Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 26

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 26
February 13, 2014

There was a snowstorm today at Lake Michigan. Chicago got about an hour’s worth of it and I was out in its midst at the peak. It was amazing. Enveloping.

Nearly everybody I talk to is just sick and tired of this winter. But I’m feeling a premature nostalgia about it.

Yesterday when I sat in the cold looking out at the lake, with the geese huddled under the ornamental trees nearby, I soaked in the solitude. And I thought about the fact that in very few months’ time this place will be crowded with people every day. Not that I mind that, but it will be very very different from this.

I plan to be here then. I want to come on down and sit here and feel what it feels like; experience the difference. With any luck and some fortitude, this won’t become one of those ‘best laid plans”; you know, the kind that don’t work out.

One of the things on my mind today is the vexing idea of seriousness – as in applied to oneself.

Here’s what’s vexing: On the one hand, you need to take yourself seriously, to know that what you do matters and that your life adds up to something; that you’re doing what you’re here for. This takes a certain amount of seriousness.

On the other hand, and I know you’ve run into this in some form, there’s the taking of it TOO seriously, which is limiting and, depending on the circumstance, annoying too. The condition of too much seriousness is about external limits. It’s rigid and, when those expectations become internalized, self-censoring. This is the problem known as “thinking inside-the-box”. A death of curiosity.

I’m definitely not saying I’m immune to this. I think it’s a human problem, because we build our days on habit and systems. But it’s important to not let that be the rule; to keep a little yin with the yang.

So, in the honor of one (last?) blanketing snowfall and the premonition of spring with its promise of movement and change, here’s a another plan; to shift the paradigm and play a little. Have some fun. Dissolve the box.

I leave today with this, a toast to best laid plans – and the following of them – and the having of a bit of fun along the way.


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