been listening to npr and reading cnn online today. i don't think i've ever been so disheartened in my life... as i listen to the reports from new orleans and the gulf coast, i can't help but have to remind myself that katrina really happened and that the terrors that are flowing in over the radiowaves are acually real. that they are not some work of fiction. that this isn't another broadcast of some demented new chapter of 'war of the worlds' newly sprung from the mind of a twisted story teller.
i can't help but simply, dumbly stare at the newspaper, at the images of utter devastation that glare back at me from the ink-covered pages i hold in my hands... blink in horror at the pictures of dead bodies floating amongst the debris flashing in front of me on the computer screen... much like i felt when i watched the images of the countries and people in shambles after the tsunami last year, i feel terribly powerless and small. what i wouldn't give to just have the power to help... to have resources at my fingertips to be able to do some good.
this time, everything is different.
my best friend lives [lived] in new orleans. her apartment and everything that she owns [owned] is now submerged in the toxic stew that has washed over the city. her friends are missing. my friends are missing. people i know - not just people on a tv screen, but people who mean something to me, people i've spent time with, gotten to know, talked with, drank with, care for are missing, displaced... maybe even gone forever... and my heart simply aches, for it can do nothing else.
i've never felt like less of a friend than when my best friend told me that she'd lost everything and all i could do was say 'i'm sorry.' how does one even begin to convey the regret, the desire to do anything one can to help in any way when someone tells you something like '... gone. everything is gone.'?