Shall Celia become famous for her photographs of Grant’s statue? It’s scarcely likely. Isn’t it wonderful, though, when a subject of interest identifies itself, and the two of you become acquainted?
Celia imagines the body of her future photographs of Grant and his horse Cincinnati spread out around her, showing them at different times of day, in different seasons, the pictures taken from various vantages, chosen (or not chosen), but in any event each revealing something special about the statue, the time, and the surroundings.
Unlike many of the major sculptures in Chicago’s parks, the Grant equestrian statue is well sited and has been given the prominence that it deserves. Many beautiful works of sculpture have been less lucky. Many that once stood out against the landscape have since disappeared behind mature plantings or too tall trees. Signage impairs the dignity of some, while others are dwarfed by mountains of urban clutter that have grown up behind them.
Despite the hi-rises that you see in this picture, Grant’s statue has largely escaped this fate, thanks to the costly and enormous stone mount on which it sits, and thanks to its location in the park, next to a large pond (not visible in this picture), which has given it the geographical protection that it deserves.
I have kept many journals over the years. Some I have filled in the space of months. My current journal dates from 2005. I write in it sporadically, but the habit has died.
Its front is decorated with a postcard showing an unnatural number of birds crammed onto one tree. The picture is getting worn from rubbing up against other items in my purse, as I often (pointlessly) carry my journal around with me.
Inside are amusing fortunes from fortune cookies. I don’t really believe in fortune-telling, but have you noticed that the fortunes you get fall into patterns? My husband, for instance, gets kinds of fortunes that I never receive–like the ones telling you to forget your troubles and have a good time.
During the years I lived alone before getting remarried, I relied on my journal for steady-going. I wrote pages and pages–an amazing record, really. Our lives are amazingly crammed full and varied, even when outwardly the days are the same.
I don’t think blogging can take the place of a journal, do you? It’s art to make a blog that incorporates the self fully. If a blog mirrors even one part of yourself faithfully, that’s a great achievement.
Blogging is social, and that’s why we do it; but in a journal the self reigns supreme, over a kingdom of one.
As my written contributions to my journal have dwindled, mementos of an active life have taken their place. Filling the remaining pages of this volume could take many years. Perhaps this is even my last journal; who knows?