Skylines.

posted in: Day In The Life, Quilting 6
Chicago skyline from 96th floor of John Hancock Building. Photo: Wikipedia.
Chicago skyline from 96th floor of John Hancock Building. Photo: Wikipedia.

 

I had an important meeting tonight. I’ve been preparing for it for several months, researching and note-taking, reading and reading and writing, then reading some more and writing some more.

The meeting went well. Very well, even. If it hadn’t, I would be sad and I’d tell you I was sad, but I’d probably tell you about some other thing I was sad about. If the meeting hadn’t gone well, I’d be too sad to talk about it, yet.

Anyway, I came home and went up to the roof of my building. In case you don’t read the captions for the images I post, I’ll say it here, too: That image up there is not the view from the roof of my building. My roof view is good, it just ain’t quite that good.

What my view does provide, though, is a 360-degree panorama of Chicago’s skyline. My chosen city’s skyline is bold and beautiful and, in the night, it glitters and twinkles. Great towers — Obsidian monoliths! — thrust up into the sky, each studded with countless diamonds of light and then, just when you can’t take all that beauty, you get a break. Because the whole of the horizon to the east is open, endless. It’s achingly pretty, prettier than any of the rest, because it is empty. Because to the east is the lake. You can’t build on a lake.that’s why Chicago is the best city, the most coveted place for me. Here, you always have room. (It occurs to me that coastal cities like Portland and San Francisco have this going for them, but those cities are on the ocean and the ocean has sharks. We just have big fish and we’re also closer to Iowa, so… I’m partial, is what I’m saying.)

The three-sided skyline which Nature insists upon, that’s why Chicago is the best city, the most wondrous city, at least for me. Here, you always have room. (It occurs to me that coastal cities like Portland, Maine and San Francisco have this going for them, but those cities are on the ocean and the ocean has sharks. We just have big fish.)

So I’m up there, and I’m dreaming big. I’m excited about the future. I’m looking at all the glittery stuff and wishing on every one of the man-made stars. (You can’t see the other stars, not where I live, but man-made stars work just fine because hey: nice job, guys!) And I’m thinking about innovation and motion, about big ideas and progress. I love all those things and I want to be part of it. My meeting tonight made me felt like I could be, with this Next Big Project.

But then I turned to my left and I realized the open horizon was the best view, the view that actually meant the most. The world above Lake Michigan is limitless. The skyline’s got nothing on her, you know?

Me, I don’t feel limitless. A lot of the time, I feel tiny and tight, confined by a long list of factors that crowd me from all sides. I guess that’s my point. Looking to the east tonight, almost by mistake, I realized how small I’ve been thinking.

6 Responses

  1. Sue
    | Reply

    Beautiful as always Mary. Can’t wait to see the next big thing and need to grab a quick hello at quilt market. See you in the fall Sue

  2. Marianne Greenley
    | Reply

    Although it makes no difference to your “waxing poetic,” (which, by the way, I always enjoy.) Portland is not on the coast. (Unless you are talking about Portland, Maine) If you are referring to Portland, Oregon is about 90 miles from the beach. Mt. Hood is the highlight of our landscape. Always indescribably beautiful.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      *I tweaked it, MG!

  3. Colleen
    | Reply

    Oh

  4. Kathryn Darnell
    | Reply

    As I read about your yearning for hope, the endless possibilities, the peace, the awe of being in your ‘cat bird seat’ on the top of your building, I was struck with the words of an old Drifters song ‘Up on the Roof’. Oh how I LOVE this song. It gives me a special place to get away from the madness of life on the street, the chaos of daily life and gives me a place to go to get prospective to settle issues in my mind. So happy you have that ‘Up on the Roof’ place to escape and sift out priorities in your mind. You can see you true north.

  5. Linda Duff
    | Reply

    Hi Mary … My view of your lake was only during the daylight hours, but on a sunny Sunday July 2nd. I was gazing at the sparkling water with ALL those lovely sailboats, with their crisp white sales and shiny hulls, just seemingly floating on the water. I was enjoying this calming view while on the 5th floor of the McCormick Building. The view was awe-inspiring to say the least, and a peaceful “ah” feeling settled over me before I had to dash off to my next session. (I was in your fair city for the 100th Birthday Celebration of the International Lions Club…along with 35,000 (give or take) of my favorite folks from 210 countries in the world.) (Awe inspiring in it’s own way.) The horizon, with it’s unfettered views, can always cause one to dream big, hope big, and plan big. Best of luck to you with the Next Big Project!
    PS… have a GREAT time at your class reunion. I think I’ve figured out that I will miss the chance to see you bopping around town for the festivities as I am attending an out-of-town seminar. Safe travels on Amtrak!
    Take care .. Linda the Bag Lady

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