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Gratitude under the stars

Gratitude is such an interesting thing; the more I make space for it, the more my life is graced with gifts. I've noticed that this cycle feeds itself, growing and expanding as long as I stay present with it. This past weekend was particularly graced and was so full of beauty that I cannot help but share.

On Friday my roommate and I went to Millennium Park for a free concert. The Chicago Sinfonietta had joined with The Adler Planetarium to present what they dubbed a "multimedia spectacular". Held in the striking Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the concert featured a fascinating celestial video suite (created by Astronomer and visual artist Dr. José Francisco Salgado) set against the orchestral dance of The Planets by Gustav Holst.
The setting for this offering could not have been more perfect. The Pritzker Pavilion features a very striking proscenium which frames any production dramatically (though to my eyes it looks rather like a tin can that has exploded). It responds well to lighting and can change tone and mood quickly. My favorite part of the pavilion however is the web or net that runs above the lawn and supports the sound system. Not only does this structure disseminate sound well, but it creates a lovely visual as though the star goddess herself were wearing fishnet stockings. It was joyous to lie on the grass on a sultry summer night, peeking up at the stars through a lattice of silver; to be moved by such emotive strains with the wind on my skin and the smell of green things in my nose.
So that our other senses did not feel left out, we enriched the evening with a picnic: salads, fruit, cheese-n-crackers, mojitos and of course...chocolate. I picked up a new bar that neither of us had tried before by Choclatea. It was a white chocolate, rosemary bar (which, due to the tea was a lovely pink-lilac color). I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, and this was not fair-trade but the tea (used for flavoring) was organic and it was a flavor adventure I wanted to try. At first the taste was odd, but exotic melted into enjoyable and the consistency was perfect.
Tipsy on art (and mojitos) we were not ready to go home after the concert so we strolled around the park, visiting the Crown Fountain. Designed by Jaume Plensa, the fountain contains two glass towers which project light and images of the faces of local Chicagoans.
A modern twist to spitting dolphins, gargoyles and urinating cherubs - these faces purse their lips periodically to send a friendly spray to the folks below. This makes the Crown fountain a popular spot in the summer and it is always filled with splashing children.
I was surprised to see how many kids were there at 10:00 at night but it seemed that we were all soaking up those last hours of summer, dragging its coat tails and dreading autumn's responsibilities of school, jackets and closed-in shoes. It was hilarious to watch the actions of the young ones. They would clump beneath the fountain's "mouths", waiting for the next shower. Their anticipation and exuberance was contageous.
And of course, like the blessings that respond to our gratitude...the showers always came. My ears fell in love with these orchestral movements as well; these being of giggles and elated shrieks.
From there we wandered through massive sculptures by Mark di Suvero. My favorite was this one called Shag. I commented that swinging on it felt like riding the testicles of the Iron Pentacle...
...and then we moved on to the Wrigley Square and Millennium Monument, whose grace and form held us there chatting for hours. I had fun playing photographer, lying on the ground and contorting in other odd ways to get the shots I desired.
Truly it was an ideal evening and I felt seduced by the city. After months of change and sadness, I felt light and in love with life again. I was so energized that I was up much to late - and up early on Saturday.

My sleep deprivation was greatly ameliorated however by a meal at my favorite brunch-spot in town, Tweet.
In delightful continuation of the city's attempts to romance us, we were placed at a perfect table on the back patio. We sat in a quiet corner beside a fountain decked with colorful flowers and bright, chartreuse sweet potato vines. The service was exquisite and they did everything short of rub our feet and fan us with palm fronds. If you have not been to Tweet, I highly recommend it. Besides having the best french toast in town, they use mostly organic (and some local) food. They are also the sister of Big Chicks, offering gay friendly events and an intense collection of diverse and expansive art.

Believe it or not I managed to shove even more joy into this weekend by taking an urban foraging walk on Sunday...but that is another post in and of itself. I hope your weekend was equally blessed and that you too are courting and being courted by gratitude.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 26th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hee-hee...he was fine. While he gave me the run around with eating, he was so sweet (and hilarious...damn does that kitty like to talk). I'm just so glad that you taught me the spoon trick. And hey? Who doesn't want to be spoon-fed by a sexy witch?

And thank you...I am very grateful for you as well, more than I can say. I am blessed to call you friend. I adore you! ~ J
Aug. 26th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
twinkling wildly
Twinkling what you said about gratitude and also about Tweet . . . it is hands down my favorite brunch spot anywhere. Not only is Tweet mostly organic and totally delicious but its owner, Michelle Fire, is truly dedicated to the well-being of the community.
Aug. 27th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
Re: twinkling wildly
Sing it out friend! Good food and supporting good folks...it doesn't get better than that!
Aug. 27th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
You have such a knack for capturing a sense of place and feel in your posts. Thanks for sharing them and it sounds like you had a great time.
Aug. 27th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Awww...thanks darlin' - I take that as high praise. I don't consider myself much of a writer (I'm all earth, fire and water...no air), but I enjoy it. And I love bringing you all with me on adventures. I only wish we could share them in person.

I miss you! Love, Jen
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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