04 February 2009

The New Orleans' Cross.

Those of you familiar with post-Katrina New Orleans know all too well the ubiquitous cross, painted on nearly every building by first responders during the flood as they searched for survivors. Initially, they were being scrubbed off buildings as the buildings were renovated, but lately I've noticed that folks are leaving them up - a symbol of survival and renewal, if you will:

(From a house in Mid-City. Image by RSR.)

I also noticed something else the other weekend - someone (an artist on Magazine Street, I understand) has taken this to another level - and is now making metal sculptures of your cross to attach to your building:

(Also from a house in Mid-City. Image by RSR.)

The numbers and codes are almost as unique as a street address (they tell the date of the search, who made the search, and what they found), so they tie that specific building or place to a moment in time during the disaster. The sculptor(s) did something truly profound here - they took the symbol of so much pain and suffering, and turned it into a symbol of victory over it.

Simple. Powerful. Spiritual.


(This isn't the first cross to do that, y'know. A connection? Hmmm... -ed.)

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