I spent a whirlwind long weekend in Chicago last weekend with my dear friend Lois and her family, including my godson Charlie. And when I say whirlwind, I mean non-stop eating, drinking, visiting, walking, and talking. We did planes, trains & automobiles – all in the first day!

One of the highlights for me was visiting The Art Insitute with Charlie. It was his first visit there – he’s seven. We talked about different types of painting (impressionist, pointillism) and looked for influences from one painting to another. For example, we discovered Buoy by Peter Blume and then went on the painting it influenced, The Rock also by Peter Blume. I was thrilled that Charlie was into exploring and understanding the various works. My favorite moment, though, was when he asked if he could “argue with that sculpture.” He was quite serious and spent several minutes in quiet conversation with Rodin’s Potrait of Balzac of all people! I didn’t get a chance to ask Charlie what Balzac had to say.

Sometimes it’s the quiet moments of contemplation and conversation that yield the most interesting insights. I hope you can find time in your busy life to have a conversation or argument with your Balzac.

– Maggi