I just finished The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, who deservedly received a MacArthur Genius grant a few weeks ago, and have been thinking of its pages ever since. I enjoyed her stylistic approach to “autotheory,” as she deems it, a mix of critical theory and personal meanderings. Maggie Nelson has long given herself permission to tackle her personal life in her writing, and I find her writing to be honest, brave and sure, navel-gazing but mostly, honest and brave.
All of this is to say that I was feeling melodramatic and lazy a few weeks ago and watched some of the more intense episodes back to back and despite the Kardashian’s flashiness, I found it all a bit dark. Like Nelson though, it was refreshing to see people go beyond sharing the shinier moments of life and open up to include the hiccups, the things that come that make everything fuzzier.
Later that night, I headed to Pilsen for a work event and took my camera out again while I walked around the south side neighborhood as the sun was setting. Indulging in Pilsen’s street life, which I find to be the most vibrant in the city, I snapped a few photos as seven-year-old girls waved to me from their third floor windows, and then I stopped for a minute to talk to a señora about her impressive garden, all maintained in plastic pots, and felt very full and happy. I am a big fan of fall but summer in Chicago is going to be hard to bid farewell to.