Call-and-response folksong. This song came to me in a dream. In the dream, Kaia was sharing its collective grief over the devastation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In our minds was the story I’d heard in the waking world the night before, told by Cameron Diaz during a national fund-raising telethon. In The Exodus from New Orleans post-Katrina, reporters came across a six-year-old boy with a baby in his arms. Behind him were five children, the youngest hardly old enough to walk. They all were holding hands, walking down the road together. The kids were relatives and friends of each other and had no idea where their parents were. But they were walking out of New Orleans, heading away from apocalypse and towards the unknown. The good news is all the children were reunited with their parents. That haunting image of what it took for those children to do that was very much present in our minds in the dream as we sang.
A postscript: The week we debuted this piece, the last Katrina orphan was reunited with her family.