or, I have nothing against smelly ferns
Phil, I love your writing. Every week getting your newsletter is just a pleasure. This issue has so many interesting points.
1. Suburbs as compact
I love this observation of the suburbs as compact. It completely flips the view of the suburbs I've held has being expanse. But the sprawl is the overall view.
The user experience of suburbs is indeed compactness. You have these tiny little pockets. Little islands of activity. These islands are separated by large swaths of land.
2. Do we strive for rhythm
What are we reaching for? Do we strive for normal? Or do we strive for peace? Is normal a state of busyness? Is normal a rhythm of reaching a peaceful space? That notion of rhythm... At IWU, I explored rhythm in my art as a way of crossing the bridge from visual art to music to dance. Rhythms are so powerful, and I wanted my art to capture that power.
Rhythm being the very heartbeat of life. The rhythm of breathing keeps us alive. Rhythms in music encourage us to dance, to go with the flow. In visual compositions, repeated elements create a rhythm tha capture the eye and move us through the layout. Rhythms are so powerful.
And now you touch on another element of rhythm. That of our daily lives. The routines that keep us going. And the value of breaking that routine to enjoy the intrinsic qualities. Doing the sudoku for the love of the doing it. Not because we have to do it. The rhthym for what it is intrinsically.
That's an interesting idea that the rhythm can become wearisome when we do it solely for that repeated aspect, forgetting what the actually rhythm is comprised of.
I've done the same thing with the digital baseball trading card app, "Topps Bunt." Collect a certain card every day so I could get the "bonus" card at the end of the 10-day series. Log into that app and break open as many digital packs until I hit the daily needed card. It got stressful instead of enjoyable.
Yes, indeed. Worry takes anything good, and transforms into bad.
4. M streets
I lived on the other side of Milwaukee on Lawrence, I always enjoyed riding the bus westbound to the Jefferson Park blue line stop. Passing by all the K-streets between Pulaski and I-94. In the short area of eight blocks or so, all those K-Streets must be really confusing. But now I realize that after the K-streets are the L-Streets. Then come the M-Streets. How I never realized this, I don't know. But arranging the streets by letter is another way to help someone know how far east-west you are. "Oh, you are over in the M-street range". It's a bit like how on the south side, all the east-west streets are numbered, so you know how far north/south you are.
Of all the odd coincidences, my sister lived on Giddings St. until just a few months ago. She was the pastor at the Jefferson Park UCC church and lived in the parsonage.