summer to Seattle for his therapy and Acupuncture treatments; improving steadily.
The year 2009, when David came to Seattle, he was ready to have us record his story.
David tells his story
I was sitting at home in New Orleans, LA. when along came Katrina, a ferocious hurricane.
Sunday, my phone rang. It was the hospital. I had been employed by Memorial Baptist Medical Center Hospital for five years. They called and ordered me back to work. The phone rang again; it was one of my sisters, Toby. She invited me to go with them to Lafayette, LA. because they were moving there. I said,
“I’m going to work; the hospital called me to come in.”
“OK, that will be a safe place to wait out the hurricane.”
Little did we know, the hospital would become a nightmare.
Sunday, when I arrived at work, the hospital had no electricity, no water, no air condition, no elevators, and so much more. It was 95 degrees outside and in the hospital at least 10 degrees hotter. For days, we all worked under extreme conditions.
Tuesday, they began airlifting patients with nurses and doctors to other hospitals.
Thursday morning, they began evacuating by boat staff and the rest of the nurses and physicians. The doctor I was sharing a room with came and woke me.
“Dave, we’re evacuating everyone; a boat is coming.”
The boat took us to an evacuation point, where we were to be picked up by bus. I asked the boat driver,
“Where are the buses taking us?”
But the boat driver didn’t know. We got out of the boat and walked to the evacuation point where 100’s of people were waiting. Three hours later, there were no buses. As we waited, right across the street there were about 25 or so African-Americans looting and the drugstore, and other shops.There was about same amount of police in the area. I went up to one of the police people pointing towards the stores and looters, and said,
“Can’t you stop that?” A police person replied,
“Do you want me to be killed?”
They just let them, looting. There was chaos in the streets. I was very disturbed. I told a stranger standing next to me that I decided that I wanted to start walking home. He did say to me, “If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.” At this time, I didn’t know that my neighborhood was going to be eight feet under water.
I began walking, after a while, a man driving a truck stopped and asked me where I was going. I got in his truck, and he dropped me off in a neighborhood near my house that had only about two feet of water. I started walking in the water. The closer I got to home, the higher the water got. Soon it was up to my chest, but I continued walking.
At one point, I felt something wrap around my legs, I thought, please God don’t let it be a snake! I was stuck and couldn’t move. Then I felt something touch me on the side. It was a dead body floating past me. Next, three dead dogs drifted past me. I couldn’t move, and I was in horror at what I was seeing. I completely lost it, crying, and trembling, as I was screaming for help! I finally got loose from the “snake” which ended up only being a bush. The combination of not being able to move, thinking there was a snake wrapped around my legs, and dead bodies touching and floating past me was horrific.
I just kept walking, and the water kept rising. I finally got home. I undressed and put on clean close. There was no food, no electricity, scorching temperature, and no one around. I was the only person in the apartment building; everyone else had left. My apartment was on the 2nd floor, yet the water was continuing to rise. I knew I had to get out of the building. I fell asleep on my bed, and in the middle of the night, there were loud helicopters that woke me up. I was frightened but was able to fall back to sleep.
Next morning, when I woke up there was nothing to eat for breakfast, I went outside and sat on the steps. After a time, three sheriffs from Jefferson Parish in a small rowboat rowed up to my apartment building. One yelled,
“Do you need help?”
“Yes, I do!” I replied.
I got into the boat and was being taken to the school where the helicopters were picking people up, on the rooftop of the school. Once I got to the school, I realized I didn’t have my heart and diabetes medication. So the sheriffs took me back to my apartment to get my medication. I didn’t have my keys with me or anything since I hadn’t locked my apartment door, I just went to my apartment and put my medicine into a paper bag. As I turned around, one of the sheriff’s was standing in my dining room with a gun pointed at me. At that moment, I dropped my bag of medicine all over the floor.
“Wait don’t shoot, I live here!” The sheriff said,
“I thought you might be a looter.”
I picked up all the medication from the floor, got back in the rowboat, and went back to the school. Just as I arrived, an announcement was made that the final pick up for the helicopter had just filled. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to make it in that chopper. The captain of the rowboat told me it was ok because they could take me to the exact location where the helicopter was going, to a shopping mall with no flooded waters. When we arrived at the shopping mall, around 10,000 people were waiting for buses. I felt so all alone.
I did find a vacant spot to sit. Finally after several hours, a hospital bus from Memorial Baptist Medical Center drove by and dropped off 15 employees. I was thrilled to see some familiar faces. I was finally able to get some food from my co-workers.
That night, at 10 pm, 13 hours after being dropped off at the shopping mall, a bus arrived. The driver announced,
“I’m only taking wheelchair and diabetes cases.” My co-worker said,
“Get on the bus Dave; you’re a diabetic.”
I got on that bus and fell instantly asleep. When I woke up, I told the bus driver I needed to get dropped off at Baton Rouge. The driver laughed and said,
“I’m sorry Cap you’re in Houston, Texas.”
The bus was on its way to the Arena Dome. I turned to one of my co-workers, who was also on the bus with me.
“What am I gonna do? I don’t have any money.”
He gave me a $100.
“You can give it back to me when you see me again at the hospital.”
We never saw each other again. The hospital never opened again. In fact, there was a trial regarding several nurses and doctors that were on trial for murder because they gave the patients being left at the hospital and not being evacuated higher doses of morphine, enough to kill them quickly. These patients were already dying and couldn’t be moved. Of course, the nurses and doctors were acquitted.
I got dropped off at the Arena Dome. They checked everyone in and gave us each an assigned seating arrangement. I found my seat and got some food at a food cart. I slept on the hard, concrete floor with a blanket.
The next morning, when I woke up, I saw people walking around with big signs looking for their families. The day went by, had dinner, and went back to my seating arrangement. I woke up at 2 am, wanting to take a shower. I walked to the shower; there were 200 men in line for the shower. I skipped the shower and headed back to my seat, but as I was walking, I missed a step and fell. There was blood on my arm, and I hurt my elbow. I finally made it back to my seat. Feeling so alone, even with thousands of people around. I would have rather died than be with thousands of people I didn’t know. I was so all alone.
Another day, in the morning, a Red Cross nurse came up to me. She saw my elbow. She took me to the triage. The nurse there asked me if I had family in Houston. I told her, I did, but I couldn’t remember their names right now, but I remember one niece lives in Navasota Texas, near Houston. And that niece’s name started with an M and sounded like Myra or Mary. The nurse blurts out,
“I’m from Navasota; it must be Maura.
“Yes, that’s it!” I screamed.
“I’ll get in touch with Maura. Don’t worry.”
We both were so surprised at the coincidence. They kept me in the triage for an hour, and then the doctor released me.
In the meantime, my nephew, Bob, and niece, Maura found out I was at the Arena Dome. They came there to get me. However, they couldn’t find me because I was at the triage, and they left.
Next day, Maura and Bob came back and still couldn’t find me.
A TV crew filming people were at the Arena Dome. Maura asked the TV crew to point the camera up to the top part of the dome, to look for her uncle. The camera person asked,
“What’s your Uncle’s name?”
As I walked out of the triage, I heard my name on the microphone.
“I’m David Fleming!” I screamed.
Maura and Bob found me.
Maura’s home, that night, I had a severe diabetic seizure, which I never had before. They rushed me to the ER. I stayed there a week and then released back to Maura’s home. Things were fine for two weeks; then I had another diabetic seizure. I went back to the ER and stayed a week. Then I was released.
Next, another nephew, John Fleming, from Yellow Springs, contacted me and said I should come and live with him and his family. I couldn’t go back to Louisiana with my apartment thoroughly condemned, as well as the hospital where I worked. I had no job, no place to live, and not exactly ready or able to be on my own.
Relocating to Yellow Springs, when I arrived in Yellow Springs, I had no identification, no clothes, no money and was still fragile and vulnerable. My nephew John helped me, and together we spent a lot of time getting all my documents in place to reclaim my identity. It was very stressful.
Two months later, while living with my nephew in Yellow Springs, I had a mild heart attack and rushed to the ER. I stayed there for three days. During this time, I had considerable bowel and digestive issues. I couldn’t digest food, and I couldn’t hold my bowels, having severe diarrhea. All this caused severe loss of weight. At six feet tall, I went from 175 to 135 pounds. I also had no voice; I only could talk with a whisper.
One year later, Summer 2006, I came to Seattle and started receiving Five Element Acupuncture with Dr. Dirk Hein, Chaitania’s husband. After receiving six weeks of treatments, I felt tremendous, like a whole new person. I got my voice back. I was able to control my bowels, and my digestion returned to normal. My appetite recovered and I started gaining weight.
For a long time, I wasn’t able to talk about my story to anyone. Every time I would try and tell my story to my family and friends, I would start shaking and crying. Now, I can tell my story, without shaking and crying.
Last summer 2008, I met with Chaitania and Dirk in New Orleans and continued my treatments. I feel great. Dr. Dirk Hein is saltwater healer and has helped me with my medical issues, as Chaitania’s kindness as a therapist has helped me come to terms with the trauma I suffered.
Ten years later, I’m as healthy as I can be at 92 years old. I don’t drive any longer, but I still travel by air alone and am planning to visit Chaitania, Dirk and their son, Iman, after Labor Day, God willing. My life here in Yellow Springs Ohio fills me with a great community of friends and family and so much joy!
Thank you for listening to my story.
In every story, there is a premise. In this story, there is no limit to the human spirit.
First Anniversary, August 28th, 2006
My husband, son and I arrive the eve of Hurricane Katrina, tired and hungry from our long trip across the country. Seattle is just about as far away as one can get from New Orleans. Food after flying grounds me, so off we go for a late night meal at The Court of Two Sisters, noted for its 24-hour service. This French Quarter restaurant embraces the charm of New Orleans. Its charisma engulfs you immediately. The entrance is on a former horse and carriage passageway of dirt, but now you walk on polished cobblestones, with a maroon carpet runner down the center that opens into an inner courtyard with a semi-tropical garden. A garden filled with banana trees, flowering hibiscus bushes of assorted colors, and an aroma of lemon that permeates from the magnolia trees. Iron lace balconies surround the courtyard, and waiters wearing white gloves and jackets are serving the finest of Creole, New Orleans food. It’s around 11:15 PM, and we’re looking for a parking space.
“It looks dark,” I say to my family
Just then, I spot two men with white service jackets, and I shout out,
“Oh no Ma’m, we gotta close at eleven now.”
Shocked but mostly saddened, as this sinking feeling comes over me. A feeling as if my internal structure is imploding and draining into my feet. As long as I can remember you could go there at any hour. People in New Orleans drink a lot, and after a night on the town drinking, food helps balances the alcohol.
As we drive away, I wonder: – Did New Orleans perish from Hurricane Katrina, as the Ninth Ward did, or is New Orleans just changed forever. ? The obliteration of the Ninth Ward is a travesty since so many of the musicians who contribute to the flavor of New Orleans music come from the Ninth Ward.
A year ago, as I sat in my Seattle home, I didn’t want to believe what CNN said, day after day.
“New Orleans is over.”
I found myself talking back to the TV.
“It’s not! I know it will rise again!”
You only have to see a New Orleans funeral, with their peoples’ resilient nature, as the grieving forge forward with vigor and jubilation.
August 29th, 2016
We’re here to visit my family, as well as to give New Orleans support. My concern is, what else will we see and what stories will we congregate-up to match images that continue to confirm loss and devastation? I only know it’s important to be here. I want to know why I felt so compelled to come at this time. My son, a sixteen-year-old, history buff, and my husband, a post-war German and now US citizen, want to see the Ninth Ward for themselves. For me, a New Orleanian, I want to have a few questions answered, like… “What happened”? The mantra in my head: Stay Open, Don’t Shut Down. I can feel there’s a lot more to come.
The next morning, August 29, 2006
We start our day with room service in typical New Orleans fashion, with French Chicory coffee and steamed milk, poured together, creating a unique taste. Children in New Orleans drink coffee with chicory too, but with a lot more hot milk and sugar. You can earn your passage into adulthood by drinking black coffee without sugar. It announces that you’ve acquired the taste for chicory’s dark, rich bitter flavor, and are no longer in need of mother’s sweet tastes.
The New Orleans reputation as The Big Easy is not hard for us to adapt. The nickname fits because people relax here; in French you say, laissez-faire, let people do as they choose. It’s so common to take care of business between and during breakfast, lunch, cocktail hour, or for an evening party. It’s not unusual to take the afternoon off or to stop everything you had planned for the day, to have a long chat with a friend that you just ran into by chance. I’m sure it has something to do with the heat, and after two centuries that laissez-faire is woven into the fabric of life in New Orleans. You hear Northerners call it Southern hospitality.
After morning coffee, we have a swim in the hotel’s saltwater pool. Then we enjoy an elaborate brunch of Eggs Benedict, grits, and homemade biscuits. And after that, we go for a walk in the Quarter, as the locals refer to the French Quarter. This anniversary day everything seems typical at first glance: shops open, the horses and buggy carriages are going. When crossing Bourbon Street, it still has that night after smells of sick drunks, not accustomed to so much freedom. There’s something different. It’s the number of tourists, milling around, or the lack thereof, that indicates it’s not a typical summer, but more like the Quarter in the winter.
Some areas run alongside the Mississippi River that didn’t flood. It’s from years of silt build-up. Since the Quarter runs beside the river, it only had wind and rain damage. However, no matter where we go, Katrina is front and center. Every shop we go into has their story to tell. At the Mardi Gras Mask shop, the owner apologizes,
“I’m sorry darlin’ for the delay. You know
we had seven employees, and now
it’s just me and my coworker.
We’re so short-staffed since Hurricane Katrina hit us!”
Another example is when we went to buy a few New Orleans funeral umbrellas and on the shop door reads,
“Sorry for the inconvenience, no help since
Katrina. Call this number and
I’ll come in five minutes.”
So we call and wait, and he comes, and we’re happy to buy our funeral umbrellas.
All afternoon, we wander in and out of the gift shops. Around five o’clock on St. Ann Street, near the corner of Royal Street, we hear weeping music meant for a funeral march. As we turn the corner onto Royal Street, coming towards us, in the middle of the street, is a Secondline funeral march. A Secondline is a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral march with family, friends, and musicians parading soberly through the streets of their neighborhood. The people carry colorful umbrellas, seemingly to screen the sun or rain; and at a certain moment, a transformation takes place. The sober music transforms, and a kind of resurrection happens. The music is now joyous, and the people are dancing with abandon.
As we reach the Heritage Center on Royal Street, the music burst into its typical Secondline Dixieland jazz gaiety. People in the street with colorful umbrellas begin twirling them and dancing to celebrate a life lived. But today not for a particular person, but for the entire city of New Orleans. Everyone is either, playing music, dancing, or singing. You can see their spirits bursting with joy! Though no one shouts, you hear it just the same.
“New Orleans will rise again!”
Our spirits are lifted, and we join in the dancing and singing.
That afternoon reminds me of what my friend, Otis Bassoon, once said,
“I like playing Dixieland jazz because
it’s happy music. No matter how I’m
feeling, when I hear it or play it, I get
happy and leave my troubles behind me.”
New Orleans Dixieland Jazz music has its Voodoo spell because magic is happening. New Orleans Voodoo influences everything with its superstition and magic powers. The depiction of Voodoo on TV and in the movies is negative. You only see its black magic, never the power of its ability to transform. Everything has its dark and light side, but mostly the influence on New Orleans is of hope and joy. You can hear it in the music, and you can feel it in your bones.
However, on the other side of hope the reality here is harsh. Everywhere I go, I make it my responsibility to ask,
“How did you fare out?”
People willingly tell their stories. For some the tears come, others have no words, just their heads moving side to side or faces drooping as if to say,
“You can’t believe!”
A few look down or away, and some apologize. Others go into detail. One young girl begins crying, tearing fall as she tells me her story.
“My house was fine, except for some
roof damage, but I live right before the
bridge, on St. Claude Ave. goin’ to St.
Bernard Parish. My Mama and Aunties
houses are all gone. They’re from St.
Bernard Parish in the Ninth Ward. That’s
where I grew-up. Now they’re all livin’
with me. It’s crowded, but what can I do?”
A silence follows because what else could I do, other than give honor to her with a moment of quietness. It feels good and natural.
Many tell me the conditions have improved over the year, but often our conversations end with,
“Have you been to St Bernard Parish
or the Lake Front yet?”
And yes, we’re going to see it for ourselves, not just on CNN with Anderson Copper reporting. Even though I grew up in New Orleans, I’ve never gone to S. Bernard Parish. As a child I was told, that’s the other side of the tracks.
“That’s where the trashy whites and
I never questioned or asked, but what determines someone being trashy?
Of course, I know now, those people were just poor and uneducated.
August 30, 2006, a day trip to St. Barnard Parish For our Big Easy morning rituals, we have breakfast on our balcony, where we see the city’s skyline and can look into a beautifully manicured city garden. From the front, with its wooden gate shutter, it looks as if a shack was behind it, but this is so typical of a French Quarter house.
My son’s room connects to ours by our shared balcony. So we holler through the open French doors with an edgy energy.
“Don’t forget the camera! Take several
bottles of water!” I remind my son.
“I’m ringing the front desk for them to
bring the car,” my husband announces.
Though St. Bernard Parish is only ten minutes away from our Quarter hotel, it feels worlds apart as we head to the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. My husband Dirk drives, and our son Iman sits in the back with his camera, while I’m in the front with a nervous feeling, scared even. I ask Dirk-
“I’m not sure what we’re going for?
“No, to be a witness.” He replied
From the French Quarter, we drive down St. Claude Avenue and cross over the high bridge into St. Bernard Parish. On the other side, everywhere, we see nothing that looks as it should. It’s as if we’ve entered a Salvador Dali movie Doomsday set. Hurricane Karina came in with a vengeance, we see. A hurricane has a pattern that it follows. I know the pattern, as I lived through many a hurricane while growing up, but I want to describe this storm, which was not so typical; not the pattern itself, but its magnitude. First came rain and wind blowing away roofs, and uprooting trees. Splintered buildings, or a blown down billboard sign with a car turned over on top of it with a tree uprooted on top of the car. So strangely and artfully placed, but so shocking to see this triple-decker disaster. Then after the storm left; the water came, moving everything around, rising higher and higher for the final destruction, driving people to break through their roofs to get higher than the water that was chasing them.
We see that destruction, and can image the sounds that accompanied it, as people broke through their roofs, surely screaming for “Help!” We see a rooftop with the word “HELP!” written enormously. There must have been many that drowned.
Now, we hear only quietness – a total lack of typical sounds, and that rouses an eerie feeling, broken only by the occasional buzz of a chainsaw, or by our shrieks.
“Look, see that car on top of the
boat!” My son says.
“Oh, wow! All the windows are
blown out,” I say.
Dirk’s voice, in a murmur,
“I don’t see any life here.”
As the sun beats on the car, and sweltering heat and humidity build up, my only wish is to somehow, catch a breeze. I do like the heat and the sweating, makes my skin feel silky from the moisture. The humidity is present even in an air-conditioned car. Relief from the heat often comes in the afternoons around four o’clock, as rain drenches the city for up to an hour, cooling things off for a while before the pressure builds again. I was told that, after Katrina, not only did the heat intensify, but there was no rain or afternoon showers for a month. I can’t imagine.
We continue peering out of the car windows, searching for some sign of regular life. But see only black holes where windows once were, house after house. Sometimes we can see inside, yet find no hint of life within. Occasionally we see signs of hope. I shout,
“Look. A tree cut and stacke
“Progress,” Dirk replies.
“It must mean a family is returning to the area,” Iman says.
At this moment, I permit myself to feel a bit hopeful, only to be crushed a moment later with another grotesque image in this Daliesque movie.
At times, I have flashes of our earlier trip to the Lake View area. There, too, a levee was breached. The scene is desolate. The Lake Front shopping center is gone, no open stores, no sounds of life, except for the occasional sounds of sawing and hammering. And this seemingly painted line, a foot wide, at the top of the house at the roofline.
I ask Dirk and Iman,
“What’s that yellow-brown-greenish-black
painted line at the top of the houses?”
In a dry whisper-like voice, Dirk says,
“The flood’s water line.”
“Oh my God, I hope they all got out!
“Do you see any roofs broken out?” Iman asks.
I begin to calm down as I realize, most likely, all of the people in Lake View were able to evacuate beforehand because they are affluent, unlike those in the Ninth Ward in St. Bernard Parish. I recalled parties in Lake View when I was in high school. I wonder where all of those people are now? I heard many don’t want to rebuild if their community doesn’t come back. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to be one of a few families living in the middle of ruins. No one would if there’s another choice.
St. Bernard Parish, there’s a very different reality. We know that people here didn’t evacuate. We see the same water line at the rooftops and in some areas no water lines, meaning, totally under water. The world saw on TV. People stranded waiting on rooftops, writing signs, “HELP US,” National Guard in boats or people trying to swim their way brown-greenish-black water.
Today driving through the Ninth Ward, I can feel the same sinking feeling I felt when I saw those images on TV. Now we’re here with no people or water remaining, just the aftermath of a broken, empty community, and the people of St. Bernard’s vibrations of panic, fear, and helplessness. I feel numb, but in a bizarre way accepting, as if now we’re a part of the Salvador Dali movie. Its heaviness has slithered into our car, as we match the mood of the outside with an uneasy quietness and gloomy tone of our speech.
There are these big red X’s on buildings and houses, some with writing in the quarter sections of the X, but not always in each section. We decode it: in the bottom part of the X, it’s the number of dead people inside; the right side of the X the letter C for a condemned house; the other part of the X is for the number of pets with the letter P.
I begin thinking about all the pets and people that died, and how sad. And how it took Hurricane Katrina for me to visit. How did it look before, and will it return?
My psychology degree brain begins to wonder, that from this kind of tragedy, what exactly is the lasting trauma? Many must have acute anxiety, and later PTSD with prolonged symptoms of chronic panic attacks, or compulsive disorders and the drive to search for safety, or adjustment disorders with relationship issues and fear to commit to anything, or just the fear of life in general? And for those that recover, is it back to the same way as before? Thoroughly believing that they are secure in their homes and with the conviction that if we have a job and a home, that our family has stability. Or do they merely recover, never again to have a sense of security? Another issue- can the people even come back home? Hurricane history talk is pick-up the pieces, rebuild and go on.
The city’s authorities say, “Oh, don’t worry, the Corps of Engineers rebuilt the levees.” However, only for a category three hurricane, not to withstand a category four or five, as Hurricane Katrina was.
But is it safe for people to come back and rebuild? Some experts suggest that St. Bernard Parish should “evolve” back to its original state as swampland, as nature intended. What then, just write off all the displaced people? “Too bad!” But many want to come back. Katrina made me want to go back home, as I watched in fear the TV those first five days, waiting to hear if my family was OK. I’m not certain what should be done, but indeed the people of St. Bernard Parish should be informed of their options and have a say before the authorities decide .
For two hours we drive the main road, seeing nothing that looks like normal life. As we continue our journey we finally come upon a clearing with rows of new white trailers, very close together, yet no signs of life.
“FEMA trailers,” Iman says.
A few miles past the FEMA trailer park, we see what looks like life in progress, and maybe even routine life. My son says with an excited voice, not heard in awhile,
“Look! A makeshift automotive repair
garage and a hardware store next to it.”
However, driving on, again nothing but more houses with smashed roofs or a house without a roof; a boat lies sideways on the front porch, with that telltale yellow-brown-greenish-black line. We see demolished buildings where once stood a grocery and drug store. You need a community for stores to thrive, otherwise, only fear survives.
As we approach the auxiliary bridge to go back across the river and out of St. Bernard Parish, we finally see people, a gas station, and a few stores open, yet not entirely normal. Oh no, we’re still in the doomsday movie.
However, as we cross over the bridge, life is returning with lights shining from the inside of buildings and homes. I have feeling of warmth, and not fear, as I see curtains on the windows of the houses, and a lot of noise from civilization.
“I’m glad we did it. It’s important
to be witness to this.” Dirk says.
I realize why we came to St. Bernard Parish: To Bear Witness. We are the witnesses of this catastrophe. Not just of nature having its way, but because our Officials chose neglect over duty. However, collectively, are we not all responsible? Iman goes off on the injustice of FEMA and our government.
“The richest country in the world
and we can’t help our people better?”
I’m so sad for my beloved New Orleans as it lies in ruins. They say New Orleans will never come back. Who are these Theys’? These They people don’t know New Orleanians!
To lift our spirits, just like in a New Orleans funeral marching band, I call and make reservation at Snug Harbor, a jazz club in the French Quarter on Frenchman Street, to hear jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis’s trio that night.
It’s like what Otis said about Dixiland jazz music, we too just need some New Orleans music to lift our spirits!
The places I call home, tells me about my values
New York, a place I call home, where my father was from,
You’ve gotta have The Right Stuff, to be a New Yorker or else!
Chewed up, spit out- piece by piece.
I was lucky in that way, but I had my unlucky, too.
I put my career in the hands of the Ballet Rouses De Monte Carlo,
The year it was my turn to join the company, it folded.
I had to start over and cultivate Ballet Theater, then an injury.
Despair, I turned to B’way, road tours, studying acting,
But I didn’t finish. Fear, no support, didn’t like it enough.
With no father to guide me, I left.
For it’s the father that teaches the child how to understand and navigate the world.
New Yorkers are strong, and when I get weak, unsure of myself,
I remember, I’m from New York!
I claim my heritage and my time there.
I left wanted, turned down that B’Way show, to go find myself, and
Ride that new wavy I heard about, called, The Hippy Movement.
Keep tuned, more is coming soon! Have wonderful experiences!
Something(s) to Think About
Feb. 19, 2015
Happy Chinese New Year!
The year of the Ram- set your intention for the year this week!
A year of prosperity, career moving forward, and from last years hard work
to an unfolding into the blossom! Relationships smooth sailing, finally! Let’s do it folks!
Push your peanut up the hill! How fun is that!
Feb 18, 2015
today, Ash Wednesday, the time to button up your morals.
Bacchus left last night with his troupe, taking all the décadence with him.
Feb. 17, 2015,
Happy Mardi Gras! Dance like no one is watching you!
Feb. 15, 2015
Valentine’s Day has the past, yet the day after the memories and feelings
Linger on in our heart as that special day when its wings open wide
and soar with joy, love, and a delicateness of communication.
“To come from the Heart” sounds sweet and easy, yet, to live each day
this way that requires our attention each day, a mindfulness
that we can live in the many shades of our heartfelt self, and the
an open heart is always there ready to open its wings and soar with joy,
love, and a delicateness of communication.
Feb. 4, 2015
A humble ending! Seahawks- close, but no cigar! The atmosphere at the pub we were,
starting high energy, like a full air-filled football feels, ready to bust, ready to go far and high,
but at the end, we filed out unconsciously, my husband lost his credit card, and all of us, like a
Well, as the die-hard 12th man says- “There’s next year. We sure got a great team! ”
And I pledge from now on to stay the 12th man!
My brain is fuzzy for anything else, but Super Bowl Win! Seahawks! Not fuzzy brain, more like
my brain is been taken over by the Seattle group consciousness of Win Seahawks!
Maybe on Monday something more to say.
Jan. 27, 2015
Be as Lotus Plant
Moral, Royal, Nurturer, Pure, Wise
Your Heart, its Blossom.
Don’t Go Koo-Koo,
Writer, go Kou-Kou,
Write haiku, no Koo-Koo
I love haiku! You?
Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
Getting ready for the a loud Sunday, our family decided to go to a Bar & Grill to watch the Super Bowl, and our team is in it! Should I wear earplugs? And miss all that joy and energy.
Only being able to read the body language. No way! My ears will have to take the abuse
because it will be so sweet when we win!
Seattle is going to the Super Bowl! A conscious State can also be- Apple Pie America!
If jealousy is poison for the soul, sharing is nourishment for the soul.
To get along with someone for any length of time is complicated.
How do you know how to be old, if you’ve never been old before?
Just the way you are is good.
“Start at the beginning”, I heard myself say, “Then to find my center, that’s next in order to begin”…
I felt the beauty in the simplicity of the demi- plier…
Then a porte de bras that requires respect,
And you never know when nature will be peeking out with a natural movement in between the formal warm-up,
But the grand piler showed me my strength, are lack of it,
And the demi point… needs nothing else to make its statement.
I like to do a demi plier’ with a porte de bras as a flower opening, bringing joy like a blossom opening does.
In the second position- so comfortable, creates a place to rest with spontaneous head movements,
Third position- offers appreciation for the harder one to come, the fifth position,
In between is the fourth position- a place to move through from one movement to another.
In order to move from fourth position the torso must shift its center of gravity, as if falling,
The finale of the five positions is the challenging fifth position- so demanding that every part of your body must hear its call and be in place to achieve its perfection.
The Yoga Tree Pose- though it’s not 1st 2nd 3rd 4th or 5th position, it is substantial.
Like the Warrior pose- shows off the power from practicing the grand plier,
Yet surprisingly not as hard as a grand plier.
The Yoga Corpse pose, the one Americans resist, yet a must… because it restores the energy.
In the Spring, Element Wood wants a direct movement, growing upward-shooting outward.
My phase of life is not Spring nor its Element Wood, I am in my Metal phase of life, Autumn is my phase, yet with all the Elements peek through periodically.
Element Water reminds me that it will be calling someday, but I had resolved my fear when it dropped its card off, by asking Element Water, its season Winter not to be in a hurry to come for me, I have so much more to do.
I have no experience getting old, how do I know how to do it?
Stirring feelings, swirling thoughts, big ideas- what will I produce in this phase?
Element Metal, its season Autumn is about quality, perfection and standards, but I don’t want its judgment. In the pursuit of excellence I can embrace, for I am just a human.
Everything holds a vibration for me, and the thought that I am an aspects of nature brings reassurance!
A Summer Visitor
At 91 years old, who are we to tell him, tall, upright and still with a bounce in his walk, how he should live his life. The people were giving him their two cents worth on how he should be living have never even been close to 9. A concern, for sure as I notice his difficulty getting in and out of the car or a low chair. Into the hot tub seemed very precarious, but this ancient dancer determined to warm his old bones and muscles managed it each day, a ritual like.
The first day in, I insisted I had to watch him, but to my surprise and joy, he so carefully took each step, as if memorizing the movements, a choreographed dance. Slowly he took one step, to the next step, then fluidly he lifted his first leg over the rim of the hot tub reaching with his dancer pointed toes feeling for the bottom and the warmth of the water. Then, with one sweep his other leg flow in the air and into the warm water and he was safe. And I knew, I witnessed something so beautifully done.
Maybe his success stems from ritual like living. As long as I have known David Laurence Fleming’s life was done in ritual- carefully and sacred.
Friday night was dinner at the neighborhood Italian restaurant on 9th Ave and 56th St. Sunday was always church until Saturday mass arrived. I think it became vogue fast because you could sleep in on Sunday, leaving Saturday night open for wildness and a late night rendezvous.
However, this visit we didn’t go to our usual Saturday night gay bar or get snookered reminiscing. We did drive in the area, but the crowed streets freighted him, me too. Though a bounce in his walk, his legs, thin and precarious for a Saturday night crowd on the prow for an experience, maybe even a night of ecstasy to linger in their memory for all their life. I’m sure David had many of those Saturday nights to last a lifetime since he never had a live in partner or a significant other. Being single on Saturday night has all the wonder of wildness and romance without even needing to know the person’s full name.
The year I got sick, and David took me in we talked a lot, plus the cocktail hour at 5 PM always. But since I was so much younger, I listened mostly to when I would be ready to step out on a Saturday night like his. I didn’t have Saturday late night rendezvous and it’s wild experiences until after I had been married, widowed and distraught enough to feel invincible.
But this visit took on a different tone, not of life’s possibilities, when he told me,
“I didn’t like being 91.”
Surprised because of his positive outlook, even though I know most of his friends and family his age were gone or he cannot drive any longer, but I asked anyway,
“Why Dave?” he replied,
“Sometimes I just don’t know where I am.” Fast, I said back to him,
“But at least, you know your brain is spacing out.”
He continued talking, rather unemotional and matter of fact like.
“Chaitania, I’m ready to go.” My Sufi beliefs kicked in,
“Ok Dave, then you can. Each night in bed, ask them to get you. I am sure your mother and Sister D. will be there.”
I reassured him, really for myself, that my mom and Mike are shuffling the cards, waiting for him.
“And you know Miss Ruby needs his reassurance from you while Bob Jasyis has the music ready for your morning jazz class… Dave, I hope you go in your sleep.”
“That would be wonderful, Chaitania, thanks.”
We looked at each other with delight for being on the same page. I then asked him,
“Dave, can you give my love to my mother, Mawmaw, Carol Ann, Judy Latour and Mike? I wonder what Mike and my mother might think about how I’ve lived my life; so different from what they wanted for me. But I was sure that my life belonged to me and not them. Yet, I want them proud and satisfied. They put a lot into me growing up. Mike was my first dance partner and mentor, and my mother sacrificed for my brother and me as a single woman in the 50 raising two children on her own.
I wish I could have asked David to give my love to Richie, Marcia, and a childhood friend Peggy, who died when I was 15 and she only 17 from brain cancer, but he didn’t know them.
I wonder if in the after life everyone knows everyone- maybe that 80% of the brain we don’t use gets utilized.
But I didn’t as I notice his 91-year-old skin so thin that his legs were purplish and a deep bloody red. It looked like it hurt. I wanted to do something.
Since the State of Washington legalized medical marijuana, I have used a cream from the dispensary for inflammation. Maybe it could move the blood, bringing more circulation to disburse the bruising. I gave David some to use and like a miracle in a few days that alarming purple blue and dark red bleeding look began to leave. So I filled a jar for him to use everyday. He reported his legs seemed more energized. He also liked the smoothness of his legs again and that he looked better when he wore shorts. Of course he was getting acupuncture every other day and in and out the hot tub. What exactly made his legs begin to clear up and feel better, who knows? It takes a lot to have good health, but we all know how bad health takes even more.
On the day beforeDavid left as he packed, I said,
“David, put that cream in your big suitcase- about in the middle of your clothes.”
He just looked at me with his chestnut eyes, not milky looking like most people his age look.
Though the cream has no mind-altering aspect to it, I didn’t know if that still made it illegal for him to take it with him? How could cream with no mind-altering part, that helps an old guy to feel and look better, be illegal?
At the airport, we said our good byes, and maybe our last, if he gets his wish. And as I drove away, I had to laugh to myself that David at 91 with dog sniffing detectives could have been busted, but nothing happened. I’m almost disappointed. How silly the authorities would have looked, but not a simple matter with so many people in jail and their lives turned upside down for possession of illegal marijuana. We need Pope Francis to speak out on this topic. Now I never thought I would hear myself say that. Things change!
Thank you for your interest. I look forward to hearing from you. Have Wonderful Experiences, today and every day of your life! This is what I would like you to experience every day from our work together.
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