Divided We Stand

Opposing sides of the abortion debate faced off in Chicago on January 15, 2017.  No, we cannot always agree, even today with a new president.

Opposing sides of the abortion debate faced off in Chicago on January 15, 2017. No, we cannot always agree, especially on Inauguration Day.

DIVISION STREET

One viewer’s opinion

by Charles McKelvy

(January 20, 2017) I am writing this with my July 4, 1776 fountain pen from Retro 51 as I watch the Presidential Inauguration of Donald J. Trump. I have many friends who are furiously refusing to watch this peaceful transition of power from the 44th President of the United States of America to the 45th President of the United States of America. They are wearing black in opposition, and many of them will be marching on January 21, 2017 to protest against the election of Donald J. Trump. I also have many friends who are happily watching this most American of American ceremonies with pleasure and pride. The point being, as FRONTLINE demonstrated in their excellent two-part series this week, we are the Divided States of America. But, as the great-grandson of a Union Army surgeon, I say: so what else is new?

We can’t all get along, all the time.

And the election of 2016 certainly proved that.

But here we are on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, watching, or not watching, as Barak H. Obama yields to Donald J. Trump.

If the "P" is for "Presidential," let's hope the Donald can find his.

If the “P” is for “Presidential,” let’s hope the Donald can find his.

We stand on opposite sides of that proverbial Division Street and shake our signs at one another.

We beg to differ.

Well, we bark to differ.

We can’t all get along, all the time.

One side of the abortion debate, and . . .

One side of the abortion debate, and . . .

. . . the other.  I view the issue as a former embryo.

. . . the other. I view the issue as a former embryo.

And yet there stands Hillary Clinton on the platform. She suited up and showed up and even Tweeted in defense of our democracy, despite her bitter defeat last November.

And although I voted for neither Trump nor Clinton for President of the United States of America, I showed up in my living room on Inauguration Day to watch this most American of American ceremonies.

Yes, I was moved, and yes, my faith in our democracy was revitalized.

But am I worried about what tomorrow will bring now that we have had this about-face?

Or next week?

Or during the first 30 days of President Trump?

Fear is false expectations about reality.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring because it’s not here.

What is here is today.

This moment.

This reality.

And for that I am grateful, because I am alive and of sound mind to accept it.

And, yes, WGN television did a superb of covering this historic event.

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The Remains of Winter

(Harbert, Michigan) So much for the predictions of a severe and sustained winter in these here parts. Alas, there is still February.  Hmmm.

(Harbert, Michigan) So much for the predictions of a severe and sustained winter in these here parts. Alas, there is still February. Hmmm.

 

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Cold Cat

"Yeah, I've got  black-and-white fur coat, but I'm still cold.  Now are you gonna let me in, or do I have to get that nice neighbor lady to do your job for you?"

“Yeah, I’ve got black-and-white fur coat, but I’m still cold. Now are you gonna let me in, or do I have to get that nice neighbor lady to do your job for you?”

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Fisher Fenestration

The finely appointed fenestration of the Fisher Building in Chicago as seen from the Loop elevated platform at Dearborn and Van Buren.

The finely appointed fenestration of the Fisher Building in Chicago as seen from the Loop elevated platform at Dearborn and Van Buren.

 

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Travels with Charley: Training Day

My faithful South Shore train heads to the end of the run at Millennium Station.

My faithful South Shore train heads to the end of the run at Millennium Station.

(January 15, 2017) Any day with a train ride is a good day, but a day with four trains rides?  Why, that’s a great day, and the Ides of January was made all the more memorable because I rode the South Shore from Carroll Avenue in Michigan City, Indiana to the Museum Campus stop at 11th Street in Chicago.  Then I walked over to the CTA station at Roosevelt and caught an Orange Line train to Halsted.  From there I walked about a mile (maybe less) to the Monastery of the Holy Cross at 31st and Aberdeen for Mass and a meeting with some monks. Then I hoofed back to the Halsted stop to catch an Orange Line train back to the Loop for lunch, and, as I was waiting for an inbound Orange Liner, what should appear before my wondering eyes on the adjacent tracks but Amtrak’s inbound train 302, Lincoln Service, from Saint Louis.  Have camera, will snap, and snap I did.  Then I enjoyed a brisk and brilliantly scenic ride back to the Loop on an Orange Line train.  I dined in style at Native Foods Café on Clark Street, saw both sides of the abortion debate at Adams and Dearborn (more on that later), and then hoofed back to Millennium Station at Randolph just in time to catch the 1:35 p.m. for a refreshing ride back to Michigan City in living color.  And, yes, the monks at the monastery remarked that I had come all the way from Michigan, but I told them that I had made the trip all the more pleasurable by building it around four train rides.  And then, of course, there was that bonus Amtrak sighting at Halsted.  A blessed day was had by yours truly.  Thank you very much.  Now here are some photos for your trains file.

Here comes Amtrak train 302, and . . .

Here comes Amtrak train 302, and . . .

. . . there goes Amtrak train 302 toward its final station stop at Chicago Union Station, or CUS.

. . . there goes Amtrak train 302 toward its final station stop at Chicago Union Station, or CUS.

Left in the Loop at the Harold Washington Library stop to while the day away.

Left in the Loop at the Harold Washington Library stop to while the day away.

Postcard of my trip from the Chicago Loop.

Postcard of my trip, from the Chicago Loop.

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Light to the World

img_2089(Chicago, Illinois) A careful reading of such books as Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization makes one positively cheer for monks.  They were the ones who painstakingly put the classics and scripture to parchment before the introduction of the printing press.  Monasteries, quite literally, were the beacons on the hills of the Dark Ages.  We have much to be thankful for, and I was certainly thankful yesterday as I ended my visit to the Benedictine Monks of Chicago at the Monastery of the Holy Cross at 3111 S. Aberdeen Street in the always funky Bridgeport neighborhood.  Attend the Divine Office at the Monastery of the Holy Cross, and you will surely hear sirens, car alarms, muscle cars and even chanting at the Buddhist temple next door.  I am pleased to be an Oblate of the Monastery of the Holy Cross because it gives me reason to visit that holy place in a hectic space, at least once a month.  For me: a mini-retreat.  But when I emerge, the city awaits.  But I can wait it out, because I always find my center again, each and every time I visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross, a light to the world of Bridgeport.  Visit: http://www.chicagomonk.org or in person.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Stop and Wash

The local car wash has thawed out, so it's time to stop and wash.

The local car wash has thawed out, so it’s time to stop and wash.

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