I got back into town last night from a long weekend in Illinois.
We spent two days in Chicago and one and a half in Galena for my friend Emily's wedding. Beginning to know the rhythm of weddings by rote now, but it's nice to see the same faces (generally) at these seasonal events when otherwise we wouldn't be in the same place. We left this saying "see you at the next one," which will be Sarah's next May.
The days in Chicago, Friday and Saturday, where it was just the two of us, felt long and rich. The weather was mild even when it wasn't and we squeezed in a sidewalk lunch early on because that's how you begin to feel at home in a city. We walked in the rain in Andersonville and shopped in a store filled to the brim with vintage finds, much of it tartan. (We bought a pair of whiskey tumblers etched with eagles.) Also there were swatches of pure wool blankets tucked neatly into one of those bookcases navigable by rolling ladder only.
Chicago is stunning and modern; its architecture very much in your face and the rivers running straight through the man-made thick of it all. I have seen its warm days but somehow I feel I could live there in its frigid ones too. I wish it were closer. Something like Boston-distance away.
The drive to Galena on Sunday morning was filled with vast nothingness, impressive in the degree of nothingness, the scale of vastness, and the consistency with which it displayed both those traits. Looking at the fields of crops I felt like Amory Blaine encountering the sea for the first time. Really it touches the distal limits of one's capacity to deny infinity and feel safe by doing so. I feel this way in planes too, especially flying over oceans with no land in sight and water forever below, sky forever ahead.