Pictured: the view from our hotel room at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL, during the weekend of this year’s Wizard World Chicago. It’s nestled next to I-190 and minutes away from the large, famous airport you may have heard name-checked in all the headline news today. Between the airport traffic and the stream of endless events at the Stephens Center, Rosemont is a sparkly yet reserved town, wired for entertainment and insomnia.
Most convention attendees spend their evenings indulging in the after-dark events such as film screenings or NSFW panels, networking, fraternizing, carousing, generally partying to the break of dawn. Meanwhile for us sensible, old-time squares, nighttime is our signal to retreat from the hubbub, skip all the alcohol that everyone else cherishes, settle into the plush confines of our accommodations, exploit all the amenities that don’t incur surprise room charges, and recharge all manner of batteries.
I took this shot on a whim while standing between the curtain panels and the windows, letting the cooler air near the glass creep around me and waft away the day’s tensions, worries, and cumulative physical strains. It was an oasis of momentary serenity in a bustling, bristling weekend.
Then my wife turned on the TV. Because all those basic-cable channels weren’t gonna inventory themselves. Meditative tranquility gave way to the screeching cacophony of a thousand know-it-all talking heads, upon whom I wished immediate whooping cough.
I’m revisiting this moment (the sedate part, not the screeching part) during a week when multi-tasking has stretched me thin, morale has been shakier than usual, and feedback signals of doubt and indifference have obscured my concentration. I could use another few minutes like these to stare through the dark horizons, seek the pinpoints of light, pause for an ethereal refresher, and remind myself of the dawns yet to come, the brighter lights ahead, and the promises behind why we do what we do.