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Lost Month

So what happened, Aharon? Death and resurrection. Of this blog. No more am I of the FEMA ESF-14 LTCR Team in Vermilion Parish. That’s all done with. Officially demobilised on March 20th along with all the other parish teams save for Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. About a month earlier, a local planner had seen some of my work and asked me how much it would cost him for me to come work with him. Nonplussed, I thanked him and continued working on community recovery in Vermilion. But as the horizon of my disaster recovery world approached and realizing I would soon fall off the edge of the world if I didn’t have a new job soon, I made some quick mental calculations and decided that a strategic retreat to a small planning firm in Baton Rouge might be an excellent opportunity. I’d miss my newly made friends in DC and the Jews in the Woods community. On the other hand, there was residual and unresolvable sadness in DC too. Uninterested in returning to temping or interning in the Capitol and seeing that the APA Congressional Fellowship, I phone interviewed for, had already been offered to someone else… I accepted the Baton Rouge gig– and quickly learned that the little firm I would join had just been gobbled up by the Shaw Group, a megacorp centered in Louisiana. So from contract planner-for-hire, I am now all of a sudden a company man. And only a few months ago I was updating the mailing database of the AAAS. I am grateful. Who knows where this will lead?
But back to last month. In short, March featured me responding to requests from the Magic Kingdom and finishing up my parish plan. My team got a little gushy near the end, and I was the recipient of certain confidences. Drinks were purchased for friends and well-wishers and then a hasty farewell was made — I was tapped by the Magic Kingdom to do project reviews over the final weekend. 16 hour workdays, meeting the folks who never were rarely able to make it out to the field, and seeing what it’s like from within the world of MK-Ultra. Over the weekend, a few hours with my coworkers expired while I observed them devour crustaceans at a crawfish boil at the home of my future boss. The last night I found a pretty good shoegazer band from Chicago playing near LSU, Dreamend. And later on I found a pretty sweet gal, also from Chicago, KK.
At the end of that week (3/24), I returned to DC to gether my things, say goodbye to a few precious friends, truck over to Cincinnati and back down to the Red Stick (3/31). Items since accomplished: getting an apartment, buying a car, starting work, and taking a passover holiday vacation. Also, restarting this blog. That’s a mighty accomplishment right there.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

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