"We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde
That quote has been running through my head for the past week. While reveling in the glory of a Saints' Super Bowl win and the anticipation of new leadership in City Hall, I've actually been stricken with moments of impulsive trepidation....as if I'm afraid to let myself believe the fortunes of this city have changed so quickly and in such dramatic fashion.
This is the first Mardi Gras in memory where I have no desire to drink myself into oblivion in order to put reality and responsibility aside for a few days. This carnival, I find myself sober and excited in anticipation of the possibilities which lie ahead for our city....I feel no need to escape.
This city has been through so much in the past 4 years, pride has been a rare commodity in the struggle to simply persevere. It seems that within a 24 hour period, last weekend, we may have finally pulled our heads up out of the gutter and gazed at the stars. (well some of us had to wait until the next day)
After nearly being annihilated by the levee failures during Katrina, we found ourselves not only neglected by our own federal government, but forced to justify our existence to our own countrymen....how shitty can it get? What other American city has had to endure such transgressions in this country's history? I can't think of one.
Still, we battled on. We struggled and rebuilt, in the face of overwhelming odds....insurance cock blocks, crooked contractors, chinese dry wall.....Ed Blakely....you name it, we saw it....still we stand.
I don't want to get too hokey, if I haven't already....but I'm feeling it, man...and not in an endorphin laced, throw my hands in the air way...I'm feeling it in a calm, sober and permanent way.
This week we celebrate, and we deserve it. Next week, we dream....we dream a bigger dream....because we deserve that too.