Jesse Dorris writes for The New Yorker on the newly-unveiled permanent memorial for the six teachers and twenty young children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012: The memorial’s spatial poetics—the balance between circular pathways and blocks of granite, its enduring engravings of names in stone and perennials for texture and color … Read more“The Contemplative, Unnerving Beauty of the Sandy Hook Memorial”
On Sunday I presented my “Unboxing an Antique Ghost Show” show-and-tell lecture for an audience at the Chicago Insect Asylum art gallery. After a couple of years of performing the presentation via Zoom for various organizations around Halloween, it was fun – and rather poignant – to be able to show my Dad’s collection of … Read moreDays of Life and Death: Seasonal Observances
My family was among the many thousands of people who were left disappointed by the Spiritlandia river parade in San Antonio last night. We (and, again, thousands of others, many of whom had paid pretty serious money for riverside seats at restaurants, etc.) were underwhelmed when the first float arrived nearly an hour late, then … Read moreMass Disappointment at San Antonio’s “Spiritlandia” Day of the Dead River Parade
The ironic “fear” of the Halloween season isn’t normally my bag, but I can’t resist featuring this 2015 short horror film by David Schmidt, who had previously directed another horror short – The Lovecraft Syndrome (2004) – starring my wife, Kat. The Underpass is set in our fondly-recalled former neighborhood of Rogers Park and explores … Read moreThe Underpass (2015)
Thanks to Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein for sending me this photo of a 17th century memento mori mirror from Aargau, Switzerland. The motto on the plinth reads “memorare novissima”, which translates as “remember the last”.
Sacred Tension podcast host Stephen Bradford Long interviews author Shiva Honey on her new book The Devil’s Death, a guide to the ritual, philosophical and practical matters of dying and death from the modern Satanic perspective. The book is available here.
My new article for OnlySky Media is a memoir of my year-long experiment in public art/memorial: In 2015 I moved to Rogers Park, and during the Summer Solstice of 2021 was inspired to join the Artists of the Wall project. I painted my roughly four-foot section of the wall a midnight blue, and upon that field … Read more“… with hope that this assemblage of rubble would become a shrine …”
Amy Bloom tells the story of her husband, Brian, getting Alzheimer’s and wanting assisted suicide. Her search to find a way to do that led her to Dignitas, in Switzerland. Hear this intimate and frank account of the experience they go through, excerpted from her book, IN LOVE. (39 minutes) Audio excerpted courtesy of The Penguin … Read moreExit Strategy
Since moving to our new riverside neighborhood, I’ve been in the habit of leaving small memorial tokens – leaves, pieces of bark, twigs, etc. – on this tree stump along the river pathway. Very occasionally, there’s been evidence that others are likewise leaving items on the stump, though their purpose is unknown to me. This … Read moreRiverside Shrine
This evening I was intrigued to happen across an artistic memorial ritual taking place within minutes of my home. The Ishti Collective’s Returning Home ritual honors those who have returned to the earth via a symbolic ceremony involving rangoli designs and a short walking meditation, followed by a graceful dance performance.