Feeling real

in Rogers Park

(a work in progress)

It is early March, and the weather outside is losing its bite. I find myself anticipating a great transition, stirring at the thought of warmer months ahead, and reflecting on the likelihood that this will be the last summer I spend in this city, this neighborhood, this place.

This place, too, is a special place, one that I too often tune out or otherwise relegate to backdrop. These long hours at computers tend to leave me with a particular flavor of disorientation in my mouth -- floaty, ungrounded, a little numb and fuzzy around the edges.

As spring approaches and my senses revive, I have the vague idea that I want to set up this map as an invitation to more fully experience and archive our lives here -- such that it will serve not only as a container for my practice and learning, but as an elbow nudge to not just think about space, but to BE in it; to return, to remember, to look up.

In particular, I want to collect and visualize my walks; both alone and with my daughter, and maybe others too; our bodies moving themselves through space, reorganizing the air, existing here, and here, and here. Walks intended, remembered, tracked, traced. The many coffee-playground-grocerystore loops, the predictable stretches of beach, the invisible shapes our footsteps make and remake. I may also experiment with mapping less typical moments of pause along our way: the trees we say hi to, the stones we pocket, the front porches we like best. What books will catch our eye at what little free libraries? What doorknobs will we touch? When we glimpse (again) our old friends' old living room windows, where will it sting? What thoughts will fire, intrude, loop, vanish? Where will we feel most real?

Under the surface, I intend for this map to hold space for the value and weight of what is decidedly (for now) un-mappable: the feeling of place; the resonance of this particular ground, tethered by this particular gravity, under these particular feet; the subatomic systems at the root of everything; how lucky we are, and how free.