Skepticism

“The path of sound credence is through the thick forest of skepticism.”
— George Jean Nathan

Happy Independence Day, everyone.

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Father’s Day

(Photo response will be posted tomorrow.)

Happy Father’s Day!

“I have a Father’s Day every day.”
— Dennis Banks

Mother

“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”
— William Makepeace Thackeray

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum.

A Lakeside View of Earth Day, 2012

This is my city.

A lakeside view of the city.

Welcome to the Navy Pier.

In the image on the left the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the Shedd Aquarium are clearly visible, and you can see the expanse of the Navy Pier stretching out in the photo below.  Most visitors come to the city of Chicago to admire and explore the beauty of these man-made structures, in a place where old architectural styles are found mixed in with more modern building designs.  However, if you make your way over to the Museum Campus (and you will – you simply cannot visit the city and not enter one of our great museums), it is the view of Lake Michigan that will take your breath away.

Towards the center of the image, you will see the Chicago Harbor lighthouse, still standing sentry as it has for over a century.

This picture (on the left) was taken during an early spring day in Chicago, one with an over-abundance of sunshine and no wind to speak of (hence the placidity of the water).  While the splendor of the city is always worth seeing, I often find myself drawn to the lake, and pass through Millennium Park every chance I get to admire the view.  Without Lake Michigan – the largest freshwater coastline in the world – Chicago would not be the city that it is, or perhaps even a city at all.

On this day, Earth Day 2012, we should all take a moment to think about the wonders of our planet that we take for granted every day, whether they are famous – much like Lake Michigan – or little known – such as a local fish hatchery.  Without the water, oxygen, and edible sustenance our home provides us, our species would have never survived; we would not be here today.  If for no other reason than the survival of the human race, we – as a planet – need to continue to take better care of our Earth, both for ourselves and generations to come.

Happy Earth Day!

Of Legends and Myths

(Photo response will be posted on the morrow.)

Here’s to chocolate-induced comas, to sugar highs, familial laughter, and new memories. Here’s to the happiness a holiday brings, the peace its message leaves us with, and the joy brought about by nothing more than a fuzzy-tailed legend and painted eggs. Here’s to the believers of stories and truths both spiritual and fantastical.

Happy Easter, everyone.

“Holy” Thursday?

I am an avid fan of William Blake’s work, and love the juxtaposition of messages in his two famous poetry collections, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. As today is Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, and April is National Poetry Month, I thought it only appropriate to share with you his Songs of Experience poem “Holy Thursday”. After reading this, I invite you to read the version he wrote in his Songs of Innocence collection – it has quite a different connotation and message! This poem can be found here.

Holy Thursday

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine,
And their fields are bleak and bare,
And their ways are filled with thorns:
It is eternal winter there.

For where’er the sun does shine,
And where’er the rain does fall,
Babes should never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

— William Blake

A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: Chicago Style

(Photo challenge response will be posted tomorrow.)

St. Patrick’s Day was originally created in honor of one of Ireland’s most favored saints.  Saint Patrick was actually born in Britain in the early part of the fifth century.  He was kidnapped at the age of sixteen, and brought over to Ireland to serve as a slave.  Despite the fact that he managed to escape captivity, he later returned to Ireland and is credited with spreading the Christian religion to its native people.  While rumors claim that he died on March 17, 461, the day was not observed as a holiday until the late ninth/early tenth century (as a Roman Catholic feast day) or celebrated until the late eighteenth century (when the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held – in the United States, of all places).

For those of you unaware of how the city of Chicago celebrates St. Patrick’s Day – let me clue you in.  In the mid-1900’s, green dye was released into the Chicago River as a means to track the overwhelming amounts of waste leakage destroying the city’s ecosystem.  According to Chicago legend, the business manager of the local plumbers’ union – the same union that sponsored the yearly Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade – saw the green dye in the river – and had an epiphany.  The river has been dyed green every St. Patrick’s Day since.  To check out what the Chicago River looked like this year for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, click on this link.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

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