It was Sunday morning and I had a maximum of 50 minutes to explore the city by myself. I grabbed my camera and room key for the W, chugged a burning coffee and hit the streets. I had no intentions of what I would do or where I would go. I just went.

Through the crisp windows of a business building I saw an art instillation that stopped my steps. All art should not go to waste and so I didn’t let it waste my time. The installation caption tickled my perspective for the rest of my day. It spoke,  

“Enlightenment is diamond- like wisdom. Diamonds are the hardest stone, capable of shattering hesitation and penetrating spiritual darkness. They signify the emergence of wisdom and hope that every human being naturally possesses.”

I stood still as I let the enlightenment “penetrate” my body. I ignored the “No Photos of Art” poster, changed my aperture and snapped away so I could keep the art forever. “HEY, NO PHOTOS!” a very tall security guard yelled as he aggressively stomped towards me. I whispered oh, shit! and transitioned from a quick walk into a shallow sprint. 

“The Windy City” and my willingness to break a rule had me smiling like a child, and laughing like a hyena.  I turned a corner and lost him but found a little bit of me in the mean time. I pushed my hair behind my ears, checked that I still had the photos and skipped forward to find something new.

I found discovery through each angle, and line of those buildings. The details that were once an architects forefront of their To-Do List became an inspiration for my To-Do List.

Contrasts enlightenment me. Shadows haunted me.

Childhood fantasies of seeing the Chicago Theater splashed into my adult enthusiasm. Each window, overlap of buildings and personal patience to cross the street had me realize something…

Enlightenment is important, but more importantly the diamond that sits within us is a choice to explore or a choice to ignore.

And so, I chose what is the best choice– I explored. High and Low. Without my camera and with it. I explored the city –and in it I found the flickering of diamond that is building in me.

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