Wednesday, October 11, 2006

City Mouse, Country Mouse

I recently received an e-mail from an old friend. He was shocked that I live in Tennessee now and said that he pictured me "at home in the city, close to culture and activity and all the other things that come with it." While I wouldn't trade anything for my life now, I ran across some pictures that made me nostalgic for my old digs.
It was the weekend before we moved from downtown Chicago to Joliet. I was twenty weeks pregnant. My mom had come up to help me pack and, by luck, she was also able to attend my 20-week ultrasound. Just a block away from my doctor's office (we rode the bus to get there, of course), in the Chicago Cultural Center, a group of monks were creating a sand mandala. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before.

That's colored sand. In one hand they hold a small metal cone filled with colored sand, and in the other they hold another metal cone. They tap or scrape the top of the cone filled with sand so that it comes out in miniscule amounts, making lines as fine as you can draw with a pencil. You can read more about it here.

That day is so vivid. It was hot, especially for me. We walked across the street to hang out in Millenium Park before my appointment, but it was too hot to bear so we just went to the doctor's office. The doctor was running hours behind, so my mom walked over to Marshall Fields to see what sort of damage she could do while we were waiting. After the appointment we headed over to Greek Town for dinner and stopped at Artopolis to get as many desserts as we could decently carry home. We decided to forgo the bus trip home and took a cab instead.

I guess I remember so much because it was my last real jaunt around town as a bona fide city-dweller. Anytime we drove into town after that we felt like frauds, like the suburbanites we used to make fun of, trying to appear that we belonged.

So while I love my home, my job, my life, I do in fact miss the city, the culture, the activity, and all that goes along with it.


Jennifer said...

You are a Yankee! Just kidding. I have lived in either cornfields or suburbs my whole life, and I don't think I could handle living in a city. I'm impressed by anyone who can, frankly!

martha said...

Besides thinking about culture, you could also think about me sitting in a puddle of urine on the 147 bus. Or maybe about that guy who stole a wallet out of someone's purse right in front of you.

We're creeping along Clark at two miles an hour and my fifteen year niece says "I think you're really going to like it when you move to [Louisville]"

"Why, Giselle?"

"Because you seem to be *used to* this traffic!"

Patrick said...

All those bus fumes. All that traffic. Now you can get all that culture under one roof at the Cracker Barrel.

TLS said...

Anytime you need a good dose of city, come and see us. We would love to have you for a visit. Joshua and Jay are also very much welcome!!!