I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the devastation along the Gulf Coast, particularly the pictures still streaming out of New Orleans. If there was ever a glossy that summed up the poignant horror going on in the Big Easy I'd tap this one by AP photographer Dave Martin. After four days of laying exposed to the elements some kind (non governmental) souls honored Vera Smith by respectfully covering her body in a burial shroud and forming a makeshift grave for her. With the primary evacuation of the city nearing completion and focus now turning to the recovery of the bodies left behind - fatalites caused by both Hurricane Katrina and the government's (federal, state *and* local) ineptitude in the face of crisis - I'm not sure I'm ready to absorb what's coming. It's like a surreal scene from that Steven King movie The Stand, where a super virus has wiped out most of the population of the world leaving a small band of survivors to cope and - like in Europe during the Black Plague - cryers moved around the towns yelling "Bring out your dead!" so the victims could be collected. Matter of fact, I'm sure I'm *not* ready, but that process is coming and the most heartbreaking thing of all is that it's not a movie.
Check the sidebar for a link to the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort. It'll be a semi-permanent fixture for the foreseeable future and as the title says - give 'til it hurts, y'all because, as British martyr Reverend John Bradford so clearly observed, "There but for the grace of God go [I]". Rest in peace, Vera.