The more I change the more things stay the same. I have returned to this world of urban decay with only the light of my daughter to illuminate this place. Less than a week back in Chicago and the weight of my life seems immense.

But I see the path before me. I continue to work, to create in the hope that I am going someplace. That the vision I have of my work and the future is reality.

Chicago is a dirty place, its streets clogged with the desolation of urban living. The by product of consumer effluence. The snow covered in a grey filth that sticks to everything and everyone. You have to fight to keep it from your home, your food. It is in you here – this disease of grey want.

Life here in the city is a half life. A struggle to find oneself in an illusion of living. It can be a good time, but something here is wrong, and it shows.

One thing that comes to me in thinking of the shape of European culture is that nature seems so close at hand, even in the cities. Its not that there are more parks, its the age of the place in relation to the trees and the rivers. Time has had a hand in returning these edifices to the world around them, slowly conforming to the natural environment.

Something about the way we live in the US is counter to that entire way of life. We fight nature, try to control it, refuse to be part of it. We think of everything around us as consumable, and in doing so we reduce the place of our existence to a mere good, to be traded and discarded as we wish.

How will we manage in the coming decades as we get older? Will we still construct buildings that can be simply torn down again when we are done with them? Or will we learn to add to history in our design, to place something in the stream of time and let it evolve slowly – like an island in a river?


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