last morning in Chicago

May 17, 2017

My train the California Zephyr was scheduled to leave Union Station at 2 PM. This provided me one last opportunity to do and early morning walk around the neighborhood where Carolyne lives and one last coffee sojourn at the lakefront nearby.


As I sat by the lake watching folk walking their dogs and taking their own early morning walks I couldn’t help but think on one of the few poems I actually recall in it’s entirety.

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be—
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?


Somehow, it seemed strangely applicable to both this adventure… and to my own reset.

This also provided me the opportunity to capture the back alley I had first shot in the dark in this post… in daylight. Ya know… just for context. Boy, do I love me some alleyways and this adventure exposed me to some great ones!

When I got back and chatting with Carolyne… I told her I had the strange phenomena occur as I was walking the neighborhood of thinking, “Ah, I remember when I last walked this neighborhood… ”  The thing is… it seemed so long ago… but “the last time” had only been a few weeks before… somehow it seemed longer… almost a different lifetime.

Yet, here was Carolyne… someone I have known since kindergarten. There have been long swaths of time that has flowed between meetings… but it has always seemed like just yesterday when we do meet. I can say this applies the same way with every long time friend I’ve seen on this trip. And also applies to blogger friends I have read for a long time and only just met for the first time on this trip like when I met Lime.

Not only was Carolyne and I in kindergarten together… in our tender ages we were also on stage together back in Malaysia. And in our teen years, our high schools were right across the street from each other. Once again, the idea of varying circle of friends in my life comes to fore. When I was leaving Boston, Karim even commented, “Carolyne… I think she was from that glamorous group.” Carolyne might laugh and dispute that description but it kinda illustrates the varying circles that I flowed in and out of… and still do. I think we all do to a certain point… some of us more than most.

It was time to say goodbye to Carolyne. I thanked her for putting me up (and putting up with me)… and more importantly for being my friend. It was wonderful catching up, laughing over colloquialisms we grew up with and sharing episodes in the story of our lives…  some that we experienced together growing up but mosty from our own individual and ongoing journeys.

When I got back to Union Station there would be a short wait before we could board the train. I took the opportunity to take in more of this grand building.

When the time came… we were ushered into the bowels of the station to board our train.

And this would begin the sixth leg of my adventure… and quite the journey it would turn out to be.



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