I finally feel like vacation has started for me. No packing and unpacking, no airports, no teaching, no emergency rooms. I can do what I want when I want wherever I want.
Thursday I took myself to Andersonville for a long browse at Women and Children First on Clark Street. The bookstore has been part of my life since the early 1980s when they were on Halsted and Armitage. (Ironically I live in this neighborhood now but then I had to take the "L"). Back then we held meetings of the Feminist Writers Guild there and had many readings, many many readings. Since then I've read my work at the bookstore many times and have been a member for a while now. After browsing and purchasing a book and a calendar I met my friend Betty for lunch at Andy's. Later I browsed in other shops before returning home.
On Friday I met my friend Sandy for a lecture at the Art Institute on the French Revolution and art. Although my back hurt after standing up for almost an hour, I loved the lecture about four pieces of art the lecturer chose to focus on in his talk: a David portrait of Louise Pasterai, a painting by Fuseli, a marble head of Comtese de Pange, and another painting by DeSoria of Constance Pipelet. Fascinating details such as, the red ribbon the women wore around their necks during those years meant that they had lost someone to the guillotine. Next time you look at a painting of the late 1700s-early 1800s and see that, you'll know why. Then we lunched in the garden of the Art Institute before the rainstorm came. I sought refuge in the members lounge until the rain subsided. The lounge was full but I managed to find a chair and, after reading for a while, I took a quasi-nap: closed my eyes and counted backwards from 100. It is very relaxing. In the evening David and I went to see the play Immediate Family at the Goodman Theatre. It was not as funny as I had hoped but entertaining. Some of the characters were too broad and almost cartoonish.
What a treat! Next week I plan to go to the lakefront, perhaps the beach, get my feet wet. Read. I live so close to the water but almost never go and yet it is right here. I need to see water. Oceans, seas, lakes. I must spend some time looking out over the expanse, daydreaming. I would also like to go to Navy Pier and take one of those cruises they offer. And how about the public pools? And Millenium Park. So much to see and do in the Summer! I don't want to waste it indoors. Anyone wanna come with?