Buckingham Fountain, Or: Can I Do This In 30 Minutes?

posted in: Day In The Life 7
Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, Chicago. Image: Wikipedia.
Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, Chicago. Image: Wikipedia.


When I arrived home about 90 minutes ago, my internet was down.

Whenever an internate outage happens, I immediately get the prickly heat: Did I not pay my bill? Has the world discovered I am not, in fact, an adult person, able to pay her bills, but a foolish child who cannot handle — and does not deserve — the perks of being an adult? While I could still check on my phone where we are on the whole “imminent threat of nuclear war” thing, I couldn’t post on the ol’ PG, which upset me greatly.

So I restarted my computer and restarted my modem. That’s what internet monkeys have been trained to do, right? Right. But it didn’t work. So I tried it again. And I restarted my computer. And then, thanks be, after some minutes I heard the “ding!” of my email program downloading many, many things that I need to deal with immediately, even though it is nearly midnight. Did I deal with them?


Because first, I must run to you. You, reader. Because I love you. And if I don’t write down my life, if I don’t wave, however digitally, to you, it’s not okay. It just isn’t. You’re stuck with me.

But the delay in connecting to the internet put me behind. Hey, I know my genius, brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning prose seems effortless, the truth is that writing my public journal takes time. Some posts come easy; some come real hard. It’s a mystery, which posts will be which. Some posts might come easy because I had a certain sandwich at lunch; other posts are brutal and take hours (or happen over the course of a couple days) and who knows why — though I do want to point out that if a writer/person takes a real long time to write/say something, it’s because that writer/person is not sure of what he/she wants to write/say. Makes sense, right? It makes sense for me, too.

So here we are, and I have no time. What you’re reading is has been quickly written because I have very little time before the clock strikes midnight. This cannot be polished further if I want to post for September 5, which I do want to do.

What can I tell you in 30 minutes?

I can tell you that very much against my inclination I have gone jogging a few times over the past month. I don’t want to be a jogger. I don’t want to “go jogging”. I don’t want to do 5k runs, or 10k runs, or — ever, ever — a marathon.

But on my birthday, exactly a month ago, I was up at the Island and I just needed to run. I was probably needing to run from something; let’s be honest, people. So I did. I ran three miles. It felt good. I didn’t listen to music. I didn’t go fast. I just did it. What I liked was that there weren’t any screens involved. What I liked is how I remembered “jogging” doesn’t belong to “joggers” and that there is no “right way” to move faster than walking. What I liked is that I forgot that I liked it.

Yesterday, I went jogging. I didn’t go for hours. I went for 30 minutes. It was great. I didn’t do it well. I wasn’t a fitness model in a magazine. I just moved my body through space, outside, with no internet eating at me. I ran through Grant Park and I ran past the great Buckingham Fountain. Had I ever seen it more fully? Had I seen it with more reverence?

I have just enough time to tell you that I had not. I have just enough time to tell you that it was time to make the change.

7 Responses

  1. Donna Glade-Tau
    | Reply

    I thought of you last weekend when I was up in DC camping in Peninsula State Park, where I have gone almost every Labor Day weekend for over 20 years. I wondered if you and your mom ever considered offerimg a quilting workshop on Washington Island.O’d come and probably two of my sisters. One of them and I met you on Shipshewana a couple of years ago, and my other sister met you in southern California.

  2. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    That’s an impressive fountain! I have only been through airports in Chicago–never outside security!

  3. Kathryn Darnell
    | Reply

    Years ago I was a “jogger” and I loved the adrenaline coursing through my body. I listened to one song over and over and over, it was my official running song. Neal Diamond’s “Coming to America”. Loved the dream about people coming to America to be FREE. Isn’t that a strange thing to remember today. I must write a letter to our President.

  4. Mary Lynn Sutherland
    | Reply

    We were in Chicago for two Cubs games this weekend.and we also walked 12 miles on Saturday because I live Chicago architecture. I told my husband “be on the lookout for Mary Fons!”

    • Mary Lynn Sutherland
      | Reply

      Love, not live – but also live, when I can 🙂

  5. Christine Houghton
    | Reply

    Beautiful fountain. I wouldn’t mind jogging around that fountain a few times, and I don’t even jog.

  6. Jean
    | Reply

    Buckingham fountain is on my bucket list to see. I really would like to see all of the Loop area

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