Over the last ten years, I frequently said that Columbus Street needed to have its positive energy stirred again. The first mistake I made was in believing it could be done by others. The second mistake I made was believing that just by being there it would automatically return. Neither of those two things happened.
I returned in October of 2012 to a strange and empty place that I filled with other people's stuff. I returned to more problems than any one person could shake a stick at. It has been a very difficult place to be.
Being there is one thing. Being there and being invested in "being there" is another. I've only just discovered how important it is: to not be running out the door at any moment for an extended period of time; and, to hold a belief, plan, and commitment to myself and our place to be here on some regular basis in the future.
As we look to the possibility of shutting down 411, there has continued to be the "see what you might want to take home with you" conversations. As long as I believed that I would be back to France full-time; taking anything back to New Orleans meant either taking it to France or finding homes for it.
Now, I can look at things differently. For now, I will be here in New Orleans more than anywhere else. Once 2017 arrives, I plan to split my time 7 months in France and 5 in New Orleans. That means, everything I bring here and whatever I have can stay.
Aren't these stained glasses pretty? All came from 411 to New Orleans to help me stir the magic on Columbus Street. We are becoming a we again, and only now-I find that I can be here. As I've said before, ten years too long.