Chicago’s Coldest Day

 

This is our sunrise on Wednesday, January 30th. (Photo by Barry Butler, who actually went out a braved the cold to get this shot!  Thanks Barry!)

Today is, by historical records, the coldest day in 148 years of Chicago weather reports.  Temps are at -21 degrees Fahrenheit. And that is without the wind chill factor, which brings it down to about -50.

C-c-cold does not really describe it. Frigid? Cutting? Benumbed? Hyperborean? Arctic? Siberian?

This is how we earned our nick-name “Chiberia”.

This mural is actually made out of snow!

In Chicago we have a great sense of humor. You would too, if you were stuck in -50  degree temps.  Ice and snow might harden us, but they soften us too. What else can you do but laugh?

This tweet sums it up — by Chicagoan David Taylor II™

Everybody else be like: “Snowmaggedon! Snowpocalypse! IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!!!!”

Chicago be like: “I might be a few minutes late to work.”    

 

We have been called a bloodthirsty city. They even dubbed us “murder capitol of the world.”  But despite our bad rap, there is plenty of beauty in Chicago. If you can stand the blizzards.

Lake Michigan, with its ice and steam, is an eerie wonder. This video by weatherman Tom Skilling is almost surreal.

 

The good thing about the cold is it keeps people inside. No murders will be committed this week.  There is a certain peacefulness to be found in sub zero temps. A silence and a solitude. Schools close. Many businesses close. People have no choice but to gather around the hearth and home. It is in these times we take clues from our ancestors and go into survival mode.

Good thing we’ve evolved out of loincloths!

When it is unbearably cold, neighbors check on other neighbors. We bring each other food. We dig each other out the snow banks.  If someone goes on a grocery run, we offer to pick up stuff for everyone.

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We get the chance to slow down and consider the importance of community, the importance of friendship, the importance of life.

Murder capitol of the world? Bah!

Just be careful when making tea in the tundra…

 

In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of summer. (This is us too!)

            Photo by Sven Brogan.

 

 

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Quote Challenge: Day 3

 

There-is-nothing-either-good-or-bad

 

For the third day of my Quote Challenge I have chosen these words from the Bard. The metaphysical nature of this quote is very, VERY deep.  It is one that changed my life.

The line is taken from Hamlet. Prince Hamlet, in deep depression and much mental anxiety, describes his native country of Denmark as a ‘prison’. His friends, college buddies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, disagree. Hamlet then replies:

“Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good
or bad but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.”

Of course, Prince Hamlet has good reason to see his country as a prison. Hamlet’s uncle  Claudius has recently murdered Hamlet’s father, taking over the crown  (which should rightfully belong to Hamlet.)  His mother Queen Gertrude  has married Uncle Claudius in what was then considered an incestuous relationship. Talk about injustice! Oedipus complex! Fratricide, regicide and Hamlet being tormented by the ghost of his father…

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No wonder the poor guy is half insane, depressed and contemplating suicide. (The famous soliloquy “To be or not to be” quickly follows.)

But back to the quote. One man’s trash is another’s treasure; the glass is either half empty of half full.  However, true wisdom comes in recognizing that there is innately nothing good nor bad in anything, but what we BELIEVE about it makes it so.

If, for example, I have a peanut allergy, then I better not eat peanuts. Unless I want to swell up, break out in hives and possibly die.   But if I am a vegan, peanuts might be my life blood. Unless I want a  protein deficiency and the myriad of diseases that go with it.  I would actually take this idea one step further and say the peanut allergy ITSELF is a result of fear based thinking. The adherence to vegan principle ITSELF is  also a result of fear based thinking. “The thinking makes it so.”

We live in a dichotomy (not to mention a propaganda machine)  that teaches us to believe in the well defined nature of GOOD and BAD.  For example —  Life GOOD: Death BAD.  Justice GOOD:  Crime BAD.

Fair enough.

However, death might be good for one who is suffering a disease, or better still, one who recognizes that in the bigger metaphysical picture, there actually IS no death. Regarding crime and justice, who defines it?  A lot of stupid laws have been written and a lot of innocent people have been wrongly punished. Conversely, a lot of criminals with great lawyers have committed heinous crimes and gone free.

Take politics. (I realize this is a dangerous limb, and  the views expressed are NOT my own.) But let’s just say.  Guns GOOD: Enemy BAD.  Fetus GOOD: Abortion BAD.

Fair enough?

But what if a gun gets into the hand of a child who accidentally shoots himself?  Abortion might be a good choice for one who knows she cannot adequately support a child in the current economic system. (Or better still, one who recognizes that in the bigger metaphysical picture, there actually IS no death.)

However, if you are not going to be able to sleep at night without a gun beneath your pillow, then by all means, keep a gun!  If having an abortion will cause you emotional anguish for the rest of your life, then by all means, have the baby!  Even the Bible itself quotes Jesus as saying ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ Because, the TRUTH is:

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

 

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Orlando

 

give-peace-a-chance

My original post was going to be an angry rant.   I had a picture of that very disturbed young man and my title was:  “Who the f*ck sold him a gun?”

I am still wondering that.  I mean —  the guy was questioned by the FBI (more than once!) plus he was  a bona-fide racist, homophobe, anti-Semite, misogynist, wife beater, connected to ISIS and the Boston bombers, a  veritable powderkeg of terror… And they sold him a gun??  Really??

Really??

But I will contain my angry rant.  It seemed as good a time as any to post this video, to remember this lesson, to actually take these words seriously:

 

Breathe peace. Know peace. Live peace.

Be the solution, not the angry rant 🙂

Orlando, we stand with you.

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