For a few weeks there I got lost in a fold of the season: I was back in the alley petting rats and sharing my bread with birds, and I was biking at night alone and laughing, singing, crying of joy. I went out planting onions. I felt so happy to somehow have made it back here, the improbable labyrinth of dark beauty. Chicago. I put my emotions like balm into the landscape and I felt a knotty fabric tangled at the bottom of my throat.
“The psyche chooses its geography,” archetypal psychologist James Hillman says. We could not all be here by mistake. Many people move with purpose, going toward exactly somewhere. They have set out to seek their fortune, like you hear about in folk tales. The city with its millions of rooms will have to be the medium of their destiny.
Myself– I am utterly lost in gloom. I touch at forms masked in darkness. Flashes of poetry erratically light the city, like the blue sparks thrown off the train. Loving Chicago is like “loving a woman with a broken nose,” Nelson Algren once suggested, putting an aura of ugliness and abuse about it. But a woman is not her nose; loving a woman with a broken nose must be like loving any woman at all. Which is a shadowed enough enterprise in its own right.