Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 23

   Sitting down and thinking back on my own artwork, I can't help but wonder where are all the colors at the Chicago art institute? I have a look at the Marc Chagall stained glass windows and get queasy. It looks like too much whisky, I'm about to pass out spins. No thanks. Now, on the other hand, Wendell Castle had some sensational stuff. 'Magicians birthday' clock, made of woods and metals was great!
   ~Now I am in Millennium park and loving it. Set above and to the east of the two block glass towers fountains are these three metal sculptures. They are each their own color, white, yellow and blue, very nice and technically impressive. Behind them are a series of big blocks, like step seats, each it's own island, set back under some trees and surrounded by ferns. They are perfect to relax and watch the world go by, a soft spot from the summer sun and millions of people running about. From there you can catch glimpses of little kids squealing in the fountain pond, running to the end when the water shoots out of a projected face. How magical it would be to share this view... with her.
   I still find it oddly surreal to see cops on Segways, like a scene out of a sci-fi movie. Walking towards the Bean and I get hit by such a fabulous thick scent of some flowers and bushes separating the flow of people on a walkway. The smell is vivid enough to bite! I stroll through the Pritzger arena, the long metal pipes in huge arcs across the sky, like the fingers of a praying hand making the outdoor area feel cozy. Heading even further east towards the lake, I walk up the curving BP bridge, all cold stainless steel scales, and am struck by the Chicago skyline to the west. There are the old guard whites, greys and brown hued buildings, like stone or bone carvings framed by the newer and much bigger metal and blue glass mirrored skyscrapers behind them. A lot can change in 25 years... I've been missing out.
   The thought occurred to me the other day that this year will be over in a second and I will look back at this as yet another odd period of my life. I kind of look forward to that. LOL, I really appreciate what the good Lord has done for me here, but I am really looking forward to looking back. Maybe that should be the title to my book.
   Yeah, you have a lot of time to think here.
A big city like Chicago is like an ocean harbor with it's ships standing vertical. No wonder we like to look at them.
   I came to the deep realisation tonight at Crawford that I wasn't really saved 20 years ago at all. Back then I was living in sin with Sharon, binge drinking and getting stoned all the time. Another words, if I had really believed, I would have at least tried to do the right things. I wasn't ready to give up the drugs or sex, and that is when my life started to get worse.
   Every once in a while in 3026 it gets quiet and it freaks me out. It's hard to explain, but when you are used to the sounds of 60 guys and it stops, it almost hurts your ears, kind of like holding your breath too long. Not that it happens that often, there is always somebody that doesn't understand where you're coming from so you have to get loud... it seems. lol.
   I just noticed that I am sitting indian style with my legs crossed on my bunk, (20 T), with my notebook pad in front of me. You have to understand that most of my life I would even be able to breathe at all like this before, my guts would have been in the way. I guess the diet is working, lol.
   Two weeks ago a friend said he was going to send me some stuff and still nothing has arrived. People don't realize how important the little things are to people that have little.
   Odd day. I worked out yesterday (After 60 days here you can use the weights in the weight room), so I am sore and tired. It also sounds like everyone is crying and complaining about everything.. At lunch they gave us sslas chips and packages of cheese and some guy immediately complained that the cheese wasn't warmed up! Dude, it's free food! Be happy already, you didn't have to find it in a garbage can!
   I haven't discussed this next thing yet at all, but it's been bugging me... racism here. In all the places I've lived and at jobs I have had, I have been amongst many races and gotten along with everyone, till I came here. In the dorm 3026 there are only 7 White guys, 2 Hispanics and one Asian dude, the rest are all Black. By and large, most are cool, but it is really disheartening when you're sitting in a room by yourself, you hear happy voices approaching, a guy walks in and his face changes to contempt when he sees you for the first time ever. Granted, they are the new guys and perhaps there aren't that many of my race where they are from, I need to be a bit of an ambassador I suppose. I also get that feeling from some of the pastors, a kind of dismissive feeling that shouldn't be there. Many months later, after I had graduated but hadn't moved out yet, I set a guy straight. He was making a grand gesture of how he has Mexican friends, white friends, all kinds of stuff. I told him I don't see race here... I just see Christians.

1 comment:

  1. I also love the downtown part of the city but always feel too distracted by the feeling of inferriority to actually enjoy and soak in the scenery. Also, It kind of brings me face to face with the realization of what my life is and what it could have been...but why do I still love to make mistakes!?
    On the racial subject: I used to work at an auto parts store located close to Madison/Pulaski (completely black neighborhood) and some guys used to walk in and look at me like the aliens have landed. lol! I can identify with that man.