As I get ready to wander out of the Big Easy and head my way towards Nashville I am left with a sense of bewilderment and awe. I have been to Mecca, and truly I was blessed to have stumbled along the same streets that giants before me have wandered.
As I peer down Burgundy and admire the simplicity of it all I am greeted with a fanfare of Dixieland jazz that is belted out of a trumpet from a lone busker, whose hat has seen better mornings, and whose clothes could have used a good washing a few months ago. I am truly in awe of this slice of beauty pulled from the gutters and presented without remorse. His lone wail echoes against the sounds of traffic just one street over, and the gentle gallop of a carriage that pulls up alongside him at the corner briefly mutes his trumpet with the gleeful noises of genteel tourists as they produce multiple cameras to catch a photo of this far too underpaid talent.
His trumpet swings into a lower register, and soon falls into a low melancholy blues number that quickly shifts me from a happy place into a tearful moment of regret as I pack my bags and get ready to say goodbye to this swampy bohemian rhapsody.
From derelict buildings, and torn up sidewalks that only a drunk can navigate properly, I wandered the town and found dreamers and artists, celebrities, saints, whores, dealers, evangelists, witch doctors, queens (both voodoo and rainbow varieties), cross dressers, children, drunks, pirates, thieves, and yes even more writers.
New Orleans has such a magnetic charm that draws upon the dichotomy of celebration and sorrow so splendidly it is easy to see why so many desire to call it home. It was tempting to stay here for me too, but I hold a vision and I will stay true to that which moves me onward.
Onward to Nashville, onward towards helping others live their vision, onward to expanding and growing Open Heart Publishing, Onward to meeting new and amazing people, onward to tomorrow.