Footsteps Through A Grieving City

“Watch carefully the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.” Atticus

I liked this quote. Reading it this morning on my Momentum dashboard was the only regular part of my routine; a statement of fact, not a complaint. I had a proposal I needed to get done early this morning, then I had an unexpected call for another proposal, walked the dogs, and then prepared for a meeting downtown this afternoon. I almost missed the train. And, as I looked out the window I thought I would capture this gray, foggy day. It was a day that felt like your windshield wipers did not work because the air was so saturated.

When I walked the dogs this morning I thought the weather was perfect for death. The snow is melting; puddles littered the sidewalks. The ground is soft and the air thick. The sun was nowhere to be found. It is an in-between day. Like when a person’s soul has yet to rise because we are still reconciling with the holder’s death. The kind of death that leaves us mixed up. You know the kind when our feelings are grey, hearts hurt because they are so heavy with pain, eyes dry and red from too many tears. That’s where our city is this week, and now our country, too. We are in a fog. The pictures I took today are some of my footsteps through it.

I placed the camera up against the window. The engine reverberated through the phone. It was a new and different feeling. I liked, seeing and feeling the train’s engines.

I love the Civic Opera House. And I almost always stop on the bridges that cross the Chicago River. I always thought the “I Am Temple” was interesting and stopped there today.

When I looked at the pictures, I found three clocks, so I thought I’d group them together.

I crisscrossed the County Building, City Hall, and the Thompson Center on my way there and back. I worked in City Hall and the Thompson Center. I kept noticing the flags. We have so much grief.

The building below is on the Southwest corner of Washington and Clark. My best friend’s father once worked there. We would color in one of the corner offices with the curved glass on days when we went to work with him. Once Stephanie and I went for a walk. It was the summer, so we were both 10. She was six months younger than me. We were walking into the Burnham Center Building (I am pretty sure it used to be called Chicago Title and Trust) when only 4/5 of my 10-year-old body made it into the revolving door before someone pushed it really hard. My left leg was out on Clark Street and the rest of my body was inside my triangle chamber of the revolving door. Someone kept pushing. I kept screaming and crying until someone stopped it. My thigh was black and blue for months. I don’t like that building much anymore.


I decided to group the rest. It’s late. I need to spend time with my daughter. And I need to process the events of the day. It was busy. But the fog was symbolic. Walking through the city today in some ways felt like the calm before the storm. Maybe this is the week that we wake up? Maybe next week we realize what guns have cost us? Maybe when we bury the souls that are surely ready not ready to leave, we’ll be moved into action? Maybe? March 20.


5 Thoughts

  1. “When I walked the dogs this morning I thought the weather was perfect for death.”

    That entire paragraph had ME reconciling what I expect of this country, this world and myself. Asking why it is that we keep doing it the same way. Over and over again.

    The city is an oddly peaceful place. It makes me think of the ocean in that it is huge and complicated and it makes me feel so tiny. In spite of this, it usually centers me, allowing me to appreciate my place inside the great big universe and giving me some much needed perspective: It’s not about me, it’s about everything. It’s all connected. Your two videos are a brilliant meander, and it makes me feel that way just watching.

    The fog, it’s something. Not sure if this time brings the storm, but again, why are we still waiting? Why are we still questioning and debating and believing that sides will make this go away?

    I choked up reading this the first time. Same thing now. But it makes me think. And it makes me want something other than what we have right now. And that’s what great writing does. It provokes you, incites you. As this piece has done for me.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Thank you. What a gift to wake up to this. My mind and body rested a whole 8 hours. I pulled the curtain and it did not reveal the sun. Chicago will bury a good man today. Fog is absent but grey skies are present, and it’s the perfect day for a funeral. Because there is nothing black and white about today. And we have to meander this transition thoughtfully, even angrily to evoke the change needed to make America Great Again. Peace to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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