Metaphors, Mirrors and MO

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Aren’t they adorable? (sculpture at Catholic church/school, Quebec)

I view my life as series of metaphors: when I am eating too many sweets I am reminded that there is too little sweetness in my life; when I was into having lemon in my hot water all day long,  I needed to balance the sweet with the bitter. (Or, accept the bitter that life hands you….); when I find myself wanting something at night to eat, not for nourishment, but for satisfying a taste sensation, I know it’s because I have a hole that needs to be filled; when I am excessively agitated, I tend to think that my heart is not willing to accept something and I then see how my heart has been closed.

Messages are in these metaphors for me. Deeply, I look into my psyche to discover what actually is happening through my perceived metaphors. And, they are acutely personal. It’s my perception and would not necessarily work for anyone else.

One always-present metaphor is the open road. Here is the opportunity to experience all that life is offering and at the same time, there is deep and lasting loneliness. It’s as if the universe is saying ‘here, take it all’, and at the same time, keeping me in check with the painful feelings accompanying my new aloneness. This is not necessarily negative, in fact, it is useful and I tend to grow keeping alert to the significance of feelings and thoughts in my everyday life.

I was at a crossroads when I decided to take this long cross-country trip. Not knowing what to do with my life, yet knowing to continue as I had been was not an option, I needed to kinesthetically experience those crossroads. I am doing that now.

Each person who comes to join me brings with her or Matt,  a new personality for which to challenge myself. All are wonderful people and bring great diversity of feelings, knowledge and interest. I find myself riding the wave of their particular sensibilities which may or may not be mine. I am fluid with their needs and adjust to their modus operandi. It has been interesting to see the way a visitor will show me a little more about myself.  I am continually reminded that what I see in another is what I am inside as well.

I have found myself quite resilient and adaptable.  A good trait to have when there is great loss in your life.

When I left you last, I was about to visit with Matt in Chicago. What a trip that was!

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Ever working …. Matt after our boat tour of Chicago Architecture, does this remind you of anyone? Now, he is helping to manage the tragedy in Haiti.

 

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Maureen Cheever, a former Progressive Education Network board member and reader for Tom’s book, me overlooking the Chicago River in downtown Chicago.  We had a blast exploring the Art Institute, Millennium Park and finding great eats. Maureen helped navigate all this for Matt and I. 

Matt and I loved Chicago. We explored and wandered and navigated the archaic, or plain sadistic parking and roadways in the city. In Millennium Park, we listened to some great music in the theater (they were doing a tribute to Buddy Guy and the music was great!) and spent a lot of time at the Art Institute. jay-pritzker-pavilion-millenium-prk-chicago

The Jay Pritzker Pavillion

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Rodin, my favorite sculptor

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Can you tell the building is zig zaggy on the outside?

There are so many design and safety elements to the building structures in Chicago that I am sure I missed a lot of information while touring by boat on the river. Here are a couple of interesting designs that I could actually shoot from the water:

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The bottom of the photo shows how there is a lip as the design changes.

What became clear were the challenges the architects faced over the years: area constraints meant they would have to build out higher up, while keeping the structure strong; mostly glass sides meant finding the right materials to see through clearly while withstanding the winds and other weather (we did see a couple of examples where the material used for ‘glass’ did not uphold), sometimes not blocking other’s views, etc. It was an interesting tour and I learned so much about how to make the structure strong. It was discovered I believe in the early 60s that if you create a concrete and metal core deep enough into the bedrock, you can do almost  anything to the design of the building, including building outward if necessary. img_0879

This is an incomplete building;  you can see the jutting out to increase area space while adhering to the ground dimensional constraints. 

And, I just like this shot:

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I then picked up my dreamer friend, Janis in Chicago for a 2 week tour together. We first went to visit our good friend, Mary Lois, a retired Dominican nun who is now living at the ‘motherhouse’ in Sinsinawa, WI. It was wonderful to see her environment and how all the women respected and loved each other.

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Janis, Mary Lois, and me

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These are examples of styrofoam art by one of the sisters. 

Mary Lois toured us through nearby Galena. What a wonderful town with gorgeous architecture. galena-street

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Most of the buildings here were built in the 1800s.

Janis and I went on to the Upper Peninsula, MI, Saulte Saint Marie, Canada, Montreal and Quebec. It was a wonderful experience to tour a beautiful country with a good friend.

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Upper Peninsula, Michigan with Janis.

We did so much and saw so much that it will be hard to relay all that here. But, here are some photos to quench your obvious thirst!

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A mural in Montreal – Plateau-Mont-Royal

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Notre Dam Basilica, Montreal

Who cannot be impressed by the Notre Dam Basilica in Montreal? Though it went through fires, it still is over 150 years old.

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In the square in Quebec, a statue of Salvador Dali’s Alice in Wonderland

And, just walking along the streets in Quebec we find treasures:

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A mural showing the history of Quebec (under French and English rule and finally becoming semi-independent: with its own government, but also governed by that of Canada and England – it’s complicated!). 

So many more pics to show, but I feel I might have gone on too long as it is. Maybe in subsequent posts, I will insert older pictures you may still be interested in.

I am learning a great deal about what environment I will be most happy in: certainly not the city! I need the green, trees, beauty and a lot fewer people. This is a new discovery for me. I always thought that I loved the city. Maybe I just changed.

I the went to visit family in East Aurora, NY, Richmond and Mineral,VA, and Asheville, NC. I don’t have many pictures from these visits, except for my brother and his wife, Ernie and Kelly in Asheville.

 

ern-kelly-and-lympKelly, Ernie and Lympia

 

Loved my time with them and I was off to see a sick friend outside of Raleigh, NC. So glad I went!

I am making my way to Sedona, AZ, where I will meet up with Allison. I hope it won’t be this long again til I write! Too many things to share!

 

All my love,

Elizabeth

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