Farwell Pier

“… and said he never knew where else was next, but that sooner or later staying in one place reminded him that where he belonged no longer existed. He’d lived on Farwell, a street whose name sounded almost like saying goodbye.” – Stuart Dybek’s Farwell.

That picture is the Farwell Pier, just a small part of Dybek’s story. It’s one of my favorite places in my neighborhood. From its place you can not only see all the way down to the Loop — downtown Chicago — but north you can see Northwestern’s campus up in Evanston. It made me feel like I was a part of the whole city all at once. Of course, that wasn’t really true. I was only seeing a small part of the city; none of the south or west sides.

But that pier still holds a large piece of my heart. It’s a place to get away from the city without actually losing the energy of the city. It’s my calm place. My place where anything can happen. A bittersweet, but somehow romantic place. And yes, it’s fun feeling like I’m part of Dybek’s story — that we have a shared Chicago.

I think I just needed that reminder today. One to stop and take things in. To let go of everything that’s been pulling me down. A reminder that I still have a place to belong, even if I don’t know where that is.

A reminder of hope.