Tag Archives: compassion

Four Docs

Reid Dickie

I’ve been pillaging the Winnipeg library system’s terrific collection of DVDs for recent documentaries and have four to recommend to you. I’m sure you can find some or all of these on the internet.

Gasland by Josh Fox Wanna see a guy light his tap water on fire? Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, is a dangerous and earth-killing technique that oil and gas companies all over North America use to release natural gas from shale deposits deep underground. A combination of water, sand and over 900 chemicals under enormous pressure is pumped into the shale, fracturing the rock. Trouble is, without any oversight, the drillers pollute the groundwater of area residents with natural gas and chemicals causing dire consequences. On the Canadian prairies, fracking is used extensively in southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan. It would be interesting to look at the groundwater purity in places like Waskada and Melita, MB and Stoughton, Carlyle and Weyburn, SK today and see what happens to it over the next year or two. Click the pic to watch a preview of Gasland.

Buck by Cindy Meehl Buck Brannaman is an American “horse whisperer” of sorts. Raised by a violently abusive father, Buck bucked the typical imitative lifestyle of the beaten-young and lived the opposite life, one of compassion, love and understanding for people and animals, especially horses. We follow Buck as he travels to various four-day horse-training workshops and we encounter the people and horses he meets and tames using his gentle technique which he teaches to the horse owners. We get to listen to Buck’s country philosophy delivered with humour and true wisdom. As Buck says, “Often, instead of helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.” I was honoured and humbled to spend ninety minutes in the presence of someone as highly evolved as Buck Brannaman and you will be too when you watch it. Click pic to see preview.

Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy When Linda and me first got together in 1977 we made all sorts of art including street art. Our outdoor work included putting fancy decorated bras on the “breasts” of fire hydrants, postering neighbourhood telephone poles with paper collages and so on. (You can find out much more about our early art efforts on my DTC Art page.) The spirit of street art has grown since then to the degree that one of the genre’s most shadowy figures, British graffiti artist Banksy, has made an Academy Award nominated documentary on the topic. Banksy tries to give us some direction here but this film twists and turns until you’re not sure who or what it is about. Fascinating glimpses into the lives of Shepard Fairey (OBEY) and Thierry Guetta whose role changes as the film progresses. Overall a statement on art beyond post-modernism demonstrating that the distance between graffiti on a brick wall in an alley and on the wall of a cocktail-muzak art gallery is very short. There is some indication the whole movie was a hoax, a prank by Banksy. Decide for yourself. Click pic for a preview.

Catfish by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost After a discussion on the veracity of the internet, my friend Kenn recommended Catfish to me. Thanks Kenn! Here we find a nice Jewish photographer who starts to buy art ostensibly painted by a little girl over the internet. Soon he meets her older sister, again over the internet. They talk on the phone, exchange pictures, check each other out on Facebook and he starts to fall in love with her. He desperately needs something to believe in but gradually things about her don’t add up so he and his filmmaker friends decide to visit her in Michigan. That’s as far as the trailer takes you and I’m leaving you there too. You’re on your own for the rest of this fast-paced eye-opener. I didn’t have much sympathy for the gullible photographer who seemed incapable of any kind of critical thinking, dumbed down and fully in the sway of Born-Yesterday Syndrome but I was richly entertained by the film. The upshot: Believe nothing you read on the internet, including my reviews, unless you can personally verify it, which in my case you can by seeing the films. Click the pic for trailer.

Four non-docs I recommend: Red State is a departure for that Kevin Smith and the antidote to Clerks. Tyrannosaur is a powerful British film completely peopled with despicables. The first season of British crime drama Luther features the incredible Idris Elba in the scary title role. Pirate Radio is a nostalgic romp that includes one of the best Beatles homage moments ever.

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Filed under Art Actions, Diversions, Film, Linda, Love

The Real Work

Reid Dickie

“I recognize that waking up with love, embracing the world and being a source of peace takes work.  This is the real work.” – Chris Scholl

Since my dear friend Chris posted this line on his Love Art & Fear blog, I have thought a great deal about the real work required of us. By Chris’ definition the real work entails meeting each day with a loving heart that compassionately embraces the present world, creating peace within itself and, by example, in the hearts of others.  We have everything we need to do the job; we are spared nothing, but, still, it is not easy work. In fact, it is the most difficult thing we do.

The real work doesn’t make money or get you through to vacation. The real work makes a difference in the world by setting an example that changes people, inspires possibilities and leads others into a positive thoughtful future. The real work requires that every day, moment to moment, we live from our hearts, that we be and do from our hearts, loving until it hurts, à la Ken Wilber.

This loving expression in the world builds Soul, ours and World Soul. Soul-building is not just the purview of Old Souls; it is required of us in every lifetime, a web across eternity. Together we evolve in harmony. Or we don’t. Today, that choice, though undeniable, isn’t obvious to most people. Making that choice more obvious is part of soul-building, part of the real work.

We cannot do this work alone or without tools.  Our tools are forgiveness, compassion and, most of all, love – all useful, all perfect – but often we apply them poorly, without grace or true compassion. If we are lucky we have adequate others in our life to help us be more effective and to teach us to wield our abilities with skill and endurance.

I am incredibly lucky. My soul mate of 33 years continues to teach me daily, sharing her energies and love. Spirit has given me three other Old Souls with whom I actively pursue soul-building according to their needs and gifts, giving me useful purpose and great satisfaction. I have spent this summer traveling, performing personal and world ritual at sacred sites and recording hours of video for a number of current and future projects. Every day this summer I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. High luxury, indeed, for which I am enormously grateful!

My personal soul-building, on hold since late childhood, restarted when I re-encountered Nature as part of shamanism. Nature mysticism is a large part of shamanic practice and I was welcomed back to it by my power animals and spirit helpers. With the guidance of Spirit, my loving life purpose is being fulfilled, my soul evolves and my gratitude for it all is immense. The real work is being done.

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Filed under Ancient Wisdom, Hope, Love, Old Souls, Soul Building