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ABOUT ME:  To begin, hello and thank you for making this connection or re-connection.  I am a first-time father at forty-something, practicing Emergency Physician (aka E.R. Doc), Medical Director & Chief of Emergency Medicine, ultrasonographer, master teacher and master student, photographer, novice filmmaker, one book writer, hyper-localism entrepreneur: real estate developer, historic rehab of award winning Viroqua Public Market, co-creator of farm-to-fork Optimo Restaurant (now transitioned to new chef/owners as Rooted Spoon), and dot-dot-dot over-user.... passionate about engaging in the moment by moment evolution of our impermanence. Key outlook on life:   healing is not a destination, but daily practice

I grew up where I now live, after a 20 year right of passage... middle Driftless Earth, Viroqua.  Current sanctuary to many a used-to-be wandering soul.  Here, finally, I seek and I provide, I heal and I breathe.    

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F E A T U R E D   F I L M S

 

Music Video Short: Work & Wisdom

By the band Soul Music

 

 

Music Video: Elephant Love (version 1)

Original works by the band Soul Music

 

 

F E A T U R E D   P H O T O G R A P H Y

An assortment of my photography our beloved Driftless Area and beyond.... 

Entries in exploration (1)

Saturday
Dec282013

No House at All

I cannot attest to the authenticity of any of the suppositions and claims made  herein however I will share my understanding of the background behind this photograph. 
This is an assumed haunted house, moments east of Viroqua, Vernon County Wisconsin USA. I can't tell you the exact address as the street sign off the gravel road off the gravel road off the gravel road off of a gravel road was either not there or very unclear.
Having explored countless of these in my lifetime, when I encountered this one - which I had never somehow seen before - I could not resist peeking around inside.
Coincidentally, I was listening to a radio program about exploring abandoned places. I liked the phrase they used, take nothing and leave only footprints.  It gave me comfort, implying I would likely leave intact.
The abode was only a few feet from the road, so I presumed it would be ramshackled and pillaged - converted into yet another mundane, boring place, by numerous prior like-minded explorers. Nothing very interesting here I'm sure.
However, I was shocked, almost nauseous, when I enter.  As I think of it now, I'm struck by a chill equal to the one afflicting me as I walked in.
 Other than the dilapidated state of the structure itself, it was as if people were still there. Or more accurately, it was as if they were there one second, and then gone the next.  A couple strides past the threshold I quickly turn assuming someone was running up behind me.  Of course, there's no one.
The attire of a middle aged couple are still hanging in the wardrobe and thrown across a still made bed.  A lumpy fold in the sheets, a sleeping body, simulated.
A cute little workshop, with nails nuts and bolts, neatly organized into dusty masonry jars.
And then the kitchen, where the photograph was taken.  Flatware left exactly where it was last placed. A weird greasy stain leaves an outline around each piece. A bowl still seemingly filled with supper set at the head of the table. The National Geographic from 1983, turned over waiting patiently to be picked up and completed.
And the clock on the wall.  The damn clock. Stopped intriguingly at 7:20. What was it.  Batteries finally died.  Or, don't know. It disturbes me to look at it.
There's a steak knife. Stainded with mystery meat.  A saucer with amber residue on the floor.  Was there a poor pet here too now vanished with its master?
Compelled by slaughtered expectations, I command a seat at the table. Not out of disrespect but remembrance.  Maybe it will gift me some form of understanding what occurred here at 7:20, 1983.

With a startle, I launch upward.  An intense sudden grumble, completely out of place in this forsaken emptiness.  Seems to emanate from the vintage ice box.  I relax again realizing it's but a passing angry snowplow.  There and gone with absolutely no regard for my questions.   Invisibility juxtaposed to the necessity of modern life.
Nothing is taken and only footprints are left.  Drove farther down the road to my destination and then back towards the curious house set on revisiting.
I don't know if I just got a little lost or took a wrong turn, but when I pass by what I thought was the house's location... there was no house at all.