It's a funny thing, life after the worst catastrophe in modern national history.
It makes you think . . . about everything. About your job, your friends, your relationships, your past, your future, your home, your finances, your past times, your theology, your politics, your passions, your fears. Have I left out anything?
Katrina stripped away the veneer of my life; the comfortable habits and motions that had lost their meaning and depth.
Removed, I was left with the naked truth. Unhappy at work. Unhappy at home. More than ready to take some big steps forwards.
So I disrupted what Katrina had left unscathed. The details are too long for here, but I'll boil it down. I turned down a job offer in Arizona and, instead, accepted an offer to move jobs at The Times-Picayune (the daily newspaper in New Orleans) to join our front line for covering the hurricane recovery story. On the homefront, I'll be moving on - literally - in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, a brilliant new light from southern California is shining in my life. Just in time for winter, a nice fire to warm the heart.
A few people in the immediate weeks after the storm warned me against making any life-altering changes in the wake of such trauma.
But my gut soon told me differently, and my gut has never failed me.
So life in New Orleans is hard but good; it's frustrating but fulfilling; it's exhausting but energizing.
It's a city of contradictions. Funny, sounds like the old New Orleans. Maybe things aren't so different here afterall.