Sunday, March 23, 2014

And yet we do not understand the loss of one plane in an ocean...

My Daughter, Neice and Nephew Crabbing off of the Wharf at our Camp 1998.

Where has the plane gone?  Why can it not be found?
I hear this question over and over each day by those
seeking honest answers as well as those trying to make
up news as they go along.  The missing Malaysian airplane
loaded with nearly 300 lives has prompted this recurring
question by people all over the world.  The unknowing has
fueled theories of conspiracy, speculation of overt government
aggression, and even supernatural intervention. People are
puzzled by the disappearance, but they are frightened because
the plane seems to have vanished without a trace.
My heart goes out to the passengers and their families. I 
applaud the efforts made to locate evidence of the crash.  
I find myself asking why we think we should be able to locate
debris amidst the vast ocean it is likely to be submerged in?  
I go back to the memories made in the aftermath of Hurricane 
Katrina.  Whole cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and 
communities on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain in
Louisiana were swallowed up by the tidal surge.  The waters 
rushed in. When they retreated, only foundations were left.  
Not a splinter of wood, not a doorknob, a dish, a car, a 
bathtub nothing.  For miles and miles there was only
vast devastation with no debris or evidence of the lives 
built before. 
For generations, my family had “a camp” on a bayou 
outside of the Violet Canal, in St. Bernard Parish.  With
far less than the luxuries of home, the scantily clad 
structure housed our family during the summers of my
youth.  This tradition began with my great grandfather,
a Sicilian immigrant and commercial fisherman.  My
grandfather and father alike, passed on the love of the
Louisiana waterways to our family. “The camp” was our 
family retreat.  Unreachable by land or car, our boats 
delivered us to our niche outside of civilization on a weekly
basis.  I passed a love for the place on to my daughter as
did my brother to his sons and so on.  All of the children
of our family have strong memories of hot days spent 
catching crabs off of the wharf that linked the camp to the
bayou it sat upon. Salt air mixed with mosquitoes and ho
pink sunsets painted my memories and still yank at my 
heart strings.  As our family grew older, our trips to the
camp grew less frequent.  I have pictures and always knew
I could return if the urge grew to large to ignore.  And then
came Katrina.
She took it all. Not just our camp, but everyone’s.  All dwellings
and semblances of civilization. She took vast acreage of marsh
and spit it back out leaving churned- up lifeless mud in her path.  
Nothing was left.  No walls, no roof, no wharf or pilings nothing
Where did it all go?
Where did all of the homes go?  Their contents and appliances.  
The clothes and dishes and mattresses.  The photo albums and
jewelry boxes, the kitchen tables and yard furniture.  Gone.  No 
trace.  20 square miles of civilization washed away into the open
Gulf of Mexico.  Yet still lost. Never recovered..
And yet we do not understand the loss of one plane in an ocean. 

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