The trains hummed us into Chicago and sang us into a trance while we traced its streets. It was too quick of a trip but one of necessity. My eyes were focused on the need to do and so, in squinting, the city's background bled into ink. The rain, the fog, the curving steel haze; all shining surfaces lit from within.
We missed our return train despite our best intentions, despite having arrived at what we thought was an hour ahead. Not wanting to simply wait, we decided to roam.
I like Chicago, I always have. I remember my Mom's reassuring hand on my shoulder as I peered into the Thorne Miniature rooms at the Chicago Institute when I was about ten or so. And here she was at my side once more, her presence as loving as always. "Take the photo," she encouraged. I did so over and over, blinking back to stay present. To be with her and on my own, grateful for both. Then as now, our gazes eventually lifted upwards. It is that kind of town.
My bag was heavy and I shifted it from shoulder to shoulder. Walking on, we were stuck in the Loop. But the city's buoyant energy pushed back against the clouds, a mid-western expansiveness snaking between the buildings like the L above. We tucked into a coffee shop and from our perch behind a plate glass window watched the crowds. We exchanged gossipy guesses as to what each individual story might be, printed on the inside in that indigo blue.
My Mom slowly flipped the pages of a magazine as the train rolled out of the station, through the tunnels pummeled with commuters until Chicago pulled away. I gazed out the window, tired but content, as the night fell to black. My heart echoed the wheels on the tracks...thump thump...bump bump...thump thump...bump bump...how wonderful it had been to be in a big city again.
I am going to mix in some of the stories that I photographed while in the States with my regular Provence-y business until my camera situation is worked out...I hope that you will stay with me...
And you still have time to enter in the giveaway for Ann Mah's wonderful book, "Mastering the Art of French Eating" - just leave a comment below or email me at robinsonheather (at ) yahoo.com to express your interest. Thank you for all of the wonderful responses so far! A winner will be announced next Tuesday.
Have a fantastic weekend...