I’m feeling a tad frazzled today, just a little overwhelmed because I’m juggling a few too many things. And also, I’ve gotten behind with this journal, and there’s so much to write about.
- The guy who dissolved the Soviet Union was in New Orleans over the weekend, talkin’ ’bout a revolution. Yup, Gorby said if we don’t get adequate flood control, “we will start a new revolution in New Orleans.” Wow! Truly astounding.
- After some truly frustrating delays, our two tile jobs are done. Mostly the delays were about getting grout. But at last we got all the grout and all the tiles are fully grouted.
- Paint. That will be the focus of my life for the next couple months, at least on the weekends. Last weekend I painted the ceiling green.
It’s fun to paint and listen to the Saints lose.
- Bob Breck says the fat lady is singing. Chances of any major storms here are rapidly diminishing. So that’s a relief.
- I went to City Hall this morning for a Design Review Committee meeting. It’s a surreal experience to visit City Hall these days. I guess it always has been, but now more so than usual.
They finally fixed their sign that was damaged by Katrina. Too bad they can’t fix the housing crisis. There’s a sprawling encampment of homeless people all around.
Speaking of signs, that was the purpose of the meeting: to review the design of a neighborhood sign for Mid-City. More about that later.
Well, that’s some of what’s been on my mind lately. I feel a little better now.
Two quick notes.
1. Gorbachev dropped a bombshell on the Global Green Conference by waiting until the conference was over and announcing at dinner that he was resigning as president.
2. I am getting unconfirmed reports from people working in mental health care that facilities around the state and country are buying some of their problem clients one way bus tickets to New Orleans. I don’t know if there is a law but there should be a law against people sending folks into an area that lacks the facilities to care for them. As if we don’t have enough to worry about.
Carry “The Blue Book” called The Beatitudes.
Imagine this: the great seeing eye camera from Google Earth focuses in on a man and a woman and a child each carrying a blue book. It is The Beatitudes, the symbol of the written word; it is their signal to the world that words and books must be preserved and cherished so that humanity, good humanity, will continue to exist. The phenomenon captures the media….instead of a bracelet they CARRY A BOOK; THE BLUE BOOK CALLED THE BEATITUDES. Soon, thousands, no millions, carry the book in support of the written word. People are sending messages on cell phones, iPods….You, you, my friends have made THE difference.
*I am helping rebuild New Orleans, specifically the public libraries. I don’t have money, but I am giving three years of hard work and a published novel. AND ALL ROYALTIES. So you can help me help New Orleans? Simply buy the book for yourself and anyone you know who love New Orleans and likes to read! At amazon.com and see 5 star reviews!
Here is an excerpt from the supernatural novel, The Beatitudes, by Lyn LeJeune, now available at amazon.com and all booksellers around the world. I am DONATING ALL ROYALTIES to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the public libraries of New Orleans. If you like what you read here, order the book, enjoy, and help NEW ORLEANS and the world.. (blog is http://www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com- come and join The Beatitudes Network – Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans) “BUY A BOOK, BUILD A LIBRARY,” AS QUOTED AT FREAKONOMICS, NEW YORK TIMES, 8/14/07.
excerpt: PINCH & SCRIMP LEAVING PURGATORY
We walked in a line out of the marsh and back onto a gravel road and headed into the setting sun. A soft breeze seemed to anticipate our movement down the path and the air smelled clean for a change. The sound of lost souls ceased and all was silent. Pinch walked behind me and I could feel her warm breath, the heat from her spirit. She breathes. I was comforted, somewhat.
“So, what have you learned?’ asked Delcambre. “Time moves on.”
“All the sins are the same,” said Pinch. “All that is not sin is love. All sins are the murder of children.”
“We kill our future,” I said.
“Yes,” said Delcambre. “Remember, there is perverted love and excessive love.”
“But, are those kinds of love, love at all?” I asked.
“Remember we are free. It is what we do with love that makes us or breaks us,” said Delcambre. Again he smiled.
“That’s not news,” I said.
“Again I say,” said Delcambre. “Who listens?”
The graveled path ended in the city where the execution had taken place. The path swung out on each side and in the distance I saw large buildings and a trolley coming towards us. I looked up at a steel post with a narrow green sign with white letters. Canal Street. Pinch touched my arm and pointed toward an oyster-shell covered road to our left. A thudding sound rolled towards us carrying voices that cried out in pain. From around the corner of the building came some hundred or more people running barefooted, their feet mangled masses of flesh, blood and bone. They wore running outfits, shorts and t-shirts. “Oh, my God, “ I gasped. “Their feet; how can they?
“Sloth,” said Delcambre. “They may run forever.”
“I’m glad I’m a ghost,” said Pinch.
“Wait, wait a minute,” I barked out. “Something’s wrong here. I’m not an expert on Dante, but we’re not following the path that he took. I thought we were in purgatory?”
“I shall clarify,” said Delcambre. “Purgatory is diluted by time.”
Darkness came swiftly, then a silver moon, a phantasmagoria of stars.
“Is this what the real sky looks like?” asked Pinch.
“The original,” said Delcambre.
I had never seen such beauty. I raised my hands toward the sky, like a blind person who suddenly is given sight, like a child who has yet to understand the concept of space. I touched a star, a cool, energetic, lovely star. My whole life came back to me, I felt my blood rush through my veins, heard my heart beating, felt the magical protection of my skin on my heavenly body. The song of a bird, soft, inflated the silence of this world; it trilled, beckoned, and I knew we were listening to the first sparrow. Time passed on and on.
“Can we just stay here for a little longer?” I asked Delcambre.
“No, but you have this moment as a gift.”
I looked at Pinch and she moved toward me and did not stop until she had entered me and we became one. We stayed until the dawn muted the stars. Pinch moved out of me, and we followed Delcambre back to where we had started the night before.
“We have one more to meet. It will be sure evidence.”
A man with dark hollow eyes stood at a crossroads under the shadow of three trees. He was cutting away at a strangling vine that had wrapped around the trees. He watched us approach.
“Must kill the seed of the strangling vine,” he shouted. His voice was hoarse. He held up the long knife and it gleamed brightly from the rays of the rising sun. “Need to get all this wood down to the valley to build the oil drums.”
“He holds the knife of Judas,” said Delcambre, as he nodded at me.
“Harlan’s scalpel, pecan trees, the beginning of life,” I said, nodding. “The rape of the world.”
We walked past the man and I caught a strong odor of acorns. I remembered the smell of cognac on Harlan as he took my hand in his. I knew our journey was nearing its end.
All semblance of the previous night vanished as the sun became a glowing orange sphere. The azure waters of the Mississippi reflected the ozone-wasted globe. With the light behind us, my blackened shadow preceded us like the entrance to a dark and visceral cave. In the world of the self-forsaken that lay behind us, I could hear the persistent moaning of penitents.
“We are ending?” asked Pinch.
“But were we really here? Has it all been a dream from the beginning until now? Are you what you are?”
“What difference, dream or not, “ said Delcambre. “Each of us is identified by the sins we commit, or do not. Seven sins, eight beatitudes, nine murders, ten murders more.”
“To infinity,” I said.
“Perhaps,” said Delcambre. “But I will leave you with this: that it is substance as well as the numbers that you seek. Those who long for justice are blessed and therein resides your quest. Follow that path. And love.” Pinch and I stood next to each other, watched Delcambre return to purgatory, or whatever world he had come from; it will be called many things. I took Pinch’s hand and followed the path that led along the shaking waters and to the Noble One. We entered the other New Orleans again at the Napoleon Avenue terminal.
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