Well it took me more than a day to post these thoughts, but here goes…
I first want to thank Manya Brachear and John Kim from the Chicago Tribune for their excellent coverage of my day. I know my brother (who turned 11 on Tuesday!) really got a kick out of reading the article in the newspaper. I’m certainly not in any position to offer spiritual advice, but I hope that maybe someone who reads the article will find a way to slow down and observe and reflect more on God’s presence in their daily routines. That was the whole point for me, and I’m certain it doesn’t take a day-long trip around the city to come to that conclusion.
In the end, there really weren’t too many surprises over the course of the day. I overheard really sweet conversations (like the one mentioned in the Tribune article) and some not so sweet words. However, I believe St. Ignatius calls us to try to place ourselves in other people’s shoes in order to understand where they’re coming from. I didn’t know too many of the people I encountered, but I tried to make up little stories in my head about why they were so happy, so sad, so angry, so distant, or so glued to their phone. In each story, I found it hard to grow annoyed with the person; instead, I found them to be just another “note in the symphony” of the city, so to speak. I’ll try to remember this the next time I get frustrated by a high school kid blasting music through his headphones on the 6:30am bus.
I spent a good deal of time walking back and forth to different churches from the L. Obviously, this trip could have been done in a lot less time if I had just stayed on the train, but I guess that would have defeated the purpose. Each church was physically different and carried a bit of a different meaning for me.
Tuesday by the numbers:
5:00am — Walk out the door
10:12pm — Finish the last segment of the L
224.1 Miles of CTA “L” track covered, much of it repeatedly as I backtracked to get to where I needed to be
8 “L” lines ridden end to end
10 churches visited
$10 spent on a CTA day pass (really made the most out of that one)
Thank you to everyone who followed along and provided encouragement throughout the day!
At Washington/Wells after completing the Brown Line. Thanks to all who followed along! It was a beautiful day in the neighborhoods. I’ll try to post some concluding thoughts tomorrow morning, but for now - after 17 hours traversing this city - it’s time to grab some food, some drink, and hit the hay.
New stations covered: Sedgwick, Chicago (brown), Merchandise Mart
Total stations so far: 145
Brown Line is complete. All lines are complete!
Finish time: 10:12pm
St. Teresa of Avila — the last church to visit!
New stations covered: Wellington, Diversey, Armitage
Total stations so far: 142
Turning around for the home stretch!
New stations covered: Southport, Paulina, Addison (brown), Irving Park (brown), Montrose (brown), Damen (brown), Western (brown), Rockwell, Francisco, Kedzie (brown), Kimball
Total stations so far: 139