Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Toddlin' Town

I don't know why but on Friday I packed my camera in the hold, ended up with only the mobile in my bag and, of course, I could not turn this on as the plane glided towards Lake Michigan and the city rose in the distance. I am disappointed because I would have taken fantastic shots of the gently corrugated silvery blue water underneath me and of the vast spread that is both downtown and the great many suburbs which patchwork the land until one can see no farther.

I have seen good weather in many places, but the light and the sky one gets in Chicago when it's sub-zero are something else. I know that some will argue that 'the light at the poles' or that 'the light at the equator' or that 'the light in my back garden', but all of this and more cannot take away the most fantastic cobalt blue sky set off by reflective buildings that make a child's scrapbook look gloomy and sad by comparison. The blue haze embraces everything and everyone, reflecting itself tirelessly from every surface and exploding up and across and against everything, sky, lake, buildings, in a city so deeply bound to air and water. Grand and powerful, spreading out and up like a gigantic, 3-D stamp, and equally swaggering and swaying in the wind, with transparent buildings and flapping flags at every street corner, I harbour stronger, uncharted feelings for Chicago than I ever cared to give it credit for.

To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I think I have found the lake I wish I could skid away on.

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