I had an important meeting tonight. I’ve been preparing for it for several months, researching and note-taking, reading and reading and writing, then reading some more and writing some more.
The meeting went well. Very well, even. If it hadn’t, I would be sad and I’d tell you I was sad, but I’d probably tell you about some other thing I was sad about. If the meeting hadn’t gone well, I’d be too sad to talk about it, yet.
Anyway, I came home and went up to the roof of my building. In case you don’t read the captions for the images I post, I’ll say it here, too: That image up there is not the view from the roof of my building. My roof view is good, it just ain’t quite that good.
What my view does provide, though, is a 360-degree panorama of Chicago’s skyline. My chosen city’s skyline is bold and beautiful and, in the night, it glitters and twinkles. Great towers — Obsidian monoliths! — thrust up into the sky, each studded with countless diamonds of light and then, just when you can’t take all that beauty, you get a break. Because the whole of the horizon to the east is open, endless. It’s achingly pretty, prettier than any of the rest, because it is empty. Because to the east is the lake. You can’t build on a lake.that’s why Chicago is the best city, the most coveted place for me. Here, you always have room. (It occurs to me that coastal cities like Portland and San Francisco have this going for them, but those cities are on the ocean and the ocean has sharks. We just have big fish and we’re also closer to Iowa, so… I’m partial, is what I’m saying.)
The three-sided skyline which Nature insists upon, that’s why Chicago is the best city, the most wondrous city, at least for me. Here, you always have room. (It occurs to me that coastal cities like Portland, Maine and San Francisco have this going for them, but those cities are on the ocean and the ocean has sharks. We just have big fish.)
So I’m up there, and I’m dreaming big. I’m excited about the future. I’m looking at all the glittery stuff and wishing on every one of the man-made stars. (You can’t see the other stars, not where I live, but man-made stars work just fine because hey: nice job, guys!) And I’m thinking about innovation and motion, about big ideas and progress. I love all those things and I want to be part of it. My meeting tonight made me felt like I could be, with this Next Big Project.
But then I turned to my left and I realized the open horizon was the best view, the view that actually meant the most. The world above Lake Michigan is limitless. The skyline’s got nothing on her, you know?
Me, I don’t feel limitless. A lot of the time, I feel tiny and tight, confined by a long list of factors that crowd me from all sides. I guess that’s my point. Looking to the east tonight, almost by mistake, I realized how small I’ve been thinking.