Happy New Year, survival, paying it forward and a hello to 2017

2016; a year of swings and roundabouts, as they say. This is just a post to tell a bit of my story of living with anxiety and depression. It’s not me dwelling (and I hope it doesn’t come across that way) I’ve chosen to do this because I’ve found it so comforting at times to read and/or hear other people’s and have a flicker of hope knowing I’m really not alone in this. I want to repay these people’s kindness in sharing their stories by sharing with my own, as a sort of pay it forward… *deep breath*

Firstly I want to wish you all the very best for the next year and your future in general. I hope 2017 is a beauty for you in whatever form that takes.

So here goes…

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Careless

Drawing it out

With each passing day

I’m hurting in my heart

As you push me away

So much is unspoken 

In the year that has passed

Storytelling in silence

To make the hope last
I don’t want to play games 

Or hurt you in turn

I only wish you were careful

If only you could learn

That each mention of her name

And each nod to the past

Just keep reviving my pain

It overwhelmingly lasts
I see you as insensitive

I wonder how you couldn’t see

But I guess I’ve never had the chance

To tell you what I feel

Each time there’s a reason

Every time I try

But you keep on pulling punches

And my heart fractures inside
So please be careful with me

Don’t play games, be aware

That I’m still adapting 

To heartbreak while you’re still there

Not done yet

It’s been a while since I put pen to page

Fighting the darkness on each step of the way

I’m making ground and I’m forging on

I’m feeling a heaviness but I’m willing it gone

I don’t want to give in to the relentless hours

But I can feel it pulling, swallowing desires

Taking my passions one pen stroke at a time

Telling me I’m not good enough, I must still try

I have been doing better with each passing week

But will take a little while longer getting back to my feet

Hiding it from those I love – admitting I’m lost, it’s easy to forget

The times I’ve come trough this… I’m not done yet 

Morning light 

Waking up with a lightness in my mind,

As I realise it’s only a matter of time.

The sunlight breaks through the cracks,

Seeking, tripping, pouring a delightful attack

On darkness, it slices and tumbles in a dance.

A complimentary juxtaposition, cutting silence,

The dust swims between these realms,

Like their dreams are fighting fears at the helm – 

Jutting, falling landing on my skin,

Their ferocious fragility echoes within.

A touch you can see but not feel with any weight

But the comforting warmth of the beams, that I break

With my hands, as they tango in light with the dust,

Reminds me beauty is there – if you look hard enough.

Contrast

When I can see the sun
But not feel it on my skin
When I can hear the music
And my heart won’t tune in
When I see your eyes alight
But the tenderness is gone
When I’m taking strides
Pretending to be strong
In it there’s despair as black as the night
But in me there’s one last flicker, one last fight

Didn’t you know?

Didn’t anyone tell you?
She’s gone, the girl you knew
I’m an illusion of what you saw
Helping to carry her through
Through the “good morning!”
The daily jibes and jokes fly
The facade and feverish delightedness
Until I carry her home to cry

Didn’t anyone tell you?
She’s not sleeping, not laughing
I’m keeping her together now
She’s too vulnerable, a fragile thing
She’s still captivated by your lies
Lead through a dance by your games
I’m desperately keeping her hidden
In the hope she’ll return one day

Didn’t anyone tell you?
How you broke her heart, didn’t she?
Too afraid you’d laugh and shrug
She didn’t because she’s not me
So that’s why I’m here, finding my way
Through her ferocious white fear
Taking hold of her shattered heart
So that all you see is one tear

Didn’t anyone tell you?
How she’s an echo, tethered to despair
Whilst I’m hunting for hope in her heart
She falters, flinches at each glare
With a heavy heart I begin again each day
But with each day I’m more strong
Because I can see she’s not totally lost
I can see she’s still holding on

Crash

Hitting reality with a crash

When I’m reminded how you don’t want me 

After a week of chatter from over seas

Your hot-and-cold returns, my heart re-breaks and my hopes flee 

Thanks for the hope

And thanks for the intoxicating charm

And thanks for the cold hard truth

As the floor falls away, I’m suddenly disarmed

Chicago Baby! A great experience

So it’s come to the end of my travels in Chicago and I’m truly sad to say goodbye to this fab’lous place. As with anywhere there are good and not so good places and bad press, in this instance about gun crime, but my experience is not of a hostile city, as I was lead to believe it would be. It’s not of an unsafe place and unfriendly people. Not a place to feel vulnerable as a young woman travelling on my own but a warm, relaxed and inviting city, with enough to do and see to keep you tripping from one to another all week and still have more to see. 

Chicago Theatre

Chicago Theatre

The food was amazing

Steak

Teriyaki steak at the Jazz club

Salad

Chicken and apricot salad

The views, spectacular

Pano river view

Panoramic view of the river junction

Panoramic​ view

Panoramic view from the Hancock tower

The places to visit, delighful

Cloud gate

Cloud Gate and ‘The Bean’

The jazz bars, full of talent and full of life 

Jazz bar

Watching a band at a Jazz bar

And the city full of wonderful sculptures, restaurants and buildings

Pano river

Panoramic view of the skyline from the Michigan Avenue bridge

Flowers

Flowers at Lincoln Park

Cocktails

Cocktails with a view

I’m so glad I chose this city and would love to return in the summer one year as I’m told the (almost) weekly festivals of culture and music are quite something to behold and experience. 

Chicago Baby! An architecture experience

Having never considered myself particularly interested in architecture other than to go “oooh that’s pretty!” I decided to take a river-boat-cruise about architecture during my stay here in Chicago. 

I was so glad I chose to go, it was gorgeous, seeing way they call the ‘canyon’ if skyscrapers from a different perspective with an enthusiast’s narration about the development and ebb and low of architecture styles, fads and trends. 

Also a lovely story or two about the change in the city’s relationship with the river, how it changed over time, used and abused, misused, loved and now a must-see feature of this booming city. 

How ever you look at it the city has many pockets of different characteristics and each nook and cranny appears to have a story to tell. 

I was so enamored with the new perspective and rich stories not just about the past and the history of Chicago’s buildings but the present; talking about the building we could see being built before us and then looking into the future of what these areas could and should become. 

Overall an insightful and somewhat poetical tip in places. I can highly recommend going on the Chicago’s First Lady boat tour. 

River cruise

Architecture River Cruise – Chicago’s First Lady

A few panoramic shots from the cruise

Pano River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise – Chicago’s First Lady

Pano River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise – Chicago’s First Lady

Navy Pier

A view by Navy Pier – Chicago’s First Lady

The junction river

The Junction on the river – Chicago’s First Lady

Cheers folks,

Josie x

Chicago Baby! An artistic experience

I had a wonderful day yesterday at the art institute off Michigan Avenue, you really could lose yourself for days in this wonderful place, with rooms and corridors full of wonderful art work, and a whole ‘wing’ dedicated to modern and contemporary American art. 

Walking up to the building as I strolled the length of Michigan Avenue was a delight in itself. It holds echos of the grandeur similar to that of the larger London museums, but is grand and delighful in its own right. There are two large lion statues bookending some harsh-cut asymmetrical steps that draw your eyes into the sheer glass and gold doors that invite you in.

The art institute

Art institute off Michigan Avenue

The flags are triumphantly boasted amongst the crisp arches that advertise a few of their exhibitions 

Art institute

Art institute off Michigan Avenue

Walking in you’re greeted by a grand hallway, Some sweeping staircases that make you feel a little like you’ve just stepped into an Escher drawing with a Victorian twist. The high ceiling and windows allow the light to stream in and dance around the images creating Stark contrast to the shadows thrown in and around the corridors and slightly smaller rooms containing more light sensitive artifacts. 

Each room sweeps your eyes up and around drawing you in no particular order to the art work displayed, the natural rhythm of the space makes for a real exploratory experience. People hover and weave around, past and towards the different artists in a lovely ebb and flow, like they’re​ cascading water, leaving pockets of empty space to really drink in the space.

Ground floor art institute

Ground floor of the Art Institute off Michigan Avenue

I highly recommend this as a must-see in Chicago. From Monet to Andy Warhol, hand carved sculptures and armour through-the-ages to immaculate portraits of poetical history. It’s a real walk through time.

Artwork

Sculptures

Armour

Sculpture

Cheers folks,

Josie x

(Just a little disclaimer, I claim no rights for the ownership or creation of the artwork shown in this blog)

Chicago Baby! A sight seeing experience

So today I’m heading to the Art Institute, I’ve been told you need days to fully explore, such is the delight and wonder of the place, so many things to see. 

Here are a few photos from my sight seeing so far this week; from my time in Millennium Park, which is a beautiful space with art installations, a beautiful and large free outdoor theatre, some fountains and ‘The Bean’ to name but a few. 

Millennium Park

Harris Theatre on the edge of Millennium Park

Harris Theatre

Harris Theatre on the edge of Millennium Park

The Bean

‘The Bean’ Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

The Bean

‘The Bean’ Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

Some art installationsArtTyre art work installations at Millennium Park
Artwork

Tyre art work installations at Millennium Park

Fountains on the edge of the park, a panoramic view

Fountains

Digital fountains at the edge of Millennium Park

Fountains digital faces

Digital fountains at the edge of Millennium Park

And my time in the 360 tower, also known as the John Hancock centre, enjoying some delicious cocktails and simply stunning panoramic views of the city.
A panoramic view

Chicago city view

Panoramic view of the city from the John Hancock centre

Cocktails on high

Cocktails on high, on the 96th floor of the John Hancock centre

Chicago view

A view of Chicago from the John Hancock centre

I hope you’ve enjoyed these snippets 😊

Thanks folks,
Josie x