Built of Bricks


7.4 miles this morning in 59:58. 6:30am. Saw in an intersection on Devon and out past Western a chunk of street where the asphalt had chipped away. Laid down brick underneath. Settled, old. smooth red brick. Is this what these streets are really made of? I think of the section of Glenwood near Morse where the street is all brick. I’m probably supposed to be reminded of old cobblestone streets with the sound of horse hooves clomping forward. The past. Something old. And how we’ve paved over it for something more modern. New. And maybe I briefly think of these things, but what my mind really sparks to when I see this revealed brick is that I have no idea what is under all of these streets. Every day I run around here–around this city. And in truth, I have no idea how all of this was created. Who laid down that brick that some other person eventually paved over, only to be eroded away by icy Chicago winters, resistant salt thrown down by a (hopefully paid) city worker, and what car tires crunched over it all moving onto what destination? And who am I to look at it? How do I come to this situation?

What is laid underneath me?

I feel there is something beneath me rising up.

Or is it something within me that hopes to eventually be seen as a bigger part?

Tear away. Re-create. Discover.


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    pidge said,

    ohh… I like the picture. I hope you really do get a pocket camera to take pictures with on your run… sometimes, when I think about going back to school, I feel the same way—like something from beneath is rising up. but then I remember undergrad, and i’m like, F that noise.

    i love you. comment soon, I will.

  2. 2

    GustavoG said,

    I’m so glad you included my photo, as you so eloquently describe the same kind of thoughts I had when taking it!


  3. 3

    Re(a)d Robin said,


    I’m always wondering about the many suppressed narratives of spaces and places and it’s the little things like this that remind me that what we see is not all there is to know. Sometimes it’s the cracks that are beautiful and the fault lines that speak louder than the pavement. Sometimes we have to uncover to discover; have to expose to heal.

    It reminds me of MLK jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail where he compares injustice to a boil that must be exposed to the air in order to heal.

  4. 5

    Re(a)d Robin said,

    no problem. 🙂

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