Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Lights, Falling Ice and Chance

Today I was running some errands, taking advantage of warmer temperatures and no precipitation.  When you walk everywhere and end up weighted down with packages, it helps to not have to struggle with the elements as well.  My family knows on rainy, frigid, snowy days, dinner is going to be made with whatever was on hand because I may not have gone to get the goods. I bet they eat bigger lunches on those days.  

Our neighborhood was filled with homeowners or hired hands (I'm thinking the latter) putting up fresh garland on wrought iron gates that surround turn of the century brownstones. All sorts of fanciful lights were being hung in the spindly, naked trees that are in need of a little dressing up at this time of year. Big stone urns at the top of big stone stairways were being filled with magnificent arrangements of tiny red berries, eucalyptus and pine boughs--it smelled divine.  And everyone had their happy face on, knowing that the holidays are coming but not deep enough into the celebration to be stressed out about them and bah humbug-ish. Everything felt right in the world, especially in one where so many things are wrong.  

This is my first Christmas living in an urban area where my daily route takes me by some of the tallest buildings in the world.  The John Hancock is steps away--actually the picture above is looking up at it with its holiday contribution in the foreground.  I found out today that there is an element of danger in living by all these skyscrapers--falling ice.  As the temperature rose the ice left over from yesterday's dreary day was made apparent as it came crashing to the ground. Hmm....with my head in the clouds as I make my way around Chicago, that could spell trouble. Little things I didn't know about regarding life in the city. 

Lately, too, I have noticed that my path, no matter what it is or how many blocks away it takes me from my home, has me meeting up with the same individuals throughout my day.  It is weird and I can't help but think about it at the end of my day.  For instance, yesterday, I saw a young girl walking ahead of me and she stood out because she had cropped pants on it had to be about 19 degrees.  I noticed her walking south from my neighborhood.  Several hours went by, numerous errands were run, I came home to drop off packages, went back out, found myself in a totally different part of town and there she was, still in those crazy cropped pants.  That has happened to me about five times during the past week.  It happened again today--different person.  We never speak or run into each other and I am not sure if they notice me or not.  I am left thinking about the randomness or not-so-randomness of life.  What is the message, if any regarding the thread that takes us through our days or our lives for that matter.  Is everything that happens just chance or are our paths predetermined and we only think we know what we are doing and where we are going.  I'm not really getting to the bottom of what I am trying to say because I don't think my thoughts are complete yet but it is something to think about and I thought I'd put it out there so you can ponder a bit too.  Let me know what you come up with. I'd love to hear.  

Photo credit: bono0@flickr


Chubbs said...

A very existential, contemplative post.

Perhaps we cross paths with all these people (and notice those who reappear again and again) in case we ever get lost and need a quarter to call home... That way, we can approach those we "know", and say "hi, it's me, you know, the girl in the cropped pants that you see every now and then. I'm lost, can you spare a quarter so I can call home?"

How might one refuse such a request when one technically "knows" the other???

Kim said...

Kind of weird even for me that I am capable of thinking existential, contemplative thoughts. I feel much better now knowing that I am able to borrow money from all these "good friends" of mine!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

You see Kim, our life is always connected with one way or another with the 'others'. The soonest we know it, the better! Have a wonderful day my dear. I have great pictures of Chicago. I hope to post them soon in 'taxidiaris'!

Kim said...

Philip, you were in chicago and didn't contact me? I am crushed!! Next time, I will be the ultimate tour guide. And yes, we are all connected--globally we tend to think we are not and look at the mess we are in! Hugs to you.