Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I've had two beers. I'm totally drunk. And the woman sitting next to me on the second-story balcony of my neighbor's Midtown townhouse, a woman I'd just met, she tells me she's written a book. I say oh what's the name of your book. She says what sounds like Tenzin Wangyal, the author of a book on dream yoga I read last year, but what she actually says is One Zentangle something or other. She can't remember. She turns to her friend and says, what's the name of my book? I'm thinking, she doesn't even know the name of her own book? What a horrible book this must be!
Monday, April 21, 2014
THERE’S A COLOR photograph of a boucherie in Catahoula. A hog has just been slaughtered, and its organs are being collected in basins and buckets. A boy facing the camera poses with the head of the hog.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
TINY CATAHOULA, where many people still speak only French, was selected for the filming of parts of the Cecil B. DeMille production The Buccaneer in 1937. Catahoula, with its maze of bayous and smaller streams, was where the movie company went to film the scenes of pirates emerging from their wilderness hiding places.
A WINDOW INTO Catahoula history opened in 1928 and stayed open. On Easter Sunday of that year, one year after the Great Flood, Gabriel Rousseau opened a state-of-the-art inn, the largest recreational complex of its kind in Louisiana at the time, on the western shore of Catahoula Lake. Brochures announcing the grand opening included a description of the inn, the lake and its environs, and survive today as Catahoula’s first depiction in images and words. That’s what I mean when I say a window opened in 1928 and stayed open. It’s as though, through the brochure, we can still see into the past:
Sunday, April 13, 2014
CATAHOULA LAKE, if you believe the Indian legend, is actually very young. One day several centuries ago, the story goes, the ground cracked open without warning, swallowing an entire encampment in a single terrifying gulp. The Basin belched. And a deep new pocket of water bubbled up from the earth.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I got home from work yesterday, and the breeze and the light of the slowly setting sun were too perfect to ignore, so I hopped on my bike and rode to the park down the street. Sitting among clover, I was transported to the gigantic clover meadow of my youth, and naturally I started tying some together, making clover bouquets, etc.
Monday, April 7, 2014
. . . a sepia woman in a threadbare white gown let me in on the secret of her faith.
THERE’S A BLACK-AND-WHITE photograph of six Cajun children standing barefoot on a long gnarly tree branch. The branch stretches horizontally several feet above the ground — low enough, I imagine, for the four oldest ones to have climbed up and onto it all by themselves.
Yet as the branch grows sideways it gets thinner and curls upward, curling so high that the two men standing below it have to stretch to hold the two youngest ones up there.
The tree, I’m told, is still standing in the Basin, but sixty years later so much sediment has deposited the branch is now entirely underground. The ground has grown six feet taller. The children, only two or three more feet.