Monday, February 8, 2010

new orleans road trip 2010

so I went to new orleans this weekend, with my good friends benjamin, t.scott, and stephen. we were going to go camping out in the sypsey wilderness, but it was too cold and rainy, so at the last minute we changed plans for new orleans. I love new orleans - one of my favorite cities of all time. and I was thankful to be able to go with friends who can enjoy a city like new orleans without tempting me to totally destroy my life (which you can actually do in less than ten minutes in new orleans - proven fact). we had a great time - honestly nothing too crazy but we enjoyed staying out late, taking in the city, eating amazing food, and watching everything around us. I love places - I love to travel and just meet people and experience a city and a place - new orleans offers everything. I go there about once a year and I love it more and more every time I go.

one of my favorite things about new orleans is the street music. every city's got it. but none of them have it like new orleans. here's a few videos:

and of course the crowd on bourbon street, superbowl weekend, was absolutely insane. this is taken around 1am.

probably my favorite part of the trip is my visit to the st. louis cathedral in jackson square. we walked in just as mass was about to start for saturday evening, and there was a line for the confessional - about 5 people long. stephen said to me "murph you should go and confess your sins." he was probably joking but I immediately walked over and stood in line. about ten minutes later, I'm in a confessional, staring directly into the eyes of a catholic priest (I thought he would be behind a curtain, but he was looking right at me). I walked in, closed the door, sat down. my friends were outside looking at me through a little window.

the priest said something that I don't remember but it was formal and ritualistic. then the conversation went like this:

BTM: "I don't know what to do here."

Priest: "Are you catholic?"

BTM: "No."

Priest: (very pleasant and welcoming) "well, god's love is not just for catholics. this is a confessional where you can come and tell god what you are sorry for. Do you have any sins you would like to confess?"

BTM: "I can think of things I have done that are wrong, but I don't feel sorry for them."

: "well, my hope is that god will work in your heart to show you the ways you have offended him, and the ways those things can be reconciled."

BTM: "ok"

then the priest prayed some prayer that I don't remember. it was short and felt like something he had prayed so many times that even he had no idea what the words meant anymore. but it held mystery, and for some reason I liked it. I thanked him and walked out.

"god's love is not just for catholics". man I loved that. and I loved that this catholic priest - the last person I ever thought would have grace and hold hope for someone like me - did exactly that. I hope he's right.

new orleans is a dark city. a city with secrets and stains. a city where spirits are crushed and despair abounds. and yet, it is beautiful. and if you look closely, there is hope. that's what all the music is about. it has to be.

I like that.


l_etranger_ said...


katie said...

me too, bryan. me too.

Courtney said...

yup, nola is one of my favorite places for exactly those reasons... such brokenness and such beauty

James McManus said...

I would love to visit for New Orleans for the exact same reasons! Thanks for the words, pics and music.

Furman Dariusz said...

I like your Blog , your style and your photos ! ... Come and look at me ...
New Orlean in your photos is very buetifull

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merrill said...

Thanks for the wonderful story of friendship great to see that in a world where it seems people are l;onely