Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cross Country …6

It was a beautiful time to be in Chicago. A time when it’s easy to romanticize the large fountain, the sunflowers, the beach of Lake Michigan (who has ever seen a lake that size?!). The friend Amil stayed with gently reminded us that summer is the good season, that winters are bitter cold and colors fade for most of the year, leaving nothing but a concrete and steel city. Albeit, a well artichetected one. 
Before I arrived in the city, Amil had a few days to get to know it. He ran into the Windy City Wizard, an inspiring and amazing illusionist. After a jaw-dropping performance, Amil heard the magician telling someone how he grew so successful. After seeing a local magician, he begged to learn some tricks, but the Magician told him that he would  have to prove his commitment if he was to learn. He came back with a little magic trick he had bought. “Do you know how to do it?” the professional asked. Little wizard confessed he hadn’t learned. “Then come back when we you can show me that you really want to be a magician. So he learned the trick, practiced it a few times and came back. “What other tricks do you know,? the magician asked after seeing the trick. Little wizard again confessed that that was all. Doubting his commitment yet again, the magician sent him off. Finally, little wizard bought a magic book. A great magic book. (Probably Mark Wilson’s complete course in Magic ;) ) He learned every trick in it, studying them and practicing his favorites of them over and over. When he returned to the magician, he was finally convinced, and so he taught him what he knew.  If you really want something you’ve got to put your heart into it.
Although I didn’t’ get to visit our friend’s house, hearing about it from Amil has made an impact on my decorating decisions. His space was very minimalist in its decoration, but in its simplicity, the little bit that was there stood out because it wasn’t crowded. And because of that, the house was able to speak a lot clearer…if it was louder it would have been more like noise rather than music.
During his adventure in Chicago, Amil was invited to a new-music concertn. Quince? And something color ensemble were performing. The music was dissonant, chaotic, almost tickling. Alternating between laughing and cringing, he sat through it, appreciating it for what it was and what it could be, though he never reached the point of understanding. Understanding something can be an important part of enjoying it, but if you don’t understand it you can still appreciate it.
I was happy to spend just a few hours in Chicago, a city I’ve long dreamed of visiting, or even living in. Shortly after meeting up with Amil, a simple event that proved confusing among the subways and the Chicago city streets, a kind-looking young man inquired (based on the amount of crap we were carrying around- a backpacking bag each, plus Amil’s  pull-cart and my day pack) if we were backpacking, and offered us some bananas. Though delighted by the gesture, we declined, having enough food to carry without worrying about something to get squished. We dragged our stuff to the ‘beach’, pausing to watch the fountain’s choreography to the climax of the 1812 overture, and enjoyed some simple, nutritional raw fruits and nuts, while anticipating the expedition ahead.

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