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Bright palette nestled in snow...

This past Saturday I had a date with Tari, which was one of the most enjoyable days I have spent in some time. I awoke to steadily falling snow, and several inches of accumulation - so I bundled up, wrestled the big boots and headed out to the train. Tari met me there and we stopped for some coffee and breakfast in Lincoln Square. From there we commuted over to Pilsen, where the National Museum of Mexican Art is located.

We went to catch the Dia de los Muertos exhibit before it closed for the year, and as always - it was a visual, emotional and energetic adventure. The offrendas were diverse; they were joyous and sad...and of course there were lots of fantastic Catrinas (which, for some reason, I adore).

From there we viewed the permanent collection, which actually included the most impactful piece of our visit. It was a mural named "Ancient Memories" by Mario Castillo. I will paste in an image of the mural here, but I cannot do this work justice. You cannot tell that there are layers upon layers of translucent images here - many of which are connected by power points (like the hearts or eyes)of creatures and beings which make up this shared history. Throughout the painting are ribbons of light or life force, connecting everything and over it all - glossy skulls, invisible save only in the right flash of light, dance at the completion of life's cycle.

My favorite part of the mural was an image of a "Universal Mother" whose lovely, violet-diaphanous form held within it myriad spiral galaxies, stars, planets and mysteries. I wish I could find a clear image of her to share here, but this is what you get...

On an interesting note, this artist works in semen acrylics so that a part of him is always within each work he creates. Certainly this piece is charged...you can feel it. I was almost knocked back a step when I turned to take this in for the first time. If you're doing Feri work, I recommend this mural especially...if it is not a paean to the fabric of love herself, then I don't know what is.

If you live in Chicago or are visiting and are able, I highly recommend stopping by to take this in. The museum is always free and is within easy walking distance of the Pink Line.

After a great day of art, Tari and I chose to walk over a mile in the snow. It was too beautiful out there not to indulge, and I had fun acting like a six year old, catching snowflakes on my tongue and lashes while piping out Vince Guaraldi holiday carols at the top of my lungs. Tari didn't even pretend not to know me...can you believe it?

Once fully frozen and a bit foot-sore, we headed over to our favorite vegetarian watering hole, The Chicago Diner. Sadly the food and the service were VERY lacking (excepting the Miso-based french onion soup) and Tari and I decided that we need to try out some other veggie restaurants in town. There are quite a few interesting prospects...I'll let you know if we find any treasures.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Wow, the picture is amazing. I can only imagine what it's like in person.

Another good veggie place to try is Alice N Friends, near my first apartment off the Red Line. I'm not sure how easy it is to reach via El, but it's really yummy. We went there many times - it was one of our favs. (:

And there's Leona's. They're not specifically vegetarian, but they were our second favourite place to eat up there. (;

It was nice to read about you and Tari's day. (: *hug*

Dec. 20th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oooo...I didn't know Alice N Friends. I will have to put it on the "check it out" list. Thanks for sending this!
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
veggie restaurants
Thai--Dharma Garden on Irving Park near Kedzie, great fake meat, service can be slow
Ethiopian--Ras Dashen, Broadway near the Thorndale Red Line
Soul food--Soul Vegetarian East, 75th and... Indiana? This is pretty much the best restaurant ever.
Expensive--Green Zebra, Chicago and Noble
Korean--Amitabul, somewhere in deep northwest Chicago by a forest preserve. **love**
Indian--Mysore Woodlands on Devon, also Arya Bhavan and Udupi Palace, although I think they've both gone downhill in the past couple years

definitely not an exhaustive list... just trying to think where we like to go. I've never been a big fan of Chicago Diner either.
Jan. 12th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: veggie restaurants
Thank you so much for this by the way. I have been thinking of you a lot lately as I've been planning to dive into yummy vegetarian/vegan cooking. How are you by the way?

Do you remember the stuffed dates that you brought to a ChiRe class at the Torrey's home? What did you stuff those with (if you don't mind me asking). I've been on a date craze (though I'm having trouble finding good, moist whole dates). I feel guilty about it, because they are so not a local food...but I'm possessed. Plus, they have been replacing chocolate for me - which isn't local either...so maybe there is balance.

Hugs to you! - Jen
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 20th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know the offrenda you mean. It was very powerful...I loved all the layers and bones.
Dec. 24th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
This is really stunning. When I'm in chicago, I'd love to go and see this with you. It reminds me of the Star card very much....how cool.
Dec. 24th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I'd love to make a day trip so we can see this together...and yes, she reminds me of the Star card as well, particularly in the Thoth deck. You'd eat this mural up!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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