Architecture in the distance
I started my day by brushing my teeth with my left hand since it’s supposed to strengthen, as well as grow, the neural connections in my brain. I figure that all of us right now could use some new neural connections given that we’re socially isolated and not doing as much physically or mentally. I also decided to run today in the opposite direction of where I’m used to. Who knows what I might discover? It’s my way of making the best of this terrible world condition by pretending that I’m in a new city, I guess. But I didn’t want my mind to think about the past places that I have traveled to like the past couple of days. Although I enjoyed the travel memories that came while running, I actually would tear up and had to stop because the sunscreen would smear into my eyes and blur my vision. I didn’t want that today. It was supposed to be 50 degrees and partly sunny, but when I came out of my building the lake effects made it seem much colder. Instead of going back up to grab another layer I told myself that I would stay on the sunnier side of the streets. Immediately, my mind did go back in time to a travel place, fortunately or unfortunately. It was the day, a Thursday, when I woke up in Cusco, Peru, and I had to be down by the car at 5:50 a.m. which would take me to another car, which would then take me on the train to Machu Picchu. I had to stop myself right there from allowing my mind’s journey to go further because I just couldn’t handle it yet, and I didn’t want to risk tears and have blurry vision from the start of my run. So off I went toward the sunlit side of the streets.
I noticed something immediately that I didn’t notice on the other days for some reason. I could hear the world with such clarity that I felt like my hearing improved tenfold. But maybe in reality it’s the fact that all the birds can be heard so much more clearly now because there are way less cars whizzing by. I heard many different types of birds, too, and wondered what they looked like. And for some reason there seemed to be lots of construction noise going on, it seemed. Oh, and lots of motorcycles. My senses in general are much more keen than before, and I know it’s because I’m locked up experiencing the world through this coronavirus crisis. I usually don’t listen to music when I run because in the city you could have a car behind you and can’t hear it, risking injury, and although I was actually going to bring my AirPods this morning, I’m glad I didn’t.
After 3.1 miles I was near the Lincoln Park Zoo and I stopped and wondered how the animals were doing. I wanted to walk the whole way back anyway so I slowed down to see which part of the pathways I could possibly discover, and that is where I took the picture above. I came home to realize that a part of the city’s skyline could be seen which I doubted at the time since I had my sunglasses on, and also because of the hazy fog that enveloped the whole city. I also found a small patch of a grassy area with Spring flowers blooming along with a few benches on it, which made me happy. I guess I feel like I’m getting away with something since all parks are closed (and this was like a mini park, a gathering place) and it kinda felt like I found a hidden treasure of sorts. I kept walking further and saw a bigger patch of the park that the police didn’t shut down. I mean, really, they can’t shut down every single grassy area with trees! But soon enough they will probably find a way to close this part if not close down parts of it.
On my leisurely walk back home I went through what is called the “Gold Coast” of Chicago which is an historic district with vintage row houses, ultra luxe shopping, and great restaurants. I saw so many gardeners planting colorful flowers and perfecting the lawns that it felt like I was on some movie set. The sun was shining at this particular street with dogs walking by, and I can still hear the dogs’ footsteps behind me as well as the workers talking in Spanish while beautifying the lawns. This part of town seemed to be immune to the coronavirus, it seemed. When I got to Oak Street which is the luxury shopping spot, it was eerie as it was so very quiet. The shelves were completely empty at Yves St. Laurent and Brunello Cucinelli was completely boarded up. This was very discomforting to me. Perhaps I still can’t wrap my head around this ordeal, and I wondered if I could or would go back to retail. So many questions are in the air.
The weather turned very chilly and windy all of a sudden (typical Chicago) so I rushed back home. When I came into my apartment it was so cozy since my windows face East, and the morning sun warmed up my place to almost 80 degrees. I checked my iPhone for the stats of my walk/run and it showed 7.1 miles. I was happy and grateful as I got in the hot shower. A full day awaited me by talking to friends and family, meditating, and writing on this blog. I am sure that one day when this shitshow is all over that I will miss what seems like an eternity of time that I have now. Until then I will continue to find reasons to be grateful.