Two years ago I wrote a piece for The Illuminata called "A Writer on the Run," about my experiences after Katrina. In that piece I talked about how I didn't have a problem writing nonfiction after the storm but that I couldn't seem to get my heart back into writing fiction. Last night I wrote an addendum to that essay. It's below:
It’s August 2007 as I write this. It’s been almost exactly two years since Katrina. Large parts of Greater New Orleans still lie devastated and Lana and I have actually moved thirty miles north to a small community called Abita Springs, Louisiana. I still work at Xavier, which is struggling to recover, but Lana and I both needed to escape the city. We have a place in the country now, and though I certainly don’t enjoy the commute it’s good to see trees and stars again. It reminds me of where I grew up.
I’ve made a partial return to writing fiction. Some nights my heart comes all the way up to the window on the wings of whippoorwills. Sometimes it hides further back in the woods, and though I know it’s there I can’t quite catch it. But I’m putting food out for it; I’m building it a place to nest. I don’t want it tamed all the way; I just want to pet it once in a while. I want it to come and sit with me again, like it used to, so it can tell stories to my fingers as they move on the keyboard in the dim light of the room where I sit to write.