Musings from My Younger Self: New Orleans Mornings

“Crossing the River”

I just returned from New Orleans (NOLA), so I thought my first official “Musings from My Younger Self” should be a short description I wrote about NOLA mornings when I was 16:

The street fills with activity as the city rouses itself from sleep. Cars speed from every direction. Vehicles flood the highways and bridges, making it almost impossible to get to work on time. People line up at street corners, waiting to fill buses. Doors are opened and people “swim” into department stores, toward their various occupations. Dogs howl, whimper, and scratch at the back door. It is morning in New Orleans.  –Age 16

I grew up in Algiers, the part of the City of New Orleans that is on the Westbank (of the Mississippi River), and being a Westbank girl, I was (and am) always aware of the River. It was what we crossed over to visit practically all of our relatives. What we ferried across for music and excitement. What we walked to. What we were mesmerized by as we stood on the levee. We knew its power. Should it spill over, as stories of Hurricane Betsy taught us. Should we fall in, having been warned about the unforgiving currents that pull people under.

As with just about all my “younger” writings, I cringed when I first (re)read this paragraph. Oh my gosh, I thought! Did I have no other verbs? But use of the words filling, swimming, and flooding suggest just how deeply the River flowed through me. That is what wrote this paragraph.


Note: I appreciate  your input and suggestions regarding how to handle my earlier writings and musings on my blog. One way or the other does not feel right, so I’ll just do what the individual posts call for–with “mature” commentary or without “mature” commentary.

21 thoughts on “Musings from My Younger Self: New Orleans Mornings

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I felt it was better w/o the intrusions of present me. They “musings” would just become current rants instead of past musings.

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      Thank you, Akilah! That was my first reaction, but I pulled back and realized just where such language might have come from. I’ll do better next time. I’ll try. 🙂

  1. mimionlife says:

    Glad you have kept your earlier writings. I love looking back at my writings and seeing the progress I have made. 🙂 I enjoy thinking about the feelings and sounds of the past.

  2. pinknabi says:

    I love this dedication to the creative voice of your youth. The poem feels strong. The photo from your adult creative spirit pairs with the poem beautifully. 💞

  3. Bill Chance says:

    Nice entry – just got back from New Orleans – went there for a “writing marathon.” As I always try to do, took the ferry across to Algiers and wrote in the wonderful restaurants and coffee shots scattered about there. Rode a bike along the levee – unfortunately that was a bit too warm. We wrote a lot of childhood memories, accurate or not – something that sometimes produces unexpected honesty.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. milesaway44105 says:

    I can’t help but think about the difference between the writing that you’ve shared as your younger self and the tweets that folk coming of age during this era are having to confront from their younger days. Both make a strong case for the value of privacy, but you certainly have the power of discretion that folk don’t have who commit their voices to social media platforms. I’m trying to keep that in mind as I parent.

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      Do you think we’d have been the same had we grown up biting our teeth on technology? Thankfully, my son–at the moment–has no interest in social media, though many of his preteen friends have FB pages, IG, and Snapchat accounts. Of course, our answer would be “no” even if he were interested.

      • milesaway44105 says:

        I do think that this particular technology is insidious. My son once got into a bit of trouble with me after I told him to give his bookfair money to his teacher and he put it inside his desk instead. In response to my reprimanding him for not doing as he was told and then making himself vulnerable to theft, he told me that there were cameras in his classroom. “What if the person who stole your money is operating the camera?” I asked. It was the first time I realized that he was being groomed to normalize surveillance. That’s when I realized that my work of instilling the value of privacy was harder than I thought.

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