Photo Exploration: Brick from Katrina, August 2015.

Ten years. In my com­ing-on-ear­ly-mid-life­time, I’ve expe­ri­enced a few ten year anniver­saries. Ten years after the space­ship Chal­lenger. Ten years after high school grad­u­a­tion. Ten years after 9/11. And now, ten years after Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na dec­i­mat­ed the gulf coast across three states.

There are many, many, many remem­brances and notes and sto­ries and tes­ti­monies that will be shared today. I don’t have much of a tragedy to share — all my fam­i­ly sur­vived, near­ly all our homes were intact, and although I was with­out pow­er for three weeks, it was a small price in the larg­er pat­tern of destruc­tion. I don’t car­ry much in the way of per­son­al sor­row or loss.

What I do car­ry with me is a brick. One brick I’ve kept from the mil­lions and mil­lions that once formed thou­sands and thou­sands of homes that were dam­aged or lost in the storm.

The facts have been known for so long and the analy­sis of the fail­ures so detailed that it’s almost rote at this point to dis­cuss the day. I do have my own mem­o­ries and emo­tions from the day and what hap­pened after­wards for sure. But I think that a bet­ter sto­ry is one of a sin­gle piece of mason­ry that was in a home for year and years, then ripped away from its place and left in the mud by nature being.…well, nature. We can’t be mad at nature and we can’t fault storms for grow­ing into mon­sters, but what we can do is exam­ine at a piece of what remained to see if we have bet­ter pre­pared our­selves for the next time cli­mate comes knock­ing at our door.

Hibiscus, Ocean Springs. December 2014.

One a recent short-notice trip to the Mis­sis­sip­pi Gulf Coast I was with­out any cam­era but my cell phone (LG G2). There was one last bloom on my fam­i­ly’s back­yard hibis­cus, a bril­liant pink with orange and yel­low pollen. But the chance to explore the black and white capa­bil­i­ties of the tool du jour called so strong­ly, and I’m tak­en with the results.

Tak­en with the default Cam­era appli­ca­tion, and mod­i­fied in the Android Pho­to­shop app, but just crop­ping and lev­els. Amaz­ing what portable elec­tron­ics can do these days.

Visit to Mississippi School for Math and Science, August 2014

A vis­it to my high school board­ing school, with some of the dri­ve between Nashville and Columbus.