A prayer in Chicago

Turbulent dusk, © 2016 Celia Her CityBind up the wounds of all who suffer from gun violence, those left alone & grieving, those who risk their lives as they rush to our aid, & those who have died this week in Chicago, including Arshell (19), Abner (23), Anthony (21), Ladrell (24), Alfonso (31), Antoine (31), Yanong (27), Louis (30), Johnathan (17), Johnny (27), David (22), Winston (50), Dontae (30), Stephan (22), Jamie (22), Cortez (25), Demarco (32), Julius (18), Andre (23), Anthony (44), Erik (27), John (28), Cory (28), Denzell (24), Ireal (22), Michael (61), William (25), and Lee (43).  Give us power to rise above our fear that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction to be advocates for change.

A prayer for mercy, in a Chicago church.

 

The chaos of growth

Rose mallow buds and bloom
“I miss Celia,” one of my friends said over a meal.  “I miss Celia, too,” I replied.  For Celia preserves what is sweet in life.  To that sweetness it has offered an imperfect homage.

Celia has not been a book; it has not been an argument.  It hasn’t oozed personality.  And it hasn’t gone viral.  Perhaps my most visited post features a pork-chop recipe, solving the problem of what to make for dinner.  A post I wrote years ago about the history of the Hancock Plaza has also done well, plagiarized for school assignments, probably.

I set out to make Celia about perplexities, but it’s shirked its duty.  I haven’t written about material cares, being childless, or loved ones dying.  Celia has sipped life’s inconclusiveness, its boundlessness, carefully refraining from taking a gulp and getting wild.  The stimulus of the day—its shocking fleeting beauty—the sensory tonnage that floods in on us: some tiny part of this relentless spool has made its way into my camera, and days or weeks later I have written about it, in posts that ‘steady the camera’ in some way.

Several weeks ago, I heard a priest named Duncan Swan give a sermon.  He likened the kingdom of God to a neglected garden with just one tiny area under our cultivation.  The idea that there is something more expansive beyond the tiny area that we experience corresponds to the spirit and scope of Celia’s undertaking.  Beyond what I can picture and express is a chaos of growth, a whole truth bigger even than modernity.

Over the estuary

seen from the observation platform
The recently completed Galien River boardwalk in New Buffalo spans a beautiful estuary.  Berrien County, with the aid of the Pokagon Fund, created this simple but impressive park.  It features a 60-foot-high observation platform and a long water-level boardwalk, enabling visitors to explore a locale where the waters of lake and river meet.  The observation platform, which juts out from a bluff, offers a panoramic view of the wetland below. More

My Edwardian girl

Framed picture of an Edwardian girl,© 2016 Celia Her City
The tag read “Victorian-era painting of girl in a mahogany frame with original wavy glass.”  Even though I knew the portrait wasn’t a painting but a print, possibly made as recently as the 1970s, still I bought the thing after getting the price knocked down.  The subject of the picture, and the way it was framed, spoke to me.  I figured I’d learn what I’d bought after getting it home. More

The new grocery store

Night-time construction at Clark and Division, Chicago
All the sudden, several old familiar grocery stores are closing and being torn down.

From my bus stop at night, I can see the work going forward on the site of the old Jewel at Clark and Division.  It was a large store, right next to the el, with a very large surface parking lot.  A few months back, the building was demolished, and now the entire site is being redeveloped.  It is valuable real estate, in a high density neighborhood.  No doubt the new grocery store will be larger, and there will be a parking deck of some kind; and more use will be crammed on to the site, wrapped within a taller building. More

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