May 8, 12:30-1:30 pm
Logan Square Monument, Milwaukee and Kedzie
“That’s amazing. Amazing. Just amazing. That’s incredible. Incredible. Just incredible.”
A hug in our neighborhood on a sunny spring Sunday. People are relieved, exuberant even, about the weather. Finally spring is here, just in time for summer. It will be only a few short weeks that we are barefoot and relishing out-of-doors lounging before we put in our AC units and take cover in our artificially cold homes. On the way to the square we see many people out and about. Chris, Sara’s partner, walks with us to the square. He is also wearing yellow. He’s on our team. We are yellow like the dandelions we pass.
It’s quiet in the square. Sleepy. A couple of people sunbath on the grass and there are skateboarders doing tricks on the steps. Not many people pass us, but those that do smile. People seem understanding and patient.
A girl, about 7, runs up and hugs us. Her mother takes a picture. She comes back about ten minutes later and holds on for a long time. She wears tap shoes with the taps removed and faux taps near us as we continue to hug. A group of older African American guys hang out just to the north of where we are stationed. After a while one guy comes over to talk to us. I explain to him what we are doing and why. “That’s amazing,” he says. “Really amazing.” And he means it sincerely. He seems to truly be in awe. He comes back later to give us a hug and then once more to say what we are doing is incredible. Just incredible. “I like what you are demonstrating,” he says. I appreciate him, his openness. That’s what makes it all worth it.
A group of teenage boys skateboard past. One comes back to hug us. His hug is firm and powerful. His friends tease him but he truly doesn’t seem to care.
Today’s hug is a peaceful offering to our beloved neighborhood. The rest of the day as we walk around Logan Square, we run into people who recognize us, either from our hug in the square that morning or from hugs downtown. And so, the conversations continue. We meet people and make connection. Thank god for hugs.