Tucked away in a two-story building in downtown Indiana is a little gem of a museum, the Swope. And, by golly, it’s also free. (They have a cool donation station where you dip your card to donate $5 but it’s not at all a high-pressure deal). I went to see a photography exhibit on the second floor but I was also captivated by the Indiana Impressionists special exhibit on the first floor. And it’s not every day that you walk straight into a Renoir, either.
After starting the month of June in Arkansas, I made a quick stop at Big Spring, Missouri, before surviving the weather weirdness in Illinois and Kentucky that defined my mid-month. From there I had three stops in Indiana before ending the month in Ohio. So, yeah, six states in 30 days. I’m definitely making tracks eastbound.
In 2017, I was all set to visit Indiana Dunes and then, oops, I broke my hand. That derailed the plan and it took me another four years to get here. But I made it, and I am damn happy I did. This place is a beautiful introduction to the charms of Lake Michigan.
When I was little, the church down at the end of our street was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Tall, narrow stained glass windows that seemed absolutely magical when the light poured through them.
I haven’t thought about that church in years, until today, when I found an open door in downtown Terre Haute. Strange how a door can open into a building and flash you all the way back to being eight years old.
There were old-school wooden pews and slightly padded kneelers that could have come direct from the church of my childhood in Southern California.
Turns out my childhood church as built in 1927, and this one was built in 1910, then rebuilt after a fire in 1934. Makes sense, then, that they look similar, even though they are 2000 miles apart.
The rose window is small but well-placed for its theme. For those not raised Catholic, the center figure is Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, and the window is in the choir loft, between two banks of organ pipes.
Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture.
So here I am in downtown Terre Haute with my left hand in a cast. I decided to walk around a little bit and see something other than the little hotel room where I’m staying for the next several days waiting for the doctor appointment on Thursday to tell me my next move.
I see this sign and wandered closer to read what it says. Impressive. But not as impressive as the statue behind it.
Meet Max Ehrmann, a Terre Haute native. If that name sounds vaguely familiar probably should if you grew up in the 1970s. He wrote the Desiderata, that classic poster on every college kid’s bedroom wall.
Of all the things I could’ve seen on my walk, this was probably the best thing possible. Reading it reminded me all this temporary: plans change, the cast will come off in time, and life goes on.
Rather than come up with a separate quote for the post, here’s the Desiderata. Peace out.