Bob Dylan was quoted as saying, in New Orleans “You could be dead a long time," yet, in New Orleans, when the time comes to die, at least you will know you have lived, and your soul will not be forsaken. She is a place where the living dance with the dead, a place to bring the dead back to life, or where the dead never die at all. A place of fertility, where light pierces through dark shadows and vines bringing about immense vitality, which spring beautiful flowers to life. A resilient place, where the rhythm of life always awakens stronger and more vibrant. Bring chaos, anarchy and supreme injustice, and in time her rhythm will sooth the soul and realign the spirit. For she is the spirit of indulgence, and the celebration of life and death, and everything in between and beyond. A place of non-judgement, a place which, “Leaves you alone” as Charles Bukowski once wrote, to be who you are, without shame. The enigma that is New Orleans, dynamic and complex, fierce and relentless, yet vulnerable and sensitive. A hopeful future for some, a tomb for countless others. I ask, how can she be described to those who have never braved her streets, drank from her bourbon fountain, strolled amongst the dead and partied into the rising sun amongst the temporary living? When you look into her eye, what is it you see? What does the face of the living who walk with the dead look like? Who are those souls whom keep her heart beating, whom set the pace for the horns and her sweet voice to rise daily from the ashes, the weeds, the muck and grotesque gutter crime and grime? What you will see is purity and beauty rising with the sun, no matter how late the night. For she is one long day with endless nights of mystery, flavor, poerty and passion, and diehard hope, and as an American, she is my soul, our soul. New Orleans has been called The City that Care Forgot, yet as we forget to care, we finally begin to care, about who we are, about each other, about what brings us together, soul.