Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Fun Thing (OFT) No.1 - Baha'i Temple

Since the first couple of weeks we spent in Chicago were pretty devoid of "fun for the sake of fun" I decided that, weather permitting, we would commit to (at least) one big fun thing each weekend. Big is a relative word of course, but think visits to museums, outings with new friends, etc. And of course, I'll try to chronicle them here.

So, last weekend, OFT No. 1 coincided with a trip up to Brian's brother Donald's apartment (in Evanston, he just started a Masters in music at Northwestern) to drop off some stuff for his storage closet. It was also Donald's birthday during the week, so we wanted to take him out for lunch. All of that sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, the official OFT was none of that, but was a trip to the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette, north of Evanston. It's a really beautiful house of worship that took 30 years to build. Why did it take so long? Well, it isn't clear, but perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Baha'i don't accept donations from anyone outside the faith... (not my words - I think that was what a tourguide told Brian's parents when they visited).

Anyway, I didn't know that much about the religion, but have come to learn that it is a monotheistic (only one deity) faith that believes in unity and peace. Not so bad in this day and age.

The building itself is a breathtaking nine-sided dome, with a lace-like exterior reminiscent of the buildings I saw in Morocco. Beautiful outside, and very quiet and meditative inside, it is one of only 7 temples in the world - one on each continent.

Since that was last weekend, OFT No.2 Actually happened today, but I think I've done enough bjourning for one night. But just to keep you hanging - it involved large orange fruit, some of Brian's labmates, and a little red Radio Flyer. How's that for suspense?

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