“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. More
Moving a blog is possible but hair-raising. The worst is over. The essentials are in place, leaving only some fine-tuning.
Thank you, everyone, for visiting and keeping me company during this, my first full year of blogging. (I think this is my 375th post but WordPress tells me this is day 365.)
I have enjoyed sharing my everyday thoughts and hearing from you–may the circle be unbroken.
With every good wish,
I woke up to realize that my cell phone was missing. It had slipped out of my pocket during my commute. Miraculously, it turned up in the lost-and-found of a bus terminal at Jackson and Kedzie. My husband agreed to go out there with me to pick it up.
We drove out the Eisenhower to a very poor part of Chicago’s west side. This is a decrepit neighborhood, with people drifting across the streets, sitting around in front of their homes in the middle of the day doing nothing, or approaching passing cars asking for money. Their state is a reproof to love and liberality.
I didn’t take any photographs, being preoccupied with directing my husband to the right place, and because taking pictures of the neighborhood from the safety of my car would have been touristy.
The weather was heavy.
At the enormous bus terminal, which we found without difficulty, normalcy reigned. I retrieved my phone gratefully, eager to leave a place I didn’t belong.
The familiarity of the skyline was comforting. Heading to Ina’s for lunch, no sooner had we gotten on the Eisenhower than we got off.
Rain began falling, the heavens opening as we drove up Ashland. Stopped at a red, I took a picture of an unusual el station. I liked the color, and it interested me as a style and intellectually. It seemed almost Swiss, certainly ethnic in some way, a throwback to an earlier time. What was its story?
Under the el, the wipers worked hard, rain spattering loudly. Trains rumbled on top of that, super-blasts of noise.
When we reached the restaurant, it was raining too hard to get out of the car. We sat there watching a downspout, raindrops falling on puddles, until the cloudburst dwindled.
I wanted to take photographs inside the restaurant but didn’t. Using a camera or cell phone at the table is pretty rude.
Photographs carved from comfort zones are my specialty.
Yes, I’m home, back in the city. After a good night’s sleep in my own bed, I’m up writing my post in a way that’s customary: propped up in the bed in our spare bedroom, drinking my morning coffee. I do my best work in the early morning, before starting my day. I swear I could produce a masterpiece in my bathrobe. Luckily Mr C sleeps late, which gives me lots of time to compose.
What does “home” mean to residents of a big city? Driving around the Twin Cities got me thinking about how cities differ, and how I’ve come to think of Chicago as ‘my city.’ Born elsewhere, I came to Chicago in adulthood. My decision to stay here and make this my home was one I made deliberately. Beyond my domicile and a network of personal and professional relationships that sustains me, lies a vast population and universe that will always be strange. Knowing it–and loving it–could take an eternity, especially if you’re a female cat like me.
I chip away at its strangeness, recently with photography and with blogging. With each post and image, the swath of association and meaning broadens. The city may never cease to be strange, but its strangeness is now familiar to me. A pink-haired lady with Fair Isle tights? She’s my fellow-wayfarer, setting forth with faux-leopardskin pack and pink-sneakered stride.
Thank you, readers, for all your visits, and for taking the time that you do to comment.
Hearing from you has made the month of May fun and interesting. I appreciate your contributions.
Thank you, everyone, for making March the best month on my blog so far. Thanks to all, near and far, who are reading and following. Your participation is a powerful source of strength.
All the best,
Thank you to everyone out there, whether in California, London, or Jakarta, who has been visiting my blog and taking the time to check out its photographs and written entries. I really appreciate your comments and praise, and, even more, our casual “conversations.” A special thanks to my 78 followers–I can’t quite figure out what you all have in common, but I’m very grateful for your company as I wander around this grand if lonely city!
This image treated with a “diffusion” effect.
Click it to enlarge.