Category: Travel

Lessons from Scott Walker's visit to my father's funeral

Lessons from Scott Walker's visit to my father's funeral
One of my best friends died on Christmas morning. My dad, Sen. Walter John Chilsen, was 95 but he was so full of energy and life curiosity and joy that none of us was prepared for him to die. A few years ago, he had tasked me with writing his obituary and it took the... Read more »

Introducing "Lessons of Place" a new project for the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration

Introducing "Lessons of Place" a new project for the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration
Welcome to “Lessons of Place”, a new project I’ve been working on as part of a program celebrating the State’s Bicentennial. With support from Illinois Humanities and their “Forgotten Illinois” program, I’ve been traveling around the state photographing sites on Landmarks Illinois’ “Most Endangered Places” lists. Mostly, I have been looking at those on the... Read more »

Operation Condor and the Statue of Liberty: two photography exhibits in Arles address freedom and repression

The Entrance to the Arles Archaeology Museum. Henri Ciriani, Architect, which hosted two exhibits for Les Rencontres de la Photographie, 2016 in Arles.
One day last summer at ‘Les Recontres de la Photographie’ (The Arles Photography Festival), I saw two exhibits that in retrospect seem a dark premonition of today’s political ‘scape. Even their location, in a museum dedicated to fallen Roman rule seems prescient. The shows were both presented at the ‘Musée départemental Arles Antique’, Arles’ Archaeology... Read more »
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"The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate" Wildness in the Global City: Lake Michigan Pilgrimage

"The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate" Wildness in the Global City: Lake Michigan Pilgrimage
That little man I saw the other evening at the Lake Michigan lakefront? He reminded me of the guy in one of my favorite children’s books about a pirate and the lure of the sea. This guy scuttled across Lakeshore Drive, heavy briefcase in his hand, leaning into his direction – speeding along – his black... Read more »

Fear is Just a Four-Letter Word

Fear; I have accepted a challenge – to face it, and to write about it. As part of the ChicagoNow “Blogapalooz-Hour: Volume VI”, ChicagoNow bloggers were asked to write a post in one hour or less with this as their challenge: “Write about fear, or lack thereof, and the role it has played in any... Read more »

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 27

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 27
It’s Valentine’s Day on Lake Michigan with a glowing full moon suspended overhead. Three or four boats out beyond the breakwater surprise me. They’re sitting still, so I imagine they are there because of Valentine’s Day. A quick search online indicates there are quite a few Valentine’s Day “cruises”. “Nothing is more magnificent, romantic, vibrant”,... Read more »
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Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 9

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 9
Today I didn’t go to Lake Michigan on my pilgrimage because I am landlocked. I am in central Wisconsin, more-or-less midway between the two great bodies of water that border my home state: Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. Being resourceful though, I went down to photograph the lake in my hometown. Out there were... Read more »

Blizzard Living: City Style and Country Style in Photographs

Blizzard Living: City Style and Country Style in Photographs
Blizzard living slows us down. Whether city style or country style, space and place transform. Possibility opens up. There’s mystery in the change. It’s a commonplace to say so, and yet, whenever big snowfall happens, the feeling returns anew. I’ve been relishing the transformation while it’s fresh and clean. In a few days, plows and... Read more »

Always Carry An Umbrella in Singapore: Life Lessons from 2013

Always Carry An Umbrella in Singapore: Life Lessons from 2013
This year, I learned that it’s wise to always carry an umbrella in Singapore. It rains a lot; sometimes unexpectedly (unexpected at least to a North American midwesterner). Reflecting on the year past, I find a few other life lessons to carry into the year ahead. Join me. Type your email address in the box... Read more »
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Over the River and Through the Wood: Thanksgiving, Pilgrimage and Gratitude

Over the River and Through the Wood: Thanksgiving, Pilgrimage and Gratitude
As I make my Thanksgiving trek – over the river and through the wood (such as it is), I’m thinking about pilgrimage and gratitude. I think about the idealism of that song, the aspirations we hold in our hearts as we plan our gatherings. And I think about courage in the face of adversity. Thanksgiving,... Read more »