The 40 degree weather didn’t stop locals and non-locals, all of us indigenous to this planet, from running, or cheering on the runners, in the Chicago Marathon.
Admittedly there is something odd about 45 thousand members of an indigenous species voluntarily running 26.2 miles and even keeping track – to the second – of records such as the 2:14.04 top time set by Kenyan’s Brigid Kosgei for women runners. I can imagine aliens from another planet, ready to invade, having second thoughts because of that, but if these marathons help keep out those non-indigenous species I’m all in favor of them.
The photo I took was from the very last mile at the very end of the race going up Michigan Avenue. The top winners had finished hours ago. If I were a runner and I got that far, which is questionable, that’s where I’d be. About midway under the Chinatown arch what made me smile was a sign that read, “Hurry up and finish, your mom’s freezing out here”.
Run past Chinatown in windy Chicago weather back home to Grant Park
This January I hoped to see a tiny crescent Moon in the morning just before sunrise. I think such a Moon is upside down, but maybe it is right-side up as well. Regardless, the mornings this January when the opportunity arose were cloudy. The expected sliver of Moon did not appear.
While waiting to see if the clouds would clear I recalled an old couple. Toward the end of their lives they behaved like teenagers in love. They held each other close even in public. They smiled warmly at each other. They seemed upside down to some of us although we all wished we would have their right-side up love when we were their ages.
For many of us clouds get in the way modestly blocking reality. I’ve learned this January that all that is perhaps the way it is supposed to be. Clouds in morning sunlight also put on beautiful shows. Besides, it is easy to forgive all that cloudiness when I realize they also wanted a happy ending.
THERE'S VENUS, CLOUDS, AND JUPITER. IT’S WINTER, BUT OCEAN WAVES ARE WARM.
I’ve been to Gillson Park many times. It is on Lake Michigan and there is plenty of parking. It is a little far for me to bicycle, but it would not be impossible. What’s impossible is not what’s important. What’s important is that there is a park here at all and there is a beautiful lake that waits on it like a servant.
There's a haiku here somewhere waiting for me to try to find it.
On a morning walk I am like a bee in search of nectar knowing this richness hides behind color, knowing it could be anywhere and then seeing it, there, right there, in one flower with yellow petals and drops of dew. I put the phone close to it and take a picture trying to see the drops of dew on the leaves but who knows what the photo will show? It isn’t me looking anymore.
Or there it is, in that one tree, in the distance blessed with morning sunbeams, surrounded by the branches and trunk of a nearby tree and below by a soccer field, standing out as one among many trees right now. Even the mistiness of this morning singles this one tree out hiding all those in the background. Just one tree, right now, over there, and why do my eyes find it so beautiful?
YELLOW BLOOMS ATTRACT
LIKE GREEN THIS MISTY MORNING
SUMMER SAYS GOODBYE
The chapel at the college Thomas and I attended had a storage room in its attic. Thomas and I went there one afternoon. We weren’t supposed to, but that made it all the more intriguing. There was enough light coming through a dirty window to see desks, equipment and oddly beds piled haphazardly around the walls. This dusty place made Thomas think of a tale of demon possession. He told stories well with facial expressions that kept my attention. The last sentence of his story, spoken while he looked suspiciously at me, was, “The devil could possess anyone.”
I say that was the last sentence, because at that point in the story, assuming there was more, a beetle, big and ugly, started bouncing up and down on the ceiling high above us. We thought the bug had gone bonkers. Besides, the bouncing was loud enough to stop Thomas from continuing his story with further hints of my being possessed by something or other. We looked up at the bug. Thomas looked at me. He had an idea. While the bug bounced up and down, up and down, Thomas cautiously crossed his two index fingers and raised his arms to target the noisy bug through them. The moment his eyes, the finger cross and that bug lined up so he could get a good shot—right at that moment—the bug soundlessly dropped to the floor.
RUNNING FROM THAT ROOM’S
SPOOKY SPRINGTIME BOUNCING BUG
BEETLE’S TURN TO SMILE
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Lillian is hosting. Haibun should have two paragraphs of prose about something that really happened. I can’t forget that bug. There should be a “kigo” on the second line of the haiku representing the season. Mine is “springtime”. The haiku should break in two parts at a “kiregi”. I think mine breaks between springtime and bouncing when attention shifts from us rushing out of that room to the smiling bug. By way of disclosure, neither of us went back to see if the bug was actually smiling. That’s just what I would do were I that bug and I assume only the prose part has to be factual.
Photos: “Upstairs Toward the Blue”, above, and “Climbing”, below.
My first job was in data processing. The night shift gave me the day to enjoy the city. I mounted magnetic tape onto drives as tall I was. It was a job that begged to be automated. That was long ago. Like Sisyphus, I can still see myself mounting those tapes only to take them down again.
My walk to work led past the Art Institute. I spent an hour each afternoon wandering through the exhibits. I can still see some of them.
One of the benefits of membership, at least in those days, long ago, in what I would even call the mysterious dark ages of my life, was the free coffee that the Institute offered in the afternoon. I became a regular around four in the afternoon with a dozen retirees who were always there and a few strangers who might wander in some afternoon and whom we would never see again. I can still taste that coffee.
Through daydreams blow the breeze of memory. When shadows break I look and sometimes see.