Photo by Judy Chiss
Photo by Judy Chiss

It’s May 6, the 127th day of the year. Yesterday’s temperatures of Lake Michigan were 49 degrees the Chicago crib and 51 degrees at the Chicago shore.

This day in history (from history.com)

1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an executive order creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

1940, John Steinbeck wins a Pulitzer for “The Grapes of Wrath.” In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

1994, Queen Elizabeth II of English and President Francois Mitterand of France presided over the ceremonial opening of the Chunnel, a rail tunnel under the English Channel that connected Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.

We’re into our eighth week of lockdown and it seems people are stir-crazy and cautious – cautiously stir-crazy? For the most part, people are keeping their distance or covering their faces. Some masks are quite attractive, and some ways of social distancing quite creative – as with this girl swinging in a hammock at an acceptable distance from her grandmother in the photo in the box.

In a recent walk, Judy Chiss found painted rocks left on the front lawn or sidewalk of the houses on one block of Garrison Street; - the cat, the car and the creatures in the photo box. In another part of town she saw this twig structure, which, she writes, “was just large enough for a small child to carefully climb in.”

We've all climbed in somewhere. The Governor yesterday presented his plan for opening up, which leaves us thinking two ways about it. What will it take to get folks to trust the inside of any building again? And, what will it take to make folks stay in even longer? The disease seems to be Protean – changing its attacks on different parts of the body, with symptoms that in some people have persisted for weeks and relics of the virus attacking other organs.

In Greek mythology, Proteus was the “prophetic old man of the sea,” and a subject of the sea god Poseidon. Anyone who wished to know the future had to take him by surprise and bind him, but his shape-changing properties often allowed him to elude his captor.

As a group, humans seem to prefer order over chaos, but that’s not always the case. While uncertainty can produce discomfort, change can be invigorating. So here we are – mid-spring, midweek, mid-lockdown. Happy Wednesday.