My Counter-Culture Declaration Of Freedom From Yet Another Luscious Chicago Summer

With the unofficial arrival of Summer 2015, this old Chicagoan can’t help but feel the same two-pronged tingling inside. The little thrill that believes the poet: “Summer is what life ought to be” at the same time the even larger twinge that rewinds the mind to those haunting Charles Atlas ads: “Don’t be that 98-pound weakling on the beach.”

How to reconcile such suppressed passions? A mission you too may re-experience in these lazy hazy days. Here’s my unsolicited advice:

* Never ever squeeze into a bathing suit again! There is more than enough travesty on our screens to add one more to our mirrors

* Try to recall the sweet melancholy of the lyricist’s words: “Beautiful girls/walk a little slower/when you walk by me;” Then hope some do. For these are visions not of quick lust but of quantifiable appreciation

^ Here then my friend you are at least partly prepared to walk the warm sandy steps of Summer in peace. With the consciousness that you are now and forever free to drink in its planetary profusions without the demand for personal performance. The bounties of beauty about you — both natural and human — suddenly become as a great mural to be savored not stepped into. And if that sounds like stepping out of the frame, who is to say the attentive gallery get any less pleasure than the painter…?

Most of the world’s Good Books seem to say the same: “There is a season for everything.” For graying heads and thickening bodies like mins, Summer in Chicago is the ideal season for seeing virtually everything while doing virtually nothing;

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