Roger Paul

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When We Don't Feel Like a Nut

This is a copy of something I wrote for my FaceBook page that I thought might be worth preserving . . .


Sorry about the recent lack of jokes my friends. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes . . .

My colleague and I have had an ambitious schedule this past week. The holiday weekend gave us only one day at home from a European trip before having to get back in the "pirogue" again and try to make the adjustment back to the central time zone. I didn't do a very good job at that part of it and this caused me to miss all the fun and fireworks on Friday night. I guess I was one worn out OCD.

Along with all that work related traveling, the overwhelming sadness back "In My Bayou Town" (where I grew up) certainly put a dampening effect on any desire to mine the internet or engage my own brain for the production of humorous material.  So, as much as I want The Easy Cajun digital community to be a place we can always look for "Fun Food & Flying" . . . our actual existence can't always live up to that utopian vision. Such is the case in real life.

But, I can guarantee you this mes amis, I will not ever abandon our Cajun oath to the "Joie de Vivre" that our birthplace and our genetic makeup have graciously endowed us with. Even in those tough times of sorrow and despair, our South Louisiana culture graced us with an intense desire and the innate ability to reach out and help each other find those joy-of-life nuggets hidden only temporarily by sad news and challenging times.

Painful occasions do bring us an opportunity for reflection . . . on life, on work, on love . . . and on what we see as our real priorities. What can we do to improve our own personal environment with respect to these things? Where can we make adjustments in our service to others. How can we progress on meaningful endeavors? These are all things we sometimes find ourselves contemplating during a "recovery" phase of tragic circumstances. Although complete recovery is impossible in many unfortunate experiences, it is only human to want to look for small improvements, adjustments, and progress within ourselves to feel proactively involved in the inevitable and quite necessary healing process.

Maybe I need to consider an adjustment in our environment here. Maybe the "Fun Food & Flying" that is the ROUX of The Easy Cajun community gumbo is just that. It's the right start and a solid anchor for our recipe, but there is so much more in the real lives of all of us. And how can you have a legit gumbo without all those varied ingredients. We all come here for the fun, but it's that familiarity, the love of Louisiana people, and a special way of life that makes us want to keep coming back here. If The Easy Cajun neighborhood is a sort of "reality internet" place to visit . . . then it can't always be free of those difficult occasions that sometimes try our resolve and test our confidence.

That familiarity we treasure here includes knowing how our Cajun culture brings us together like no other tribe during tough times. That familiarity includes knowing exactly how a South Louisiana community will step up, big time, when needed. And yes, that familiarity includes relating to heartbreaking situations with the utmost compassion and a strong desire to reach out with gentle hands and our own broken hearts. If our little digital community is to continue being a place that we can all come to . . . knowing we will always feel welcomed, we will always have a sense of familiarity, and we will always be able to relate to others visiting here . . . I guess I need to try even harder to keep it as real as it should be. My efforts in the past to avoid much of the unpleasantness and the tough topics that inevitably creep into the actual living of life in this imperfect world may not have been a perfect recipe for our digital neighborhood.  Upon reflecting back on this past week, I believe there is indeed some room to improve.

No, the jokes are not going to go away. And yes, I will continue to delete comments containing profanity or rudeness. No, we're not going to dive whole hog into inflammatory political topics. Yes, we will keep it mostly fun . . . but a little more "reality" may creep onto this reality channel in the future. How else can we reach out to more people and deliver more smiles if we don't tackle the tough times when the tough times need tackling. And no, we Cajuns don't look for pity during these challenging periods. We're just trying to communicate effectively to keep others informed so there can be an honest understanding of why we may not be quite up to our normal level of energy at times.

Even Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, Alphonse and Pierre, Clotile and Marie, Hebert, Fontenot, and every one of my many other cousins sometime need a little space and a little time to reflect on life as a Cajun, as an American, and as a human being sharing this planet with all flavors of other humans. We all want to make this a better place and what better way to do that than to pool our varied strengths and collectively try come up with viable and just solutions. Serious exchanges of intellectually disciplined conclusions on a variety of issues that affect our families can be a very worthy undertaking that has value in its role as a conduit for the distribution of important facts and information. The Easy Cajun community might just be a good outlet for a continuing respectful dialog and a place to SHARE our thoughts on the many ingredients that could help make our lives an even more interesting and satisfying gumbo.

Do know this and know it well . . . we're a breed that always comes back to hit our peaks again and again. Even in the toughest of times, you just can not keep a good Cajun down.

And that, my friends, is a very important part of maintaining our "Joie de Vivre" . . .

The Easy Cajun

When We Don't Feel Like a Nut