Dear New Orleans

New Orleans, I write this with a gaping wound in the middle of my chest.  You see, we have to leave you, and it breaks my heart.  This heart is, quite literally, on the ground, smashed into miniscule bits.

New Orleans, I love you so much.  So much so, that we arrived on your crescent shore merely with savings, and a prayer.  And hope.  And faith.  And we tried, so very, very hard, to make it work out with you.  We really did.  Is it the economy? Perhaps.  And also some ill luck.  Try as I might, as many interviews as I have given, the jobs simply are not coming.  Plus, despite my entreaties otherwise, to “lesser” means of income, I am deemed “overqualified,” I think, and thus still find myself standing Outside the Wall, knocking so passionately and furiously at your gate, to no avail.  And J, poor, poor J, got himself into work that can only be defined as very nearly abusive.  New Orleans, as much as we love you, we will not allow him to endure that.

New Orleans, we have just enough money left to get us back to Colorado.  I am so sorry, but we have to use it for just that purpose.

New Orleans, that home in that house just off St. Charles cannot happen right now.  It was southy and kooky and SO very you, but in hindsight it was also a little too small.  We could have made it work, but you know, there’s THE RIGHT place for us, someday.

New Orleans, thank you for the 3-month adventure.  For allowing us to explore and come to know you.  For letting us learn your streets and your neighborhoods and your people, at least a little.  For bringing us some friendships, and some acquaintances.  For giving me that magical moment, every time the cathedral bells rang and the steamboat blew its top, at the very same time.

New Orleans, I have absolutely no regrets.  Why?  Because I love you, with the very depth of my being.

New Orleans, I rediscovered my soul here.  These three months away from everything that had become familiar, to the point of monotony in many ways, allowed me to breathe, to self-explore, to reconnect with that which I am down at the deepest core.  I know who I am, I know what I am, I know what I want to be, what I want to do, and, eventually, it will happen within your embrace.

New Orleans, I belong with you.  But we tried, and now is not the right time.  The time WILL come, though.  My own family wishes to come to you, as well.  Our safety net in Colorado (the return to CO in general makes me ill, literally – I’ve thrown up twice) is a lucky thing to have, a plan has been set, and we could be returning en masse just in time for fall, and Christmas, with a better chance of success.

New Orleans, this has not been wasted time.  In lucid moments among the tears, I sit back and consider these past three months as the Recon Trip.  Because we had the opportunity to learn your streets and neighborhoods and people, at least a little.  From a distance now, while regrouping and replanning, I will have a better understanding of how things work, and of what I am looking for.

New Orleans,  I have been crying for the past 24 hours, straight.  My eyes can’t take anymore, but the tears still flow for you just as my sweat flowed when I went on my Garden District walkabout a week ago.  A steady fountain, straight from my heart.

New Orleans, I don’t know what will happen next but I do so very much hate to leave you.  I hate to leave the river breeze and the jazz from streetcorners and even the muggy heat that is settling in for the summer.  I hate it.  I HATE IT.  But I love you.

New Orleans, I really do love you.  SO very much.  But we have to retreat, regroup, refigure.

New Orleans, we will be back.  It could even be this year.  Four or five months.  Next year at latest, perhaps.

New Orleans, I am about to cut the unsteady ties that we made here and hope I can stop crying long enough to make the necessary phone calls.

But New Orleans, I will see you again.  And in the grand scheme of things?  Very, very soon.

Oh, my New Orleans.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Magdalene says:

    Ohhhh…..honey, I’m so sorry. I can feel your heartbreak all the way up here.

    1. Awz, thanks hon. No worries though – it looks like we’ll be in CO for a grand total of 4 or 5 months before we’re back down here again. In the meantime, will enjoy seeing y’all’s smiling faces. 🙂

  2. Oh God, Honey, I am so very, very sorry. You WILL be back there, and you will nestle in and stay there, but HOLY CRAP how amazing it is that you got to DO it, that you got to go, to TRY and to make avenues for the next time you are there.

    I wish so much that I had some magical mysterious wonder up my sleeve to make it work for you, to keep you there for now.

    I’m so sorry, but you will be back again there soon and it will be for good.

    I love you. I will be here to hug you tight when you get back and then send you out on your return trip there again.

    All my love, and more than that, peace and hope in your heart and soul.

    XOXOXO

    1. You’re right! We DID get to do this and saw and did and learned a lot. We will definitely be having another go, relatively soon! In the interim, tea time. ;D

  3. Lusca says:

    My heart is broken for you- I am so so sorry. I know that soon- very soon we will load you back up for a final trip back to the city that holds your heart. Until that day we will be there to help in any way we can- much love

    1. Thank you miz Lusca. 🙂 There will definitely be another loading day, although this time it will be from storage back into a truck, no elevators, LOL!!!! Until then, I’ll be seeing you. 🙂

  4. Cindy says:

    Sus, I love you dearly and I wish I could help. My heart is broken for both of you. *HUGS* It sucks to have the answer be no, but I know you’ll be back. I’d tell you to come up north for a bit, but it’s not NOLA. 😦

    1. Love you too sis! It will all be okay. North sounds interesting too – seriously, after I get my southern butt BACK down here and settle at last, I want to visit your turf!

  5. bayoucreole says:

    Sooz, I’m sooo sorry. You do what you have to do. NOLA will be here, she isn’t going anywhere. Believe that. Betsy, Camille,Katrina…it doesn’t matter…we will always fight for her and we will always win.
    You return when you feel the time is right and when you do it will be forever.

    1. Thank you, Bayoucreole – your words mean a lot. A LOT! 🙂 You’re right – She will be here. AND we’ll be back sooner than I originally thought, fall sometime this year, if all pans out, in a more secure way, and it WILL be forever, for sure! 🙂

  6. Sooz
    Your heart may be broken but you are coming home to welcome arms of family. Sadly it may not be a joyous reason to be coming home but it may be the right thing to do. A wise person once told me sometimes you have to try to make it work but don’t force it. For if you force it then it will break. There are always second chancs and try again. I will gladly be there to help you load up a second or third time. Eventually it will stick. Those of us that grew up in the South understand what you are talking about. It is something about the beauty of what you call home that is imprtant. NOLA will always be there for you.

    1. Thank you Chris. The upside of this is that, yes, we will get to see some peeps again before we come back down for good. So, onward. 🙂

  7. infamaus says:

    Sooz, You’ll be back down there as soon as you get rested and renewed; which is precisely what you need right now for awhile. Thing is, at least 90 percent of the planning has been done and the funding is in place. Next time we’re all going and that will remove the stress associated with having to try to hurry to get jobs while watching funds dwindle away too quickly. So keep the good parts of your adventures there, and trash the rest. After all, that part’s only history and therefore meaningless while the good stuff is priceless. See ye in a few days.
    Infamaus

    1. Infamaus, you know it. We’ll get back and renew ourselves, and then we can all go and we’ll get to help you more, even, than if you were meeting us down here later, which makes me feel better, too. That’s what Us is, helping each other out. And, excellent wisdom – the adventures shall be kept. The tribulations, dismissed BUT learned from. See you in a few days. 🙂

      1. infamaus says:

        Sooz, you have it. It seems to me somehow that all of these collective events are focusing on that solution. Somehow it all seems to fit a pattern that MUST be followed. All things are coming together. It’s probably Legba in action, not to mention the other guys which you overlook at your peril. See yez Monday!!
        InfaMaus

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