Fun Fact:  Chicago’s nicknames include- The Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City, and The City That Works.

Mr. E.  Today, Seth and I were riding the train.  Perhaps you have not heard, but the train in Chicago is called the “El.”  I was considering this, and I began to wonder very deep things.  For example, what happens during the winter holiday for people to get around?  The angels all sing, “No El.”

Today and yesterday were lovely days spent in Chicago.  I saw lots of skyscrapers and had some good food.  I was worried for a time that I would not be able to collect happy moments.  You see, street performing in Chicago requires a permit, which costs $75.  That is far too much for one day of performing.  Perhaps if I stayed for a week.  I tried to contact a few other coffee shops and such but everyone seemed to have an event booked already.  I was very worried, and then I realized that I could simply walk around with Mr. E. and interview people.  So, as I was sightseeing, I took Mr. E. out and wished everyone I saw a good day.  This worked very well!  Seventy-two people had meaningful conversations with Mr. E, hugged him, or gave him a high five.  Probably double that wished him a good day back and smiled or laughed.  It is good to spread joy.  Of the seventy-two people, I also collected twenty-something joyful moments.  I do not think that is too bad.

Anyhow, Mr. E. and I went to the Bean, and we were super morphed because of its shape.  It really is an interesting structure in Millennium Park.  I also got to tell a few jokes to people inside of the bean.

I was actually surprised by how receptive people were to meeting Mr. E.  People kept calling him Elmo or Grover, and he would politely tell them that his name was Mr. E. because he was a mystery.  It worked pretty well.

A lot of the time, Mr. E. looked up at the skyline.  I must say that the Chicago skyline is one of the best ones that I have seen so far!

I also went to Buckingham fountain and Navy Pier.  My experiment in busking and exploration of what public performance art is has also, it seems, led me to explore public spaces and public art in general.  I keep taking pictures of these beautiful objects in public spaces.  However, the degree to which they are public and private is always on a sliding scale.  This is something that I have noticed changes depending on the city.

I was able to see Buckingham fountain with all of its lights.  It is extremely beautiful.  This is also when I began to notice all of the people holding hands and in love.  How beautiful love is! I know that my writing style in this blog follows a streams of consciousness pattern more than a logical sequence.  However, I think that if you know me this style makes sense.  I need to tell you at this moment what it was that I had a revelation about in St. Louis!

Before that evening in St. Louis I had convinced myself that I would probably never have children although I wanted a family so badly.  The vibe of the studio in St. Louis, however, made me realize that that thought was ridiculous!  So many of my friends were telling me that this thought was ridiculous, but I simply could not convince myself that it was true.  I am still young!  I have plenty of time for a family.

I believe that I have to thank the previous two occupants of the studio.  Con told me that there was a couple in it before.  The lady was from Germany, and they had painted Berlin on the floor:

And, where their bed once stood there were little red hearts painted.  I believe this is what did it.  I had just bound together the book of happy moments from the puppet show.  Several of the moments, as many of the moments have been already, dealt with parents seeing their children for the first time, hearing their child laugh, getting to hold them for the first time.  It seems that being a parent brings much joy.  I was sad that perhaps I would not get to experience this.  Then, I saw the hearts, and it hit me.  I will!  Perhaps it will not happen exactly as I imagine it, but that is fine.  I will take it as it comes, and I can be happy with what I am given.  I started crying I was so happy.

I get nervous when I post things that are so personal on here, but I hope that you were able to find a bit of joy in it too.  I know that it made me feel immensely better!

Back to Chicago:

After exploring all over downtown, I took the El, which is a really nice ride, to the Neo-Futurist theatre.  I saw Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (T.M.L.M.T.B.G.B.).  It was a really good show.  I love how quick each of the plays is!  For those of you who do not know.  This production changes each week with different plays.  Essentially, it is an attempt to produce 30 plays in 60 minutes.  Sometimes there is audience interaction.  Sometimes there is not.  Usually it is funny.  Sometimes it is poetic.  It was an amazing show.  It is all based on chance and anything that happens in the theater simply becomes part of the production.  Quite fun!

One particular play that touched me involved one of the actors climbing over chairs and setting up ladders to climb over them as she recited a poem.  Each time she would finish climbing over something, another actor would cover that chair or ladder with a white cloth. The poem dealt with a home and objects in a home that only have value as long as that person is alive.  Essentially, it urged people to make each moment home rather than a particular place.  Beautiful.

For tomorrow I say goodbye to Chicago.  Thank you Jason for letting me stay in your place.  It is extremely nice.  Tomorrow I say hello to Columbus, Ohio.  I have nearly collected joy from coast to coast of the United States.  I have learned so much on this journey, and I hope to continue to learn more.