Monthly Archives: March 2008

chicago

flying home from chicago through steel blue grey clouds, riding the wind on this roller coaster chariot back to my man, the one who says he can’t sleep without our toes wrapped around each other, spooning into dreamland in our new house, the one we have so many plans for. back home to my meowface cat, the surly demon, softer now pummelled with love, yet showing a feigned fierceness to his new fuzzy neighbors longer established. each day i spin wishes of protection around his furry belly that he be skipped over as a coyote morsel as our new home is surrounded by mountains and wildlife does reign supreme.

chicago was wonderful… easy, exciting, new. christina from blue lotus tribal was such an angel… she met me at the airport, hosted my shoots at her home, showed me around, brought her beautiful friends to play photo studio with me.

her 8-year-old son, alex was my little helper. when i wasn’t running behind his bicycle with izzy, the puppy to his schoolyard or being treated to a full bedtime story of lego star wars, he was helping untangle extension cords, then sitting quietly on the piano bench watching… later on he proudly recited to his parents how my gear works… “see that’s a transmitter and it goes to that reciever and that triggers the key light and then the other 3 lights go at the same time.” i’d like a clone of him some day. perceptive beyond his years, cute as a button, so sharp and what an imagination!

that first afternoon i cleaned their house, moved furniture and prepared for shoots. the following few days of shoots lasted from morning til night, most of them booked as far back as september. when it was all over, i lay paralyzed in bed. it takes so much of my energy reserves to help these girls shine. i live for it but it’s exhausting. performances and events are easier as my role is to capture what is already there, to have eyes beyond me in all directions, to document the story, the energy already conjured. studio shoots take all of me. my eyes get spots, my throat is sore from giving direction over the music, my back burns from adjusting and readjusting hair, sequins, jewelry, my knees go weak from climbing things.

when it was over and i rested some, a sweet new friend, tatiana, came to collect me. “show me where it hurts, chicago!” and so began a ridiculously fun day of playing tourist from end to end.

i was most excited about cloud gate, the mirrored bean that entertained me for over an hour. in the freezing wind, i did cartwheels. i laid in the center of it. i made faces at my distorted self. just then katie, from high school walked towards me. i hadn’t seen her in 15 years but her face was like home. i called danny to tell him “ohboyguesswhereiamandguesswhoiswithme!!!” he seems less and less fazed at my adventures as the years go by…

“It’s like she grew up into an adult, and you are Peter Pan!” – danny
at the top of the library building where the angel griffins play, katie said things i had not considered of what i believe to be my dormant years, my high school years. “the impulse was there” she said. her thoughts were sincere, serious…true… old friends are the mirrors i need now… without these people in my life, i would not know my true self…

i recorded video most of the day. all the adventures with tatiana and katie. we had martinis at navy pier overlooking the lake with murray, the sly bartender. we ran to catch a trolley. we tried on silly hats and took photos in front of sculptures. the river was dyed bright green for st. patty’s day.

the architecture was inspiring… warped windows, castle fascades and towers. we visited the bahai temple in evanston and although it was beautiful and intricate, i was disappointed that nothing was in bloom in the surrounding gardens. winter has become this debilitating bland organism that, by living in southern california, i have successfully escaped from. dead gardens just depress me… i constantly need blooming things around me to feel like i belong in this world… that i am part of it. i need blooming people, art and new cities…

at night, i stirred up trouble with some chicago photographers, nichelle and flynn. we met at the green mill, a historic jazz club where we whispered about projects and shared obstacles as fierce poetry was projected loudly on stage. drinks and music and connection and i felt so full and inspired and hyper.

(excerpt from a drunk napkin entry)
…”this is chicago” flynn whispers and jazz plays in the spotlight and the father of slam poetry stops at our table. an aging blind man bangs on organ keys and a stoic rebel hammers the rhythm out on his guitar… there is history here, i feel it in the walls, the tables, the people… chicago in winter is like nyc. the painful cold in my knuckles tells me this. everything made me excited today. the L train, tatiana, the bean, the ferris wheel…

it all came crashing down suddenly at 1am and i slept like a dead fish til just before dawn where i snuggled urgent felines and watched muted colors of a winter sky take shape into a day. christina and i had a lovely brunch. she took me to ‘the alley’ a store that she almost had to drag me out by my ear from. we saw egyptian things at the field museum before my flight…

such an amazingly full trip of new and old friends, adventure and memory…. i look forward to home now… my ears pop… we are descending… 2 weeks of home and then on to new york city and washington dc…