At Long Last On my first day of a new commuter …

At Long Last

On my first day of a new commuter route to work I noticed something very interesting. First, let me begin by saying that my old route consisted of taking the Red Line ìLî from Sheridan to Grand (southbound), and my new route consists of taking the Blue Line ìLî from Logan Square to Washington (southeast) and transferring to the Red Line and taking it to Grand (northbound). The directions are important, because I am beginning to believe that the whole spirituality aspect is related to this via the drastic class difference.

–A brief explanation of the classes. When I was taking the Red Line south to work we traveled through the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. For those not from around Chicago, here is an example of these neighborhoods: Last night I was looking through Chicago Magazine, and the average single family home was going for $1.2 million, condos — $350,000. My new neighbor hood, (Logan Square) House ñ $400,000, condos ñ 190-250,000. I went from a very white collar, almost elitist neighborhood to a blue collar warm neighborhood. (I did live in Uptown, and it is a very cool mixÖbut alas, this essay is about the train.) Now with the transfer I, also, take the Red Line north. The northbound Red Line I saw the following stats in the magazine about one the neighborhoods service by the northbound Red Line ñ rent is down 175% since 1994, average house is $35,000. Quite a difference!

My observation is this, and any of you theologians out there please feel free to comment, the ìlowerî class people have a certain ease and peacefulness that the ìupperî class is missing. This is evidence by:

A. General disposition. The people of the Blue Line just seem more laid back, and calm. I have yet so see any one get upset because the train is full, or is running behind schedule. While on the southbound Red Line people were pushy and didnít seem to acknowledge anyone outside of their own little world ÖI say hi to people nowÖweird.

B. Tempo. This is the biggest difference, and this may just by my own goofed up interpretation (but it is my blog, so there!), but it is the use of the escalator. Now a day, everyone is relaxed and enjoys the ride, but if I were to go the old school escalator, people were running up it bumping into folks.

These are the two major differences between each commute, but, what, you are asking, is the point? Well, it is a personal feeling of spirituality that I feel on this new commute. The working class people I now commute with somehow are forcing me to reevaluate the world. I see families on the train who, as a family, make less money than I do, and are laughing and smiling. I have seen more hugs of this new commute than I did in the 2 years of the old route. I see tired eyes in the hotel maids and exhaustion in the construction workers eyes. I see pain and hurt, but I also see love. I am getting awakened to a new feeling. I have always been one to love, but I donít know, I feel Christís love. The people I am commuting with now are the ones he was speaking to, and I feel that. And they are the ones who listen to what he said. They are not distracted by their earthly woes, thrilled to be here today and to have people to share it with.

That is it. I am actually feeling community. Wow! That just occurred to me.



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