Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My life starts at the Water Tower in Chicago!


The Water Tower is an important Chicago Landmark.  It not only was one of the only surviving structures of the Chicago Fire in 1871 (October 8, 1871), but it serves as a reminder of what remained after the Fire.  It is a reminder of what the City endured and a transition into something bigger and better later on. The fire destroyed about 3 square miles of the City Proper, extending from the South Side, Loop to the north in Uptown.  The fire left the city in ruins with many dead.  The fire lasted 3 days, destroying 60% of the City Proper.  Though blamed on Mrs. O'Leary's Cow at the time, the cow was later exonerated.  The fire was blamed on meteors that occurred in the Midwest the night of October 8.

[1] "Diebold - Celebrating 150 Years," http://www.diebold.com/150/featurestories_1871.htm
[2] "City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower | Explore Chicago," http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/attractions/dca_tourism/water_tower.html


With Chicago left in ruins after the fire, did that stop Chicagoans?  NO!  Chicago did not lay dead in ruins after the fire.  The people of the city did not look at this as a failure.  The people of the town could've looked at Chicago and said, "Oh, well.  Our city is lost.  Screw it!  Well, that's the end of Chicago.  It'll never be rebuilt."  They didn't!  They rebuilt the city - EVEN BETTER than before!  Today, Chicago serves as one of the most important economical cities in the United States and remains to be an important "economical hub" for the country.  The heart of the matter here is the notion of "giving up."  The Chicago attitude is don't give up.  Be resilient!  With destruction comes rebirth and growth.  The Chicago heart is live your dreams.  Make them a reality.  Sometimes you have to cut your losses and make something bigger and better in your life.  Fire is needed to refine our lives.  The Chicago matter is becoming that change, living it and excelling in it.

75 Minute Architectural Tour.  Part IV: North Branch. September 15, 2012.
18:50.  Of tribune tributes, fiery cows who sling meteors at skunk smelling, windbags.


«   »

Крокодилье время
Даже если крокодил съел вас у вас есть два выхода

No question about it.  My own personal, Chicago Fire blazed its strongest on October 13, 2011.  My life seemed ruined!  Just as it marked my 38th birthday, it also marked a death in my life, the ending of a chapter!  Certainty, trust, and hope perished seemingly after that "blaze!"  It was evident before this point that things were going on in my life, involving many decisions.  August 5, 2011, I decided to leave Broadvox LLC, a company I enjoyed being a part of for 5 years.  This job was very pivotal in my career and job experience.  I believe it has cemeted the foundation of my Career change.  After Broadvox, I temporarily took a job (not even worth my time naming the company here) that didn't last very long and with no clear reason whatsoever, I was fired on October 12.  The fire started!  From that day, I had no certainty of things getting better.  I remained this way pretty much for several months.


Even when the brain doesn't.  On November 13, 2011, I had a vivid dream about Chicago!  I made note of the dream and just as the headline states: "The soul knows what it needs to thrive," I saved the dream.  It also coincided with another date which was synonymous to a change in my life.  November 15, 1996.

November 15, 1996, I made the decision to move back to Ohio.  I was living in Wisconsin at the time and this was the day I moved back to Ohio.  I believe (still do to this day) that I interrupted some plan in my life, and I believe time froze from that point (even moved backwards).  I believe, even at the time, I acted rashly by "chickening" out and running away by moving back to Ohio.  Sure, moving back to Cleveland OH was not a mistake.  The time was used wisely and in that time I was able to grow and prepare myself for whatever lay ahead. 

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

On the night of November 13, 2011, I had the dream about Chicago and I didn't realize what that meant or how that affected me until November 15, exactly 15 years after I made the decision to move back to Ohio.  As powerful and vivid as the dream impacted me, the soul knew what it needed even though my brain didn't.  I sank to my knees and laid prostrate in heart and soul to God on November 15, 2011 without first knowing about the dates.  I had hit bottom with despair and my soul cried out in agony that night, and early into November 16.  Very early that morning on the 16th, after praying ALL NIGHT, I believe I was led to look closely at my Wall Photo of the "Dawn over Prairiewood" and at the times-tamp on the back (November 15, 1996).  Astutely astounded and astonished, I believe God was saying in a way, "Remember that day 15 years ago? This is your do-over.  Don't 'botch' it up this time."  Don't quote that but maybe that was my spirit telling me that instead.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive.  God hears you.  November 13, 2011 (Psalm 43:5).
The picture was taken at Adler Planetarium.  I blended the Weeping Willow to create a surreal effect.

Dream Analysis Log entry (November 16, 2011).
"Dream Analysis (11/13/11): 

I recall my Sunday Night/Monday Morning dream.  In one segment, I was sitting on some sort of cliff and the area was fairly wooded.  Below me was the edge of what I heard someone in my dream say it was "Lake Michigan," although it looked somewhat like a portion of Hinckley Lake to me.  It was a bit marshy portion of the lake and I remember seeing some towering willow trees in the marshy portion which was 10 feet from the side I was on.  It was a narrow portion of the lake.  The trees were very tall.  I was sitting on the cliff, just south of the gigantic willow trees and I noticed the wind picking up and blowing the tops of the trees down towards some other people sitting on the cliff (north of me).  The wind was strong enough to bend the branches down and the leaves of the trees flailed around towards the people there.  I didn’t feel the wind as it blew.  Then, suddenly, the wind shifted directly at me and the willow trees stretched out towards me; branches bending down, leaves flailing in the wind.  I felt the impact of the wind in my dream.  It felt strong enough to where I actually felt like I was being whisked away.  I woke up and pondered for a bit.  I didn’t recall it until now.  Yesterday (11/15) I got a call from a recruiter in Chicago."
This is an excerpt of my dream log from that night.  It describes a remote place where there is a lake, willow trees and most notable in the dream is the WIND.  Those are all symbolic of Chicago!  It became clear from November 15, that I knew what I needed to do.  I needed a change in my life.  I started looking for work outside of Cleveland in Chicago.  It was time to start anew, start fresh, rebuild my life.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

School, paying back debts, helping friends, learning a new trade, cleaning up my life, and growing were all a part of my life between November 15, 1996 - October 13, 2011.  That's not the end though.  God is an important part of this change.  On the night of November 15, 2011, I spent all night in heartfelt and soulful prayer to God.  Before making the connection of 15 years earlier, I cried out to God and asked his divine Hand to touch my life.  After making the connection of November 15, 1996, it was clear to me that God does indeed have a plan.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

In January 2012, I visited Chicago for some job interviewing and to get a feel of the City.  It was the first time I was back in Chicago since first moving there in 1994.  It was then and there where I truly could say: "I FEEL LIKE I'M HOME!"  I even expressed this joy with a few friends.  On February 27, 2012, I took a job with Diebold and they allowed my dream to come true by moving to Chicago.  It should be interesting to note, but the Chicago Fire of 1871 is what made Diebold famous today.  Their safes and vaults survived the great blase.  "They were the most sought after safe after the fire."  I started packing in March after a job training trip in San Francisco CA.  This trip really "greased" the wheels for me, making it more clear to me that I needed to start fresh and rebuild my life from "ruins."  "The fire was a major milestone in American history. It turned out to be a major milestone in Diebold's history, too." [1] Once again I believe my subconscious was speaking to me through dreams (even if from God).  I had one dream that pointed out that my time with friends in Ohio was coming to an end.  The dream involved the death of a friend's horse.  This occurred shortly before I visited Chicago in January 2012.  After discussing the dream with a friend, we agreed that the death was a symbolic one not a physical one.

'To see a dead horse in your dream indicates that something in your life that initially offered you strength is now gone. This may refer to a relationship or situation. Consider the phrase "beating a dead horse" to indicate that you may have maximized the usefulness of a certain circumstance.'

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

This was another turning point for me.   As I transitioned towards a new change, it was becoming clear that some things would come to an end.  This would include relationships or situations -- beating a dead horse.

On September 16, 2012, I took an evening to ponder and reflect on where my life is at now.  Things don't happen on accident.  My life is not an accident or a whim.  I made the connection with my life and the Chicago Fire of 1871!  I need to rebuild my life.  I need that Chicago Heart, Chicago Attitude to make it all a Chicago Matter.

On Saturday the 15th, I went downtown to take the "75 minute Architecture Tour on the Chicago River," sponsored by Wendella Boats.  It hit home and I was inspired by the 'tour guide' when he emphatically stated, "Chicagoans are very resilient."  The tour guide inspired me most about Chicagoans and their resilience to failure.  "Well that's the end of Chicago."  It wasn't.  I know one reason why I am here!

On the Facebook Timeline, I posted this NOTE on November 16, 2011 (6am):

Why so restless, oh my soul?  I know why I'm so restless this week.  Once again, I'm up this early and I can't sleep.  I just spent over an hour just praying!  It's something I haven't done in awhile.  I now know why I am so unsettled this week.

So, while talking things out with God, I believe I was divinely lead to this picture (in the note); this picture explains (or at least sums) it all up!  Why am I so restless?  Why the ominous dreams?  Why the immediate grabbing feeling I had Tuesday when the IT recruiter called about a job fit for me in Chicago (had to check my phone log to verify)?  Why does it make me feel like I need to do this?

Look at the picture in this note.  Those of you who regularly come to my apartment can verify and have seen it on my wall.  I took this picture the very last morning I spent in Wisconsin, just before moving back to Ohio.  Before Wisconsin, it was Chicago.  I remembered pasting a date on the back.  Naturally curious about the date, having forgotten about the date of the picture through the years, I turned it over and looked.  Yep, November 15, 1996, exactly 15 years ago!  Here's the thing.  Thinking back to that day when I moved back to Ohio, I truly believed -- even at the time, I interrupted some divine plan in my life and acted rashly.  Granted, there were things back in Ohio that had purpose through the years, mainly broadening my career, but from that day on, I often think I "stopped" God's time for my life and that I acted prematurely.  Tonight, it became more clear to me.  November 15 was this past Tuesday, and the day when I started dealing with the IT recruiter for the Chicago position.   A lot of discussion came from talking with that recruiter.  It really grabbed me internally, more so with the other job leads I have open here in Cleveland!

Now, I do believe God can use calendar days to teach us things, and he can use them as mile markers in our life.  My life is surrounded by the number 13 for instance and I've never looked at 13 as unlucky but in fact a number of hope.  I've written about the importance of the number 13 in my stories even.

"It was well known of the elves that if the thirteen pinnacles of nature were altered, there would be no salvation. 'Without thirteen, there is no salvation for us,' they all agreed. 'No hope to an end.'" The Omen of the Winged Prophet.

Maybe this past Tuesday is a wake up call or a first step into a change, a first step for resuming time.  That could explain the dream I had Sunday night.  I look at the last month.  October 10, I had the dream that I got fired.  October 12, I was.  November 13, I have the ominous dream about the Lake.  Ok, what next?  November 15 marks 15 years exactly I've been back in Ohio.  Am I being shown something?  Is it just mere coincidence that these things are all happening?  Did it take me having to talk it out with God tonight to get a better understanding?  Did it take me losing a job to figure this out?

I often have thought "what if?"  What if I stayed in Wisconsin?  What if I had stuck it out with things there?  Maybe my decision to move back to Ohio was rash and not part of the plan.  Well, that's not how life is.  Life is a series of moments and decisions.  You can't go back and change it; you just move on to the next moment.  Maybe, this is the moment where time starts moving again for me.  Maybe, dates just don't matter and it's mere coincidence.  Tonight, and this past week with an unsettled soul, I don't think that at all.  I believe there is something to learn here for me.

Now it's just taking the next step to get to where I need to be.  Do the remnants of my life still remain in Chicago/Wisconsin?  Is my home there?  Is my career there?  Is my wife there?  And, are my kids there?  New Faith!

And while talking it all out, I was once again reminded of my Life Verse in my favorite book of the Bible (Hebrews).  Having tears in my eyes thinking about how it came to me originally (when I lived in Chicago)!  Jeff Korhorn, if you're reading this, you remember.

Hebrews 12:1, 2.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Well, I hope I can try sleeping now...
If there is ONE thing that God has taught me this past month (again), it's humility!  It's humbled me.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.  This picture has stayed with me for the past 15 years.  There was a reason I took it that morning I left Wisconsin.  There was a reason I put a date on the back.  There was a reason I had it framed.  There is a reason it's remained on the wall of each place I've lived.  There's a reason.  It's been a part of me for the past 15 years.


After pondering on my life events Sunday the 16th, I can truly say that there is nowhere I've lived where I truly felt at home until I moved to Chicago!  I feel it in my heart and it's becoming an attitude.  I am home!  This is where I need to be.  Although nothing happens overnight, it's going to be a day by day step.  A new change, a new life, new friends, rebuilding my life.  I am home!  I've never had the sense or feeling like I belonged or felt at home than I do now, not in any place I've visited or lived.  It may've taken me most of my life to discover it, but I did.  Chicago is home!

On April 13 and 14, 2012, I scouted out my new home and started moving in.  My official move date was set to April 29, 2012.  Beforehand, when I finally figured out and secured a place to live near Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, the manager of the apartment complex made it a point to say this about my new apartment.  "You have a very nice view of a 'weeping willow' from your bedroom window."  The "Weeping Willow" which stands outside my bedroom window was fulfillment for me that a dream had come true.  Having no prior knowledge or experience where exactly to move to in Chicago, for some reason where I chose to live played off the dream I had November 13 with the Weeping Willows, the Lake and the Wind.  Quite recently, I told someone my Chicago Dream and about the Lake, Willow Trees and Wind.  It was the first time I openly and freely told someone new about that dream.  When I finished telling this person my dream, I saw a shooting star in the sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment