From rural to urban; two wonders

To the woods again
I arrived home from work tonight with just barely enough time to get my dogs to the woods before nightfall, and once again we were rewarded with an up-close encounter with deer. It was darker this time than last, and I think we caught the white-tail end of the herd’s return to overnight quarters. We weren’t surprised this time — the humans, at any rate, definitely were not, and I think the dogs had the scent as soon as we left our car — but we were no less in wonder at our good fortune. Continue reading

Content to live—with Yeats, with myself

I spent the better portion of last night sitting around a table in a back room of a cafe/bookstore talking poetry with strangers. It was invigorating and enlightening and enjoyable, and a reminder of how important it is to tend my intellectual garden.

Intellectual discovery is an important contributor to emotional wellbeing. When we aren’t discovering new things, learning new things, we can start to feel stagnant, and that can lead to feelings of ennui and unhappiness. But as busy adults—parents, bread-winners, professionals—it’s easy to overlook our own intellectual needs. We might read articles or books related to our work, attend professional conferences, or educate ourselves about the latest best practices in caring for our loved ones, but fail to nurture our real intellectual passions. While we gain valuable knowledge, we don’t engage our emotions in the process—or at least not in the same way as when we just go learn something for the sake of learning it. Continue reading

Frank Lloyd Wright + Chicago Architecture Biennial = Free Tour (= Sublime)

This is a thank-you Facebook story. It’s also a thank-you, real-life friend story.

Yes, it’s possible to be both.

I’ve been seeing ads in my Facebook feed for a couple of weeks for free shuttle-bus tours to and from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed S.C. Johnson headquarters building in Racine, Wis., in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. They intrigued me, and I had every intention of following through and signing up for a tour. But I didn’t.

Then I went to my book club meeting last weekend, and friend J mentioned that he had just taken this tour and really enjoyed it. I went home that night and made my reservation. Two days later, I was on a bus headed for Racine. Continue reading

Magical thinking: A celebration of the Chicago Cultural Center

I wandered into the Chicago Cultural Center yesterday and found magic.

That’s usually what happens to me at the Cultural Center. Yesterday, magic took the form of the Dance-Along Nutcracker, which drew aspiring ballet dancers of all ages to don leotards and tutus and dance together to selections from The Nutcracker (and The Grinch) played by the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band. I’d never heard of this event, but the sweetness of it literally had me near tears. Continue reading