The Land Haunts Me

So I have this haunting feeling. In Louisiana the present goes back to the past. Past the civil rights, past slavery, past the English, Spanish, and French. Past the Tunica and Biloxi. Maybe it is the past comes forward.

In other places, I lament not feeling a connection to the past not knowing the history. But now I don’t know if I can handle the sinking dark feeling of the past. I know in some ways its dramatic and ignorant but in other way there is something to what I’m feeling.

This past weekend was the Pilgrimage in West Feliciana. It is an amazing display of local spirit put on by the historical society. An eighth of the town gets dressed up in settler regalia and warmly leads incredible tours of a number of the mansions and plantations in the parish.

But beneath the excitement, I mourn the evaded story. The larger truth over looked that could have innumerable and immense implications to life in the town and the state if it were confronted. No mention was given to the truth of the means employed to achieve the opulence. To the human or ethical cost. To the force employed to dominate. Or to the justifications.

But to address the past would require addressing the present. Where the past lives in perpetitutity. Where the great great great heirs to the power and wealth live in power and wealth. And the great great great heirs to the marginalization and poverty live marginalized and in poverty.

And I feel this. I carry it. Its in the land. In the speech. I want to change it. I want to change the past. To make our better selves, be our better selves, and always have been our better selves. But I can’t and it haunts me.

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