The View from the Outside

Photo by Roman.

Graceland Cemetery from the Red Line CTA train.

Occasionally, when I commuted regularly, I would see a coyote or two in the cemetery, hunting rodents or birds. Once one coyote looked up at the passing train, returning my stare. It laughed, imagining the train to be a mobile can of dog food. I did not appreciate the humor, but it’s useless to argue with a dog.

Day of the Dead

Photos by Roman.

The photos below are of a mural facing an alley a block or two north of Devon Avenue along Clark Street. The photo above is a panel from the 2006 “Artists of the Wall” in Loyola Park (I rarely know who the artist is); it has something of a “bad date” feel to it, yes?

As a geezer, my humble opinion is that the southern Mexican celebration, Day of the Dead, makes much more sense than Halloween. We celebrate both, here in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park. But in all the decades I’ve lived here, I’ve never had anyone “trick or treat”. Well, would you allow your kid to solicit candy from someone looking like me? You would if you knew me, but life is scary enough. Not that we’re much good at judging risk; otherwise, I’d not so often have the bench to myself on CTA trains during rush hour. (No complaints! I regard it as a benefit of grunge.)

Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.

Painted Leaves

Photo / Graphic above by Roman.

Have you noticed? It’s Fall.

Fall is my favorite season, despite its melancholy connotations. Here in Chicago, it tends to be a longish, humble period. The leaves of various species of tree turn color at their own convenience, only to be blown away by lively wind or pelting rain, leaving behind their still green neighbors. The season never quite explodes in color as it might elsewhere but falls asleep in stages.

This year seems to have been more quiet than the past several, so the season has gained in the intensity and the variety of its colors. Whatever other evil has been going down in the world, Chicago has been quite lovely, quite vivid, an explosion of color.

Good night, flora. Until next year, sleep tight. Thank you for the beautiful dream.

Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.