Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Post-Chicago Ramble

So much for posting here every day in September. I made it 7 days, and then I dug deep into an adventure and focused entirely on living instead of writing about it. I'll try to make up those 3 missing posts though. Just pretend I was playing hookie, and believe me when I say the stories and the peek into a previously unknown subculture was worth it. And will be fodder for .... something in the future.

For tonight, I'm just going to give the briefest snippet of a recap of my trip. A trip that challenged the fuck out of my OCD more than any 3-day trip I've ever gone on.

As I suspected, re-entry was ... not rough, but difficult. I came home with a sleep deficit, which I'm continuing even now because my Muse Dolores wants to write and write and write.

It took driving downtown to pick up a check from the editor of a magazine I'm writing for, and holding my granddaughter Coraline in my arms, and doing a couple of tarot readings this afternoon, setting up a piano lesson for tomorrow, unloading the dishwasher, picking tomatoes, dropping off my jars for the raw milk coop .... to pull me almost back into real life. Almost. I'm still a little bit here and a little bit there. A little bit me and a little bit that adventurer I was for 3 days.

Anyway ... I have to keep moving on even though I want to stay immersed in writing about that adventure.

Just to prove I really did go to Chicago and wasn't simply avoiding the blank page, here's me at Navy Pier. Trust me when I say this is the most normal thing I did during the 3 days I was gone.

Chicago is this big!

 And here I am finally getting some much needed therapy from Bob Newhart (who made a movie in my hometown when I was a kid, and was just as curmudgeonly as the characters he portrays. He was quite the opposite of his co-star Dick Van Dyke, who was just as funny and kind and sweet as the characters he played. Not much acting going on with those two.)  He took copious notes.

It all started when I was a pale, soulless ginger-child ....

When I agreed to ride to Chicago with my friend Roxie Carbuncle, a friend I didn't know well at all -- we'd hung out with at karaoke a couple of times and worked one morning on a movie together -- I didn't even know why we were going. I just agreed to go because I needed an adventure. And, as it turned out, I needed to make an amazing new friend.

I didn't really find out until it was too late to back out we were in the car on our way. And since the story is a little complicated, I'm not going to go into all that just yet. I'll just say we went for an art exhibit closing, and we weren't sure if some of what happened there was legal, and I didn't take off my clothes.

I also didn't know we would be spending a few hours in Chicago with her sister Sunday afternoon before driving north to Starved Rock State Park late in the afternoon. The adventure continued there.

We got up at 5:30 Monday morning and were hiking in the canyons at Starved Rock by 6:30. I'm not lying. I was up and moving at 5:30 am. AfuckingM.

I'm also not going to write about that entire day tonight. But I will share this photo of an upside down rock vagina because .... vagina. Much as I hate the desecration I saw in this stunning park, I kind of like that little heart tattoo off to the side of the vagina. And what looks like a face up above. Mmmm. Vagina.

Of course Mother Earth has a vagina. Duh.
I also managed to slip and slide down a sandstone rock, which resulted in some minor damage to my foot and leg. It was embarrassing, so I've been trying to blow it off, but the swelling got worse today so I'm going to get an x-ray tomorrow and make sure nothing is broken.

Let me just say that in this scenario I'm not describing to you it wasn't bad enough I was the old, fat chick among some lovely young goddesses, but I also had to fall and injure myself as well. Heavy sigh.

This may curtail my cycling for a couple of days.

And finally, this is the first canyon where I took off all my clothes and posed nude on a sandstone ledge for one of the photographers I'd just met late Saturday afternoon. And then did it again in several other canyons along the Illinois river.

Anyone who knows me at all knows I don't even take my clothes off in front of myself, but .... I was living out an adventure. Some adventures change your life, and that's what I was going for.

It worked.

A photo can't do justice to this place. Mother Nature is the ultimate artist.

And that's all I have to say about my trip to Chicago, at least for tonight. Forgive me for being vague, but it's going to take me a while to sort and write and sort and write some more .... So I'll just wrap it up by saying I have no regrets. My comfort zone was no longer comfortable, and this adventure took me not only to another zone, but to an entire new country.

What was your last big adventure -- the one that forced you way outside your comfort zone? Has it been too long? What do you want to do?


  1. My trip took me out of my comfort zone...but I don't know that it was in a good way...

    I'm into taking myself out of my comfort zone right now. I love that you did this. You're amazing. I do hope your foot's okay, though. <3

    1. I think just doing it and getting through it can be so empowering. I've found the more zones I visit, the bigger my comfort zone becomes.

      My foot is sore, but it's not broken. It will heal soon enough. Thanks. :-)