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NO MORE EXCUSES — I’M TAKING A PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS!

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LATEST BLOG POST!

As a 50+ year old woman, I find increasingly that my life becomes more and more rich and interesting. Why? I think it’s because I’m not enmeshed in building a career, or proving myself to others that as an African American or as a woman that I can do the job, handle a challenge or am worthy of any accolades or position I hold. I am  not saddled with the fear of not being married nor am I no longer obsessed with hoping everyone likes and approves of me.

As a result, I’m free to enjoy aspects of life at a level not yet experienced to date and to try new things.  I’m clear that as I approach the third act of my life that doing things that have been on the back burner, exciting times, opportunities and new experiences are forever unfolding!

An example of something that I’ve had on the back burner for years is my desire to take a photography class. I have been saying I’m going to do this for what seems like forever. Well, I’m waiting no longer —  I have finally registered to take a class at Blue 1647.

Located in the Pilsen community in Chicago, Blue 1647 is an entrepreneurial and tech organization that provides a space for racially and ethnically diverse groups of children, teens and women to develop their technical skills. They even offer workshops for fledgling inventors.  They host a number of hack-a-thons and coding classes, and with all this innovation, Blue 1647  even offers a a 1919 program for women to develop expertise in graphic design, photography, public speaking, entrepreneurship and Word Press.

This is Blue 1647’s unique  approach to community development, involvement, building and closing technological gaps among people of color.  And it’s a really good one, I might add.

I love interesting photos, and I’ve often wondered what actually goes into creating a picture like Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Moneta Sleet’s iconic photo of Coretta Scott King and daughter Bernice (Bunny) at Dr. King’s funeral. Or how about a photo of a delectable plate of food (photo below taken by me) that makes you want to reach out to take a bite of it? “How did that photographer get that shot just right,” or “How did she/he capture the emotion I’m feeling?”  These are questions I’ve often asked myself when I have come across an impactful photo.

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In our first class, co-led by Amber Marie Green and Rashad Sallee, we were introduced to Shutter Speed, Iso and Aperture; we were also even given a chance to shoot photos of activities going on at Blue 1647! Not bad for my first time handling a DSLR camera!

I’m excited about doing something completely out of my comfort zone.  Women, who are age 50+, LIFE IS JUST BEGINNING! Embrace it with everything you have!

 

 

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DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Musings on a Helicopter Tour and Being Daring at 50+ Years Old!

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NEW BLOG POST!

Recently, at a conference I attended in California, I met Katie Wilks, a representative from the travel and ticketing resource company Mighty Mongoose. This company has developed a reputation for offering exciting and fun ways to explore major cities across America through a wide range of attractions, tours and events.

After being given the opportunity as a blogger to experience one of their tours, I set out to select something different  — something that I wouldn’t ordinarily position myself to do.  I could have picked any one of their great offerings — a Walking Italian Food Tour, The Botanic Gardens (I’ve never visited there) and several trolley and bus tours. Although these were all packaged nicely, the one that stood out was The Helicopter Tour of Downtown Chicago. It was as if neon lights encircled it.

I have wanted to do something daring for quite some time!  When I was a child, I vowed that I would be a skydiver when I grew up.  I was that kid who was always enamored with people who were mountain climbers or something that had an element of risk.

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Photo: We (that’s me on the left) are in the cabin of the “copter”

Now, I must admit — I had to give taking advantage of this helicopter excursion a second thought.  After all, when I first dreamed of skydiving, I was a kid.  Now I’m a 50+ woman, who likes daring, but with caution. After I did due diligence, but more importantly after I thought about how I would feel if I didn’t go on the ride, I said yes!!!  I’m at that stage in life where I don’t want to let fear hold me back — it’s now or never!

Mighty Mongoose was gracious enough to allow me to bring a guest along for this exciting opportunity, so I ran a “Can You Guess My Favorite American City Contest” on my  This…I…Do…For…Me (TIDFM) Facebook Page!

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Twanda Gates of Milwaukee, Wisconsin guessed correctly — San Francisco!  Love that city!  Twanda, like me, loves to travel, and even more ironic, she has a bucket list of things to experience and a helicopter ride was on it!

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I just love when a plan comes together, especially when it involves playing a role in helping to bring someone’s dream to fruition.

Upon arrival at Chicago’s premier helicopter tour company Rotorzen, located at 1339 S. Wood Street,  we were given an orientation by its professional staff.  We were given an overview of the helicopter that we would ride in and the iconic Chicago sites we would see.  We then met the man of the hour — our experienced pilot, Travis, who would guide us on this excursion! By the way, Rotorzen operates out of the largest heliport in North America.

As we took off on Saturday, September 10, 2016, at 2:30 p.m., I and Twanda took a deep breath, then relaxed long enough to enjoy a new experience.

It’s one thing to see The Willis Tower, Millennium Park, The Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Soilder Field, Navy Pier, Trump Tower and even Lincoln Park Zoo all on ground level, but to see these well known sites well above 1,000 feet, is awe-inspiring.  All I could keep thinking was “I AM ACTUALLY DOING THIS!”

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TIDFM contest winner Twanda Gates put it this way, “The helicopter ride was such an exhilarating experience.  The pilot was personable and professional, and he was an excellent tour guide. Thanks to TIDFM and the excursion sponsor Mighty Mongoose for my first helicopter tour.”

As I reflect on this wonderful day, I can’t help but to feel encouraged by the fact that just because you’re 50+ years old, your dreams (both postponed or denied) can still manifest.

Too many times we look at situations and opportunities from the view point that we are way too old to try something new and daring.  We feel it’s too late, so we over enmesh ourselves  in other things and other people to compensate for our fear.  This is not healthy.  We want a balance between doing our thing and assisting others to do theirs.

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Too many times we say we are going to do something after we lose some weight, or after the kids are off to college or some other moment in time.  The time is now! Stop putting things off and LIVE!

Make a list of those things you want to do, do them, and add new items to the list on a regular basis. You will be amazed at yourself.

Thank you Mighty Mongoose and Rotorzen Tours for playing a role in me living my dreams.

 

All Photos Were Taken by Robin Tillotson and Twanda Gates

 

A RECAP: ONE YEAR OF THIS…I…DO…FOR…ME!

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It was exactly one year on August 15, 2015 that I launched This…I…Do…For…Me (TIDFM)! It has been a year of tremendous growth, creativity, meeting fascinating people, traveling to places that I thought I’d never visit and stepping out with the belief that I could carry TIDFM off into the world for the benefit of women who are 50 years of age and older!

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I am most proud of the business’s website thisidoforme.com; this is the pipeline for posting information for our clients and readers in the areas of Art/Literature, Theater/Dance, Music/Concerts, Food/Restaurants, For the Soul, and Travel. I chose to focus on these areas for the website, as well as the blog thisidoforme.wordpress.com because activities, outings and excursions would serve as the focal point to encourage our target population to immerse and treat themselves, particularly since they have spent countless years caring for others.

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Here are some of the fun things that I, along with my adventurous clients explored this past year:

TRAVEL

In September 2015 – It was 11 cities in France – Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, Monaco, St. Paul de Vence, St. Balme Maxime, Nice, Lyon and St. Tropez! I left feeling like France was my home.

In November 2015 – It was magnificent Sydney, Australia! I have a trip planned for eight people planned in November 2017!

In January 2016 – It was the beautiful shores of Orange County and Los Angeles, California!  Shopping and sheer relaxation was the order of day for a solid week.

In June 2016 – I had the honor of traveling to Madrid, Salamanca and La Alberca, Spain! It was here that I fell in love with the culture, the magnificent food and the warm and loving people. I even had the chance to take a short side trip to Dublin, Ireland! I must go back there if for no other reason than I must spend more time in some of neighborhood pubs that are full of life, laughter and good food to accompany that fun environment.

ON THE TRAVEL RADAR FOR 2017:

It’s looking like Atlanta, Georgia in January, Cuba in February and back to Sydney, Australia in November 2017! Life is Good!

THEATER AND DANCE

Some of the theater outings that TIDFM clients participated in included Byhalia, Mississippi at The Steppenwolf Theater, Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window at The Goodman Theater, the musical 42nd Street at The Cadillac Palace Theater, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at The Oriental Theater and Satchmo at the Waldorf at Hyde Park’s Court Theater.

ON THE THEATER AND DANCE RADAR FOR 2017:

The critically acclaimed Hamilton (hopefully my group’s name will move up the wait list)! If I see nothing else except Hamilton in 2017, it will have been a good year.

FOOD AND RESTAURANTS

Yes, I and my clients love to eat! I, along with food critic Eleni Murphy reviewed some interesting restaurants. Eleni even shared some of her London, England favs. Oftentimes, these restaurants were sampled following a theater performance. What a way to top off a great production!

Here are some of the restaurants visited and reviewed during TIDFM’s first year of operation:

1. Café Ba Ba Reeba (Chicago, Illinois)
2. Sobrino de Botin (Madrid, Spain)
3. NAC (London, England)
4. Kappacasein Dairy (London, England)
5. Granger and Co (London, England)
6. Berners Tavern (London, England)
7. Sweet Mandy B’s (Chicago, Illinois)
8. Del Seoul (Chicago, Illinois)
9. Summer House Santa Monica (Chicago, Illinois)
10. Dove’s Luncheonette (Chicago, Illinois)
11. Cemetia’s Puebla (Chicago, Illinois)
12. Nini’s Deli (Chicago, Illinois)
13. Podhalanka (Chicago, Illinois)
14. Mercado San Miguel (Madrid, Spain)

ON THE FOOD AND RESTAURANT RADAR IN 2017

1. Army Thai on Damen
2. La Palapa on 34th Street

ART AND LITERATURE

I and a client attended the “Portraits of Motherhood” Exhibit, which highlighted the artistic talent of Antonia Ruppert. I found a gem on the south side of Chicago – The Creative Room located in the heart of the Park Manor community. This design studio’s mission is to provide a space for people to create their own DIY (do it yourself) interior design projects.  Clemenstien Love is the mastermind behind this hidden treasure.

I provided overview of books that I’ve read over the past year – including a few children’s books. There were a mixture of travel, music, autobiography/memoirs, short stories and social justice commentaries.  They ranged from biographies of culinary icon Marcus Samuelsson to children’s classics like “Corduroy” by Don Freeman.  For reviews of the other selections, please check out the art and literature link on thisidoforme.com

ON THE ART AND LITERATURE RADAR IN 2017

I plan in conjunction with another entity to include my clients on a few Famous House Tours during the holidays. Please stay tuned.

FOR THE SOUL

One of my favorite things to do in conjunction with the business is learning about the myriad ways in which women care for themselves even in the midst of dealing with life’s stressors. This section of the website spotlights a diversity of women who share with TIDFM’s audience how they care for their souls, especially as they are taking care of other people, their jobs/businesses.  Please check it out as you might find some helpful hints on self-care and the exploration of new things.

My first year has been loaded with fun, doubt, new experiences and places, great people and a true excitement about TIDFM’s future growth.

The growth of TIDFM has manifested through the creation of a logo, connecting with Mighty Mongoose Tours to write a blog post of an upcoming helicopter excursion, participation in The Diverbo program in Spain, serving as a guest on the radio program “Living it Up After 50,” hired two freelance writers for the website, ran two TIDFM contests, announced TIDFM’s first international excursion to Sydney, Australia, and I was asked to review a self-empowerment book by a coaching expert.

I am grateful to our readers, those who traveled with me and those who joined us on a number of outings. In the coming year, I plan to broaden TIDFM’s reach, and I hope you will stick around for the ride.

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PHOTO ABOVE:  Me enjoying Indoor Skydiving!

 

LET’S GET REAL, LADIES ARE YOU REALLY TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF?

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Let’s face it, we put up a good front when it comes to keeping it all together. We like to feel good about multi-tasking (the experts say we women are good at that),  about having a list, schedules and a synchronized routine for getting through life. We get a high from ticking off the boxes on our well crafted lists, and we can recite sequentially everything we “accomplished” that day.

What we won’t admit to is how damn tired we are. We convince ourselves that as long as we got all our errands done, our household tasks completed and we got that promotion or some recognition at work, we have it all under control. Do we, though?

If you have a family, when  was the last time you announced to family members upon arriving home from work that before you do anything (aside from an extreme emergency) for anyone, you are going to take 20 minutes in a room alone to meditate, unwind in the tub, sip a glass of wine or have a pleasant exchange with those in your household expressing why you are so glad to see them after a long and hard day?

If you are single, like myself, when was the last time you ate a meal without talking on the telephone?  Did you remember later what you even ate?

Even if you did perform some perfunctory self care, of these things, how much of it did you savor? Do you remember what it felt like?  Or did you do the usual by rushing through it so you could get to the next thing?

I am slowly learning that if I complete all my tasks, but I’m not present during the process, especially when im just trying to get to and rush to the next thing, I’m doing myself an injustice.

We have done this for so long that we think this level of functioning is normal.  So today I commit to doing it differently.  Yes, I will still maintain my lists, but I won’t trip when everything on it doesn’t get checked off.

I often say that I love myself, but when I don’t take time to breathe and tune into my relationships with people, I have to question that.  After all, life is about the people in it, not how succinctly we got through the day.

I’m making the commitment to do it not better, quickly  and efficiently, but with great care and more importantly — LOVE.

 

 

MY ULTIMATE SOLO COOKING ADVENTURE — CELEBRATING MEALS ONE AT A TIME!

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Kweli Kitwana is a regular contributor to this blog (This…I…Do…For…Me!).  She openly shares her journey from taking care of others all of her life to now giving herself permission to focus on herself.  In this post, Kweli discusses how single people can have a great dining experience.  

Thank you, Kweli for sharing. 

Over two years ago, I found myself single again. Wait, let me rephrase that — over two years ago I ended 37 years of taking care of others, and I found a path toward taking care of myself. With this came the responsibility of rethinking how I nurture myself (including cooking for one). This seemed simple enough, because, I always saw myself as an excellent cook, host and creator in the kitchen. I could whip up a party for 20; a meal for eight; and make homemade vegan cookies by the batches–all in one day!! So, cooking for one, should have been easy.

It turns out that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  Truth be told, I didn’t really understand that all of that fanfare of cooking was “fed” by making others happy and full. In retrospect, I now see it was fueled by a deeper journey with my own personal relationship with food.

I recall going on my first “singles” shopping trip during which I noted, I needed apples. Wait, I thought, I don’t need apples, I need AN apple. Looking at the apples, I realized at that moment I could choose any apple I wanted without the slightest consideration of one other person. It felt liberating, yes; but, it also brought about a complicated emotion. At that moment I knew that I hadn’t ever taken full control of my health, as I deferred my nutrition to other folks’needs.

Taking a survey of what I wanted meant one clear thing — doing for MYSELF what I have done for others!! It meant embracing, celebrating and recognizing that eating is an individual experience.

Logistically, this took some planning. I needed to downsize my effort without reducing and skimping on the outcome. Therefore, I committed to creating a beautiful, nutritious and kick-ass dining experience for myself every dang gone day!!

Here’s how I do it:

It seems silly to say this, but you simply keep doing what you always do, except on a smaller scale.

I bought myself a toaster oven. It makes cooking for one really easy.  How about that?
I literally created a set of toaster oven size bakeware for myself. I did this at the local ceramic studio. It may sound overwhelming to some, but it was simply rolling out clay, firing it and designing it. I wanted to cook in and eat on some special dishes. You can also buy toaster oven size bakeware if you aren’t interested in making your own.

Another helpful hint is that I shop in the bulk food section at my grocer.   Here I could buy small batches of grains and spices. Also, I get to explore more foods by purchasing them in smaller quantities.

Buying  produce when it is on sale and cutting them up to freeze gives me the option to eat more variety. Fresh is great, but I have realized when you eat as a single person, you have to plan for getting the most from your produce.

Giving myself permission to cook small batches of rice, beans and other items, I typically cook for more. I had to stay aware that the directions on most items are for 2-4 servings. Unless you want to have leftovers, do the math for one serving. I regularly cook one cup of dried beans.

Speaking of leftovers, I don’t like eating the same thing over and over, so I avoid this by  cooking using the “single-method.” I have become extremely creative!

For instance, I bake a cookie (or two…ok, three) at a time (cutting the recipe in half) and freezing the dough.

I have invested in various sizes of mason jars. These suckers are the best thing for storing food!! But, I also use them to bake small batch recipes.

Here is what I’m saying — treating yourself to a great meal is not only a good way to take care of yourself, but it’s been the best thing I done for myself in a long, long time. Now, I look forward to cooking and eating alone.

 

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT — Antonia Ruppert

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Below are photos of artist Antonia (Toni) Ruppert’s exhibit entitled “Portraits of Motherhood.”

The exhibit will run February 25 through April 22, 2016 at Loyola University’s Mundelein Center, 1020 W. Sheridan Road in Chicago.

 

Come out and support her and be wowed my her inspiring work!

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“PAINTING IS SELF-DISCOVERY.  EVERY GOOD ARTIST PAINTS WHAT HE IS.”  JACKSON POLLOCK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUARTERLY UPDATE OF ACTIVITIES

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Although I didn’t travel anywhere (travel is only one aspect of  My business) during this quarter,  I’ve been engaged in other activities associated with This…I…Do…For…Me!  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

THEATER

I had the pleasure of attending three theatrical productions — “Gotta Dance”, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, and “Satchmo at The Waldorf.”  Each production was exciting, well written and executed. Each taught me something different.

“Gotta Dance” entertains and reminds us that dreams can still manifest in our Golden Years, and unrecognized or undeveloped talent can still find an outlet for expression.

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“Beautiful” reminds us that the soundtrack of our life would not be complete without musical classics like “You’ve Got a Friend”, “It’s Too Late”, “I Feel the Earth Move” and the iconic “Natural Woman.” Carole King has truly made her mark on our collective consciousness and the American songbook.

Along with 13 clients of This…I…Do…For…Me! (TIDFM), I saw “Satchmo at The Waldorf”. This production informs us about another layer of jazz genius Louis Armstrong. He is portrayed by the phenomenal actor Barry Shabaka Henley, who shows us that this great musician was not one dimensional.  I left the theater blown away by Henley’s portrayal of an Armstrong who was often misunderstood (he was perceived by many as an Uncle Tom) despite his genius.

ART

In February, I attended the opening of an exhibit at The DuSable Museum of African American History entitled “The Masterworks Collections (Series I)”, which featured venerable African American artists Henry Ossawa Tanner, Archibald Motley, Jr., William A. Harper and William Edourd Scott. I was mesmerized by these artists’ works, and I was honored to finally see some of the works created by artistic masters  that I’ve heard about all of my life.

RESTAURANTS

In February, I revisited two of my favorite Southside restaurants and a coffee lounge that I had not patronized since its opening.

Chant Restaurant — I never tire of this Hyde Park gem.  Its menu is a fusion of Asian and American classics, and Chant brings you the best of Poutine with Short Ribs, Blackened Red Fish, delectable Gumbo, and other dishes too numerous  to name.  It’s affordable and has some of the best and most unique Martinis.  You MUST try the Triple G Martini!

La Petit Folie — Another Hyde Park diamond,  this French Bistro never disappoints. The Prefixe Menu offers a great Alsatian Onion Tart, outstanding Salmon with Wild Mushrooms in a Puff Pastry, Steak Au Poivre with Herbed Butter and what would a bistro be without classic fare like Chicken with Roasted Vegetables? Additionally,  their desserts are most impressive — don’t leave without trying the Apple Tart or the Dark Chocolate Mousse.  When we exited, I and my TIDFM clients felt as if we had been to the South of France.

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Robust Coffee Lounge — Located in Chicago’s Woodlawn community, this haven serves a diverse offering of specialty coffees, teas, blended drinks (I had The Carmel Crunch) and smoothies, along with salads and sandwiches.  The combination of its rustic and industrial environment makes it the perfect place for a business meeting or for getting some work done on your laptop.

Excitingly, I reached some new vistas with This…I…Do…For…Me! I announced TIDFM’s first overseas trip — Sydney, Australia scheduled for November 2017!! Eight slots were offered, and to date only two slots are available. See ya down under, mates!

I really had fun interviewing expat Carolyn Davenport Moncel for this blog.  I admire how she, along with her family, have created a beautiful life in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Additionally, I hired a food and restaurant writer/reviewer — Eleni Murphy. Happily, I  hired a Washington, D.C. journalist Yvonne Hawkins, who will cover the cultural scene in the DMV!  We’re growing by leaps and bounds, and more importantly, I’m having fun!

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   Sunlight makes such a difference.

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Yvonne Hawkins, our Washington, D.C.. Correspondent, shares insights from her recent visit to The Washington National Cathedral.  If you are visiting the DMV, this landmark is one to see!

I visit D.C.’s Cathedral historic district a couple of times a year to attend interfaith services that the Washington Hebrew Congregation hosts. The temple sits a stone’s throw from the Washington National Cathedral. And I love seeing the cathedral’s spires as I near the temple.

I’m still learning D.C.’s neighborhoods, though. And because the interfaith services are held in the evenings, I didn’t realize I was driving straight through Embassy Row each visit. But during a Sunday morning tour of the cathedral, a spry docent confirmed as much.

Originally, I planned to take a nighttime tour of the D.C. monuments as a Valentine’s Day treat. I really didn’t expect February’s temperatures to pose any problems. As a native Midwesterner, the DMV’s winter feel more like intensive fall to me. But this year’s V-day weather would’ve made Chicago proud.

So I headed indoors.

And since it’s Lent, joining the cathedral’s Sunday worship followed by a docent-led tour was a great blend of spiritual nourishment and personal getaway.

As the nation’s cathedral, Washington National Cathedral simultaneously is home to both an active Episcopalian congregation and official national events. Tours run daily. Even on Sundays.

Our docent joked about how boring young students seem whenever they visit. But the next time you’re in D.C., here’s what you do: Make sure to attend a Sunday lecture or worship service. Then do one of several tours. I had no idea how amazing this one-of-a-kind combo would be!

The cathedral obviously draws high profile guest speakers to its pulpit regularly. The list includes towering figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Billy Graham and Desmond Tutu. Bryan Stevenson, a nationally acclaimed social justice lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, happened to be the guest lecturer and preacher that weekend. The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, a prominent womanist scholar, served as a canon.

If ever I picked an amazing weekend to drop in, this was it.

The cathedral is astonishing. Hand-carved from Indiana limestone. It took more than 80 years to build. Though, a docent can tell you much better than I about the architecture and layers of symbolism throughout the cathedral.

You don’t have to be Anglican—or even religious—to appreciate the cathedral’s beauty. But worshipping—even just for an hour—in such grandeur is significantly better than simply taking a tour. I didn’t take any photos during the service so that I could worship, but I did record a snippet of the pipe organ postlude.

After worship, take the tour. I felt more grounded in the experience by combing worship with the tour. And as with most things D.C., I felt the juxtaposition of the wonders as well as disturbing parts of our national history as I learned more about how this sacred space is built.

That’s because the cathedral’s Gothic architecture tells two stories: The story of God and God’s relationship to God’s people, and the story of the United States of America. As the docent lead us through the cathedral’s highlights, I couldn’t help but notice whenever those two stories blend into a wonderful crescendo and whenever they diverge painfully at odds with each other. As a minister, I was reminded of the principle that a person’s theology—what she or he believes about God—dictates that person’s anthropology. That is, how that person views other people.

And a person’s anthropology then dictates her or his sociology. That is, how the person relates to other people. In many ways, the cathedral’s architecture tells the story of the nation’s theology dictating its anthropology dictating its sociology. Riveting and sad at the same time. I understand, though, if students on tour in D.C. might not get into that much.

D.C.’s 5.8 earthquake in 2011 left the cathedral badly damaged. Because Washington National is a regular church, the government doesn’t support any of its operations, including earthquake repairs. Like all churches, Washington National depends on its congregants for sustenance. Imagine being a congregation responsible for repairing rare earthquake damage to a hand-carved limestone building.

Yeah, they need money. About $32 million.

Our docent said the congregation is committed, as the faithful do, to completing all repairs, no matter how long it takes. I only had a few bucks in cash with me, but I left it in the collection plate. Seemed the least I could for such a magnificent building.

I left that day falling in love in the cathedral. What an amazing jewel. Beautifully flawed and wonderful. Valentine’s Day didn’t disappoint after all. I know I’ll be back.

But one of the times I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll check out Embassy Row, too. Now that I know where it is.

            Yvonne D. Hawkins is an ordained minister, former newspaper journalist, and church leadership consultant who specializes in pastoral care. She currently lives in Northern Virginia. She went to college and seminary in Evanston, Illinois, so she deeply misses Lake Michigan. And the Taste of Chicago. She definitely misses The Taste. Her newest blog is www.artistssaw.com.coat of arms.jpg

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