NEW ORLEANS

“You cannot describe a wild lion’s roar. You can only say you listened and the lion roared” – Ernest Hemingway, True at First Light

There’s a roar in that city. A low, dull, muffled roar but it’s there and it’s constant. To explain the character of the roar is impossible. It’s different and wild.

The first morning we pulled ourselves out of the bed and crawled down the narrow, shallow staircase into the streets of the Tremé. We were entranced with the colors and doorways. As we passed over Esplanade, a street that became familiar like we had lived there for years, the streets narrowed and our eyes widened. Ornate metal balconies, houses squeezed between houses, and so much color. We found our way to the Café Du Monde, a place we frequented during our short stay. We ate and drank and took in the growing bustle.

Trolley cars passed us and we walked through the walls of the cathedral. We went to bookstores and galleries and cemeteries with raised monuments and felt as though ghosts followed us through the narrow aisles. We ate well and drank even better.

Like my roll of film that got lost in development, the days rolled together into a week of indescribable discovery. As I write I feel as if I shouldn’t write – as if I should leave it in my mind for only our souls to remember. For this week our lives were suspended in exploration of a city that is so different from anything we’ve known and it left in us a huge, great appreciation for it’s roar.