Monthly Archives: January 2011

Every Picture Tells A Story

           Now, every picture you see on ReadReidRead will have a backstory. To discover the backstory, hover your cursor over the picture. It will tell you something about  itself, reveal some background on the location or be an outlet for attempted humour. I’ve been working away making sure this happens consistently. The large header at the top of this page will never reveal anything further about itself but all others surrender to a hovering cursor. Since hovertime is brief and sometimes I am not, you may have to return hover to get the whole story. Have fun!

Here’s a picture to practise on

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Happy Birthday Richard Brautigan

RICHARD BRAUTIGAN was one of Linda’s favourite poets. She had several of his books. His most famous poetry books are Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster and In Watermelon Sugar.  He was born today in 1935. Among the things Richard said, “I have always wanted to write a book that ended with the word ‘mayonnaise.'” and “In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar. I’ll tell you about it because I am here and you are distant.” Watch a short video of Richard reading his own “Gee, you’re so beautiful that it’s starting to rain” here. Not dead/Dead since September 1984.

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Sacred Places

THE MYSTERY ROCKS

AUGUST 1999

“The enigma persists.”

           Desolate and mystifying, enigmatic and old, the Mystery Rocks are one of the hardest places to approach using language but I’ll give it my best shot. Situated in the rolling foothills of the Cypress Hills in southwestern Saskatchewan, there is nothing in my experience quite like them. They are a true prairie anomaly, definitely a place not to visit “in neutral” but with all your protection fully engaged.  Am I suggesting this is a dangerous place? Using the precautionary principle due to the place’s unwillingness to reveal very much about itself, I am suggesting just that. Feel ready.

Photographer Courtney Milne’s marvelous book Spirit of the Land featured a picture of the Mystery Rocks, which was how I heard of the place. My first visit was on a hot and windy August day in 1997 with second-generation landowner Brett Gaff welcoming me and taking me out to the site. It’s drivable from his farmyard, over the hills, across pastures and finally arriving above the place. Bret said two archeologists have visited the place, one from Mexico who camped here for a few days and left suddenly, and another person about whom Brett was vague. Both researchers agreed the place merits more in-depth study. On both my visits, Brett left me alone at the site.

The view looking north from atop the Mystery Rocks. The front edge of the platform is along the right of the picture with the large boulders on top. 

            The view from this magnificently isolated place is ten kilometres north, south and east. The deep dun valley spreads away dotted with stands of spruce and pine. The north side of the coulee is rich with evergreens; the drier sunny south is short grass prairie with prickly pear and pincushion cactus.

 Looking down from the top of the outcrop at the jumble of rocks and the platform beyond.

Opposite view from previous picture. Here looking up from the front edge of the platform.

The Mystery Rocks lay on a bench about halfway down a deep coulee. My first sense was the site was created with great care and purpose but never finished.  Above the site, jutting out of a sandstone outcrop, are a number of sheared rocks. Down from them is a jumble of stone blocks, some on their sides, leaning against each other, some prone or tilted edgewise. Many of the jumbled rocks have been cut into rectangular shapes like the ones on the platform. Below this is an organized platform of rocks beyond which the bench slopes steeply into the valley. The astonishing platform consists of eleven evenly placed rows of huge stone blocks laid end to end, six complete rows at the front of the platform, five more partial rows in back, sixty-five stone blocks in all. The largest rock is six feet by twenty-five feet; most are five to nine feet deep. The front of the platform faces due east.

Edge of the platform is on left of picture with large boulder and assembled platform visible.

            Near the front edge on the platform rest two large oval boulders aligned southeast/northwest, the same direction as the long cuts between stones. Each boulder is about four feet across and three feet high. Many of the stone blocks have basins on their horizontal surfaces, circular indentations in the sandstone ranging in size from 3 inches across by 3 inches deep to a foot across and 10 inches deep. There are 27 basins on the platform. The ground beneath the platform is sandy with various vegetation – creeping juniper, bearberry, sage and fescue.

Standing on the Mystery Rocks, the cut blocks and basins are clearly visible. Notice that the block in lower left is perfectly square.

            Approaching the actual platform was exhilarating. The closer I got the more intensely present I became. The energy flow felt as if it was spiraling toward and away from the site at once, rather confusing for me but very exciting. On my first visit, I sensed an immense span of time had passed since this site was made. This area escaped glaciation in the last Ice Age so it could go back more than 85,000 years.

            My first visit was an easy blur where I lost track of time. The exhilaration from the site clung to me strongly. Even the next day I was still stoned from the place. My second visit, on my 50th birthday in August 1999, was different.

Brett took me out to the site and, as we were talking, I saw over his left shoulder a herd of elk walk up an incline about a mile away. I counted 26 head with many stragglers. The day was hot, overcast and breezy. I hiked down the coulee and approached the Mystery Rocks from the side. As I crest the rocks, I saw scratched deeply into the sandstone in bold block letters one word: LINDA. Her spirit was always with me on all those solo trips, a reminder she loved me at that special moment.

            The same spiraling energy as last time, ancient and pivotal, greeted me as I stepped onto the platform. The combination of the vista before me and the energy flowing through me took my breath away and I knelt on the stones. My little rattle and my quiet power song brought me fully present and I received my first communication from the place. A small voice whispered to me repeatedly, “They are in the rocks.” I asked who is telling me this and all I heard was a rustling laugh, derisive and dismissive then nothing, silence. I felt challenged and alone. The exhilaration from this visit passed quickly once I left the site, unlike my first visit.

            How were the Mystery Rocks formed? The “official” government explanation of the Mystery Rocks is, and I quote from a letter written in 1998 by Archaeological Resource Manager John Brandon of the Heritage Branch of the Saskatchewan government, “These natural rock outcroppings have not been recorded as heritage sites.”

             Let’s dig deeper into the facts and mythology surrounding these “natural rock outcroppings.” Tipi rings, usually as common as cow plop out here in this part of the prairie, are nowhere to be found at or near the Mystery Rocks. I hiked the immediate area thoroughly, finding an animal effigy, possibly a horse, on the ridge above the site but not a single tipi ring in sight. That’s odd. About a mile away was a big trading post where people from far and wide traded. Fort Walsh, the North West Mounted Police station and now an active heritage site, is nearby. The southern part of the Cypress Hills provided great overwintering sites for thousands of years but not here. The area was crawling with natives except at the Mystery Rocks. Brett Gaff said natives didn’t camp here, “It was too holy, too sacred; only certain people were welcomed here.” Was I welcomed there? I was, to a degree.

Travel back in time with this site and see if we can unravel some of its mystery. The challenge I felt on that hot afternoon as I lay on the huge rock platform was to go deeper into the Mystery. Spurred and tempted would also describe my feelings. For this visit I had expectations, my first visit had none. None of my expectations occurred and later dreaming revealed the lesson the Mystery Rocks taught me on my fiftieth birthday: always arrive open yet protected at sacred places, be free of expectation but have a powerful intent, be present. I gratefully interpreted this gift as a conciliatory sign from the local spirits.

   Graffiti left by previous visitors to the site.  Hat for scale.

              Besides Linda’s name carved in stone there were hundreds of others who left their mark here. There were no signs of recent medicine making anywhere at the site. Due to its remoteness, The Mystery Rocks have little tourist value. Though the site is hikable from Fort Walsh, its existence isn’t well known

I have a deep sense that one of the more recent uses of the place was for vision quests. Bearberry, with its shiny green leaves, grows profusely here and is usually associated with vision quest sites. Between some of the stones, deep crevices could easily house a weeping quester. Not just any vision quester came here. Often shamans reclaimed their vision or sought out new ones several times during their lives. Shamans came here for that purpose. The basins in the stones at that time were used for offerings and smudging.

The confusion I felt comes from its great antiquity.  If pre-glacial then I had few resources to handle anything this ancient. These abilities would develop in me over the next few years but that day I was flummoxed. It felt like people who used magic to create their world built this place for a specific purpose yet there was always the feeling of it being unfinished. Or perhaps its purpose had been fulfilled and what remains was the post-event disintegration of the place.

Some conjecture says the Mystery Rocks are actually a medicine wheel or astrological site. The straight lines formed by the boulders may point to other significant sites. In this picture the lines of the rocks point toward the crest of the small hill in distance.

            The large blocks that form the platform are obviously following some form of organization or intent. The edges of the blocks appear to have been cut somehow and their arrangement suggests something other than natural forces had a hand in forming this place. Some of my subsequent dreaming about this place indicates it may not be a spiritual place at all but an interstellar site known to beings from other worlds. The enigma persists.

            I haven’t returned to the Mystery Rocks since 1999 but have amassed a comprehensive list of things to investigate next about the place. The list includes finding and documenting the effigy above the site, checking for animal presence like scat, nests and tracks and doing a map of the platform surface including basins.

            Since the archies (archeologists) seem to be in denial about the Mystery Rocks, it is up to shamans and seekers to find out the meaning and Spirit of the place. I plan to return to the Mystery Rocks in the summer of 2011 to explore, to trance, maybe just to make sure they are still as enigmatic as ever. I’ll let you know.

If you do visit the Mystery Rocks, I feel it is important to emphasize this: please exercise caution, feel ready to be there.

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You can rate stuff now!

ReadReidReaders now have a new feedback option. After every post and every page are five white/blue stars and “Rate This.” Just hold your cursor over the stars to get their meanings and rate away. I appreciate any kind of feedback I get. Ratings are anonymous so feel free to click away. Thanks.

Be happy, Reid

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Happy Birthday Edward Abbey

EDWARD ABBEY’s classic work of non-fiction is Desert Solitaire, a beautifully realistic account of his time as a park warden in the American Southwest published in 1968. His inspiring 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang created many young anarchists. The curmudgeonly Abbey was born today in 1927.  Ed said, “Grown men do not need leaders.” and “Our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” and “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”  As you can see by the picture, Ed and I share the same opinion about television. Not dead/Dead since March 14, 1989

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DAD

DAD

 Reid Dickie

My dad, Bruce Dickie, died January 28, 2001, ten years ago today. He was 83. It was his time. I miss him every day.

 

This handsome devil is my dad, taken when he was about 20, strong, farm-fed, athletic. He watches over some of the shaving brushes and razors he would use on that face over the decades. 

            “A man is a man only when he measures himself against something more Universal than the morality of his own time.”

            That acerbic 20-word challenge found its way out of Sam Keen’s mind into a 1991 book called Fire in the Belly, subtitled On Being a Man. Dad and I had several long evening discussions about this very quote, defining the Universal, searching our own lives to find our personal Universals then figuring out how we measured up.

Dad and I decked out in our Sunday best in front of Dickie’s General Store in Hayfield, MB about 1955. He has his cigarette, I have my thumb.

            If I remember it correctly – this was in the mid and late 1990s – we decided on three Universals: love, conflict and spiritual growth. Both of us were incredibly lucky in love. We both found life partners who loved and understood us. Conflict and Dad’s experience during World War 2 overseas were his most significant Universal, the one that shaped and informed everything else in his life, including the other two Universals. My most important Universal is spiritual evolution, personal growth. That’s what directs the flow of my life.

One of my favourite pictures of us. A Polaroid taken by Mom in our kitchen in Shoal Lake on Christmas Day 1981. We are both sporting our new cozy duck flannel shirts. That’s Mom’s writing along the top of the picture. 

            Dad never talked much about his big Universal, about The War. Some uncles never left the battlefield, couldn’t shut up about it, showing tedious souvenirs but not Dad. He couldn’t wait to get home to his little wife and make a little family on the wide Canadian prairies and forget all about it. The horror, the horror would change him, he knew that coming back. He was already having the nightmares on the boat home. But life ensued, distracted him, challenged him anew. He laughed like crazy at Basil Fawlty’s “Don’t mention The War to the German guests” skit. Still, even as an old man, there was a flicker of Hell left behind his eyes, battle scars, indelible.

 In this photo you can see the haunting impressions of  war in Dad’s eyes, taken in Boscombe on England’s south coast in February 1945 after he’d seen action on the battlefield.

            Dad was very curious about shamanism. He was a great listener, patient, quiet, not waiting to talk, really listening, thinking along with me. I’d be explaining away wasting words galore then he’d say something short, concise and perfect. I remember one time about 1998 I was talking in a very animated fashion about something that happened out there in Saskatchewan for me, sharing it deeply and suddenly he said, “Son, you could teach that. Are there people who want to learn this? You could teach anything.” It was one of the most life affirming and prescient things Dad ever said to me. Mom had been the teacher.

The last picture of us together. Taken in his apartment in Morley House in Shoal Lake, 2000

            Turns out there are people who want to learn about shamanism and everything else. Dad knew that someday I would find my audience, that I would “little bit know something” that others need to know. He is still wise, wise beyond his years. That kind of wisdom is Universal. Stand tall, Dad. You know you measured up with flying colours to your Universals, all of them. With your unwavering inspiration, I will keep trying to prove myself against mine. Thank you. I love you Dad.

                                                 “All goes onward and outward

                                                  Nothing collapses

                                                  And to die is different from

                                                  What anyone supposes

                                                  And luckier.”

                                                                        -Walt Whitman

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Another Sacred Place Coming Sunday!

            Let me take you away to a wild and desolate place on a hot summer day with a red-tailed hawk crying in the sky and Spirit awakening all around us. Where will we go? The last hint said it was farther west than the Big Muddy Valley in southern Saskatchewan. I can only tell you it is the single most mysterious place I have ever visited. It’s out there. Join me Sunday, January 30 for the next Sacred Place.

Lush rolling hills in scenic southern Saskatchewan during the wet summer of 2010. This is not the sacred place.

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Happy Birthday Lewis Carroll

LEWIS CARROLL, actually Charles Dodgson, was born today in 1832. He described “The different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.” Watch the first ever film of Alice in Wonderland. Made in 1903, it was directed by Percy Stow and Cecil Hepworth. It’s about 9 minutes long. Carroll also said, “One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” Hear him read “Jabberwocky” here Not dead Dead since January 14, 1898.

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Stylin’ in Jamaica

Jamaica, 1980s

Tanned and relaxed, Linda and Reid pose during their mid-1980s trip to Jamaica with Montego Bay in the background. Check out my new Gallery page for pictures of Linda and I as kids. Below another picture from the Jamaica trip.

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What’s New?

          Two weeks after being sprung from Health Sciences Centre I am feeling much improved. My stamina is returning, the meds are working well and my attitude is positive and bright. I’m planning spring and summer activities and travel. 

         New on the blog today is Gallery page, a photo gallery that so far features pictures from Linda’s youth growing up in Winnipeg. More pictures will be added all the time. Churches, Houses and Sacred Places are now more accessible and easier to read on their own pages at the top.

         Just added, you can read a short story called Lunch on the Fiction page; in DTC Art, I have added another year, 1979, to the chronology and included more links and images on the whole page. Along the sidebars you will find new buzz blurbs on Crazy Wisdom, Who said…? and What’s Really in Stuff. These will change frequently. If you hover over small pictures they will tell you more about themselves. There is now a traffic counter on the blog, monitoring hits in real time.

          Thank you for reading Reid.

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The DickTool Co Fashion Test

          One of the edgier and more esoteric art forms of the dark pre-digital days in the 1970 and 80s was mail art – literally sending physical stuff that was art through the mail. I started doing this before I met Linda, probably about 1974 and we both continued doing it well into the 1980s.

             We developed a worldwide network of mail artists with whom we exchanged mostly handmade art that sometimes challenged the handling abilities of various post offices around the world. I’m talking about physically making a piece, duplicating it, sending it out to 75 mail artists and a mail art exhibition if one happened to be going on somewhere on the planet. That meant filling, addressing and decorating 75 envelopes, taking them to the post office, paying the postage cost and smiling all the way home knowing that soon there would be dozens of weird and wild return pieces in our post box at Station C. We couldn’t afford airmail so it was the slow boat to everywhere for DickTool Co mail art. Projects went on for months. Mail art was wildly popular with us. Who doesn’t like “getting something in the mail” especially if it’s unique and from far away.

This is the teaser we sent along with the actual test page, not that mail artists ever needed much encouragement to respond. That was the fun of it! click to enlarge

            In 1984, Linda and I came up with the DickTool Co Fashion Test, a mail art piece that eventually received 80 responses from around the globe. We had a great time thinking up the questions and statements for the test. It was typed on our old Remington typewriter, images from rubber stamps added and photocopied onto orange paper, as you see it here. The space at the bottom with Linda’s picture smiling in IF… originally had our post box address in it.

Be brave! Nobody fails The DickTool Co Fashion Test click pic to enlarge

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12 Manitoba Heritage Houses

           These are the same 12 Manitoba Heritage Houses on the 12 Houses page at the top. I’m making them into a post with a link to their page so as I can allow their many tags to be available online and make them easier to find. Right now WordPress doesn’t provide tags for pages, just posts. This will get around that.

           If you haven’t checked out 12 Manitoba Heritage Houses or even if you have, now is a good time. I’ve added some interesting links that weren’t there previously. This series originally appeared as a 12 Days of Christmas project Linda and I sent out in 2007 which accounts for the format. Each house merits a grand picture and short description.

           Take a drive with me around Manitoba, stopping in some delightful places and catching glimpses of twelve precious and well-maintained houses that passionately preserve our heritage.

12 MANITOBA HERITAGE HOUSES

DAY ONE

Janz House, Third St. & Fifth Ave. W, Souris, MB

              To accommodate the superintendent and his family, the Canadian Pacific Railway built this elegant wood frame more…

DAY TWO

Beechmount, 134 West Gate, Winnipeg, MB

            Built by barrister Lendrum McMeans in 1895, it was bank manager John Benning Monk who named it more…

DAY THREE

Brick Bungalow, 1604 College Ave, Brandon, MB

              This brick bungalow’s distinctive low-slung porch roof offers a deep sheltering space to enter the home. The more…

DAY FOUR

J. D. McLean House, South Chestnut  Street, Shoal Lake, MB

            J.D. McLean, a tinsmith and hardware merchant, built this delightful two-storey Queen Anne style house more…

DAY FIVE

Brick two-storey house, Third & Cliff, Wawanesa, MB

           This eloquent two-storey Queen Anne style house demonstrates the early prosperity of Wawanesa. Executed more…

DAY SIX

Mansard roof house, 415 Kerby St., Miami, MB.

           Well-kept and charming, this fine example of a mansard-roofed house was built around 1900. The house more…

DAY SEVEN

Classic Two-Storey, Garwood Ave, Winnipeg, MB

         Built in 1914 when its west Fort Rouge neighbourhood was being developed, this standard off-centre more…

DAY EIGHT

McBurney House, Third St & Fifth Ave W, Souris, MB.

        This house is a beauty! Built in 1909, architect Charles Hawkins Brindle loaded the house with Classical more…

DAY NINE

One & a Half Storey, Blight St, Miami, MB.

         Another lovely pridefully maintained home in little Miami. This classic example of a one and half storey more…

DAY TEN

Former Paterson/Matheson House, 1039 Louise Ave. Brandon, MB

           This splendid 1895 house exudes extreme Queen Anne style dripping with Eastlake decoration. The great more…

DAY ELEVEN

Brick Gingerbread House, 510 Fourth at Simcoe, Carberry, MB

              Take a moment to drink in the detail and the overall Seussian effect. The picturesque roofline features more…

DAY TWELVE

Brick Gingerbread House, 228 Fifteenth St, Brandon, MB

           A coin toss decided which gingerbread became Christmas Day house. Appropriately, this unusual place more… 

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Huh? Eh? New Video on YouTube!

 HUH? EH? filled a late Saturday evening with an idea that’s been rattling around in my head for a while. Pictures come from last summer’s travels, soundtrack by DickToolCo circa 1980, Movie Maker easy but limited, 67 minutes from start to being uploaded and now you can watch it on the DickToolCo channel on YouTube  by clicking on the grumpy guy. It’s 27 seconds long. It’ll be fun! Really!

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Wow!

YOU ARE AMAZING!!

THANK YOU FOR CHECKING OUT MY BLOG. I HAD 60 HITS YESTERDAY AND 54 ALREADY TODAY! IT’S HEARTWARMING IN COLD JANUARY TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN MY LIFE AND MY THOUGHTS. I AM HUMBLED AND ELATED.

I’M THRILLED YOU ARE SEARCHING AROUND THE SITE, CLICKING ON ALL MANNER OF THINGS. THERE IS LOTS TO SEE AND DO WITH MORE IDEAS COMING TO ME EVERY DAY. I  ENJOY MY MANY CREATIVE HOURS BUILDING THE SITE, TRYING TO SPARK YOUR CURIOSITY. APPARENTLY IT’S WORKING!

I AM ESPECIALLY HEARTENED BY THE CLICKS MY HEALTH UPDATES HAVE RECEIVED. I FEEL BETTER AND BETTER EVERY DAY NOW, THE MEDS HAVE SETTLED AND HELP MORE THAN HINDER, MY STAMINA IS RETURNING THOUGH THE COLD AIR STILL KEEPS ME FROM SPENDING MUCH TIME OUTDOORS.

HERE IS WHAT I ADDED TO ABOUT YESTERDAY: 

I seem to have tapped into the source of an endless stream of ideas that flow like quicksilver through my mind, some of them getting captured and sent far and asunder in my own words. As Terence McKenna said, “Imagination is where we are coming from and imagination is where we are going to.” I have honed my imagination to a fine nib that dips into the rainbow ink of many worlds, leaving behind a sometimes elegant, sometimes smeared trail of word crumbs. If they ever help anybody find their way home, my job is done.

I FEEL COUCHED IN THE LOVE OF MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD. SPIRIT MOVES THROUGH ME DAILY. BE HAPPY. LOVE

REID

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Reid’s Pop Song of the Month and Why

Reid’s Pop Song of the Month and Why

 Introduction

Quick definition of pop song: any popular song from any era regardless of musical genre.

            The criteria for getting to be Reid’s Pop Song of the Month is simple: I have to love the tune. It has to dye me, heal, console and inspire me, teach, enlarge and challenge me, contribute to my personal evolution, resonate through my lifetime and be a wonder-filled marriage of music and lyrics. Each tune has to have “seen me through” somehow. Not much to ask of a pop song, is it?  

          There are certainly elements of “trying to tell a stranger about rock and roll” when writing intimately about something utterly subjective like your favourite songs. I’ll keep my tongue firmly in my cheek and the tone light and fluffy just like the music. With every song in this series, it might take a few listens to hear what I hear but if you never hear it, that’s fine too. Ear of the beholder. Besides, it’s only a pop song.

            Lest we fall into a pop culture miasma of foolishness and desire and lose track of our balance, I suggest you click on the Culture is not your friend link  here or on my blogroll and let Terence McKenna fill you in. He makes a very clear distinction between art and culture, a distinction that is mostly invisible today.

REID’S POP SONG OF THE MONTH IS

Love Changes (Everything)

Climie Fisher

            This smart little ditty has long been one of my all-time favourite pop songs. Aside from the basic truth of its title, Love Changes (Everything) by Climie Fisher chugs along with enchanting simplicity, prompting the poor brokenhearted boy to churn out his sad lost love story – two verses of pain, hope blooms with every chorus and the middle eight brings the wisdom home. Love can go either way and this four and a half minute celebration is a simple joyful expression of its pursuit.  

Please listen to the song and watch the video.  Click pic to play

            Released in 1987 and an international hit, Love Changes (Everything) is the ultimate British synth/haircut band pop song. Rather than evolve, it flakes off in sickly saccharin layers. The sweet chiming guitar and firm backbeat set in a synth drone with warbling keys build a comfortable nest for the fragile boy to somehow find his way through the confusion, the heartache and the hormones and live with his new wisdom: love changes everything. His do-do-do chorus and the big hopeful sky help him realize it’s third time lucky. He’s so happy about it all by the end of the song he almost sings falsetto. The parallels between his story and mine are strong and personal, diverging only because I have never been able to sing falsetto.

            Pop song lyrics have given us endless samples of the somber, the insipid and the silly. For me lyrics have to live up to the music, to be as smart or as dumb as the tune and the band. With Climie Fisher, let’s start with the inexplicable brackets around Everything: pointless. It gets better.

            The pop song format shines brightest when it poetically encapsulates basic truths. In Love Changes (Everything) we hear “Love makes you fly; it can break your wings,” “Love makes the rules from fools to kings” and “I’ve seen the way love shakes ya, makes ya, breaks ya. It’s got a power all its own.” Who can argue successfully with that? Though a little lumpy here and there with an extra syllable snuck in the last line of both verses, the lyric gets the story across just fine. Of course, it’s the same old story, tired and ever true.

            Who were Climie Fisher? Simon Climie sang and Rob Fisher, formerly of Naked Eyes, played keyboard. Both their hit records came out in 1987. The featured song went Top Ten in half a dozen countries, Rise To the Occasion, its follow-up, was less of a hit. Fisher died in 1999 and the group disbanded. Climie and Fisher share the writing credits for Love Changes (Everything).

            For me, the video seriously aids and abets Love Changes (Everything). Besides appealing to my latent train thing, I love the sepia colouration and the highly attractive people. It’s a study in fine faces, several of them seemingly made of pure white porcelain, set against the horizontal movement of boxcars passing by a “Kansas skies” railroad station. Panning cameras enhance the almost continuous horizontal motion, as do all the straight lines in the set. Subtly sexual use of vertical lines and movement abounds; the out-of-focus backgrounds, body-as-landscape and spinning windmill add to the effect. The luscious tableau created at 1:41 and its resolution give me a little shiver every time I see it.

The Final Tally for Love Changes (Everything)

             On the ascending scale of sweetness according to The Beatles song Savoy Truffle:

Savoy Truffle

Coconut fudge

Nice apple tart

Cool cherry cream

Coffee dessert

Ginger sling with a pineapple heart

Montelimar

Crème tangerine

Number of teeth you’ll need to pull (out of 32): 11

Compared to glucose/fructose, the likelihood of getting diabetes  from listening to this tune repeatedly is: 17%

             Now listen to the song and watch the video again. Any difference?

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New today! Coming Friday!

         The Tom Waits Song of the Week now on my Blogroll features one of his best songs and one of his most evocative videos – Downtown Train. Although it has a Guy Maddin feel to it, the video was directed by French photographer and video maker Jean-Baptiste Mondino. The old man at the beginning is boxer Jake LaMotta. Treat yourself.

         As promised! Coming Friday! The Very First Reid’s Pop Song of the Month and Why. Who will it be? Got you curious?

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The Next Sacred Place

         I am continuing the 12 Sacred Places series by adding a new report on the last Sunday of every month. The next Sacred Place arrives here Sunday, January 30. Let me take you away!

        Where will it be? Hint: it’s further west than the Big Muddy Valley in southern Saskatchewan.

   Here’s a picture of the Big Muddy along Hwy 18.

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Safeguards at Sacred Places

SAFEGUARDS AT SACRED PLACES 

“The here of vigilance and the now of seeking.”

-Beautiful Painted Arrow

            Because of the nature of the energy present at sacred sites, it is important to visit them in an appropriate manner. Ancient sites require of us a special attention; they require us to be wise in the present moment. Here are some basic safeguards when researching ancient energy. Smudging is a suitable cleansing method, either a small twist of sweetgrass or cedar inside your vehicle or outside, but not if it’s dry weather. This comprehensive list is by writer Maxine Asher. Adherence is personal but I have found #6, #7 and #8 to be most important.

  1. Maintain optimum mental and physical health.
  2. Practice interaction with vibrations at local ancient sites.
  3. Do not preprogram information about the area you plan to visit.
  4. Begin work in relatively untraveled regions.
  5. Eat lightly before visits
  6. Transmit less and receive more.
  7. Never enter a site in ‘neutral’. Always manifest a positive aura of protection at all times.
  8. Always discharge energies after leaving a site.
  9. Systematically record observations and experiences.
  10.  Be patient in waiting for results.
  11.  Travel alone whenever possible.
  12.  Be careful in your handling of words and intonations at ancient sites.

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Filed under Sacred Places, shaman, Spirit

Health Update

           I have come to an agreement with the medications regarding their side effects: stop! Feeling more and more like myself, healthier and stronger every day. A couple of weeks of kicking back and I’ll be ready to bat some home runs. Thanks for all your hits on my site and your ongoing positive support. Be happy. Love, Reid

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My Buddy!

MEET TULU, MY HOUSEMATE, MY COMPANION AND MY SOULMATE WHEN SHE IS HUNGRY. SHE IS A GORGEOUS DILUTED CALICO CUTIE WHO CONFORMS TO MISS ANN ELK’S THEORY ABOUT DINOSAURS, A LA MONTY PYTHON. TULU IS ROUND IN THE MIDDLE AND POINTED AT BOTH ENDS. HER NAME TENDS TO MUTATE REGULARLY, MOST RECENTLY INTO UBU OR JUST SIMPLY OOBS. SHE’S A WONDERFUL LITTLE CAT!

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Filed under Family