Goat Rodeo in Chicago

It’s so interesting to me how at times, I can be so connected and then so disconnected at the same time. Know what I mean? Mobile phone always close. So, how is it that I could be dropped off at the Art Institute of Chicago and have no clue?

Art Institute of Chicago on Michigan Ave.

I tried the Modern Wing entrance and walked around to the Michigan Avenue entrance. Peered inside, the interior doors are chained and padlocked. A gal on her bike rode up and looked inside with me. I said to her, “this is interesting. I thought members had an hour to view art before the public.” She said, “yes, I have been visiting on Mondays since it reopened”. “Hmmm.”

I thought to myself, well, maybe they too have staffing troubles. So, I crossed the street to get a coffee. The door is locked. I look inside and lights are off. A policeman walked up to me and pointed around the corner. I said, “What?” He told me to look at the broken window and walked away. I just thought “yikes”. Bad way to start a Monday.

So, onto my phone to find a second Starbucks. I walk there. It’s closed. What is going on? (Still not thinking, I should check my phone for the news). Walked back across the Art Institute. It is now 11am. Other people milling around at the museum entrance. A man close by remarks, the Museum’s website says closed today. I thought, “Oh shoot. It’s hot. I guess, I will walk to Nordstroms.” Off I went. As I walk, I am looking for another coffee shop. No one is open. I am still thinking it is pandemic related. This is my first venture out into the world since March. Disappointed, all I wanted to do was wander inside the museum to look at favorite Asian bronzes and other artwork. I needed to be re-energized for my clay work.

As I walk, I am seeing boarded up windows and police on every block parked or walking around on the sidewalks. I finally find a Starbucks. Yeah! So hot. Bruce calls and asks where I am. He says that he is coming to get me. I am thinking why? He was working about 3 miles away. My response was that I was fine and to finish his projects. He suggested that I look at the news.

Michigan Avenue clean up

So, here I am wandering down Michigan Avenue oblivious to the chaos that had happened hours earlier. The police were friendly. Clearly, out in full force. I still didn’t understand what I was seeing. Lots of broken windows, boarded up. I walked over to the newest Apple store on the river. One of their huge windows was broken. Employees in hazmat suits sweeping up the broken glass, wiping down surfaces, and trying to restore their business.

900 Michigan Nordstrom Entrance

I keep walking not realizing that this destruction is everywhere. (Can you say “naive”?). I am such a small town gal. At this point, I think, I will walk around to the back entrance, get in there. Check out the shoes at Nordstroms. Wait for Bruce to finish work. We will visit the new Starbucks Factory in the former Crate and Barrel building. Then, head home. Bruce calls back, “honey, where are you?” I tell him. He says I am on my way to get you. Meet me at the Freehand Hotel. I head there and cool off in their eclectic lobby. Now, I look at my phone and am surprised by the news with regard to downtown Chicago. I have been walking through a disaster zone, unknowingly. I felt completely safe. Is that a bit naive, too?

All I wanted to do was to be inspired by great art. Sometimes, you find inspiration in unexpected places like this morning. We are home after a bit of a goat rodeo yesterday. My friend, Susan Picking, has a video release coming out tomorrow named “There is only one of you”. Please check it out. Susan is one of those people who is a gift to this earth. A huge heart and love of life.

Inspiration for this song comes from a quote from Martha Graham to friend Agnes De Mille. She said, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent.”

Susan Picking with Vermont singers.
Susan Picking with Vermont kiddos
Singer/songwriter, Susan Picking

Thank you for the inspiration today, Susan. Peace.

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