Friday, September 30, 2011

Biloxi, Mississippi

See full size imageWith Dauphin Island behind me, I headed towards Mississippi.  When I was driving over the bridge that leads to the coastline in Biloxi, I got an overwhelming feeling, with heart palpitations and a dizziness that was so unexpected. It scared me.  It took me a minute to realize that it was a physical reaction to being so open to the energetic presence of this area - Katrina and it's destruction.  It was oppressive to say the least.  I cut the cords as they say, and I returned to a more centered place.  I am one of those who can walk into a room and know right away that something is going on emotionally, energetically - having that sense and awareness to the energetics of a place, people, events, etc.  I think we all have it.  I have learned to tune into it for those of you who say that you can't, I believe we all can.

Biloxi Beach Hurricane Katrina
Before and After Katrina (see below for link)
I slowed to a crawl and took in the sight.  The devastation.  The torn apart houses, the beach littered with detritus, and the gloom that hung over an area that was once a beautiful coastline.  It had been months since Katrina.  I know they were making progress in New Orleans.  That was on the news.  I was floored at how much this area had not progressed.  Nothing. Or, seemingly so.  It felt abandoned.  There wasn't anyone around, no one to connect with, to ask for information or guidance.  I rolled through the streets, stopping and gathering the details of the area.  I scanned the beach as I walked, and the houses that once were on stilts to only see an abundance of work that would be required to get rid of the debris, and restore the area.

See full size imageWhen I went several streets inland, towards town, there were people.  Some, were fixing their properties, but many were meandering, seemingly without purpose.  The people were utterly overwhelmed. I drove around, looking for a way to connect with someone but I didn't find anyone who could direct me to where I could volunteer.  Maybe I could have tried harder, or should have, but my mission to volunteer to help with the clean up seemed daunting and fruitless.

Biloxi, before Katrina
I didn't understand the lack of organization of the system, and why months later people were still floundering to the point of doing nothing.  I was now floundering myself with what happened, it's present state and lack of progress, and with trying to connect with someone, with anyone, so that I could offer my services.

I now understood the discrepancy in the allocation of funds.  It was mentioned on the news but now I was presently in it.  I didn't know what else to do so I found a place to stay just outside of Biloxi to figure out my next step.   I was deeply touched by my time in Biloxi.  I struggled with my feelings, not only with the destruction, but the abandonment and lack of movement towards rebuilding.  I had been thousands of miles away on Kauai when it all happened.  And, although I could have compassion and empathy at the time, there was such a profound experience witnessing the havoc.  And, I considered about all of the times, where money and people of the US have gone to support others in natural disasters, I felt that this place had been forgotten when it needed to be remembered the most.

A link to more photos (copy and paste into browser):

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