Tag Archives: gary snyder

“Nature is not a place to visit – it is home.” – Gary Snyder

“What most humans really desire is something quite different from industrial gimmickry; it is liberty, spontaneity, nakedness, mystery, wildness, wilderness.” – Edward Abbey


“We can never be born enough. We are human beings, for whom birth is a supremely welcome mystery, the mystery of growing, the mystery which happens only and whenever we are faithful to ourselves.” – e.e.cummings

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Filed under Ancient Wisdom

Things I Have Forgotten – Day 1


Reid Dickie



Click pic to play

Thus begins Reid’s 2013 version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

This year  I offer twelve glimpses into mysterious places where what you see and what you hear may surprise and inspire you, at least I hope so. Combining seven personal reminiscences with original footage and free clips off the internet I molded Things I Have Forgotten, a new 35-minute video art piece. I divided the piece into twelve segments and will offer one a day until Christmas Day here on my blog.

I found inspiration in early 1970s artists like Lisa Steele and Vito Acconci who created very personal videos that revealed some aspect of their past, real or mythical. Their calm, underplayed deliveries were and still are the exact opposite of television’s relentless howl. These seminal video artists created still and peaceful places where they told their intimate stories. I tried to create similar places with Things I Have Forgotten, places where the viewer can feel at ease, hearing personal stories but alert because you’re never sure what might happen next. The quick cuts, brisk swaths of sound interspersed with the stories keep you in the moment, attuned to the experience.

Tomorrow there will be more and every day thereafter another piece of the puzzle called Things I Have Forgotten will be added. On Christmas Day the entire work, all twelve segments in order, can be viewed on YouTube. Click the pic above to start Things I Have Forgotten. 

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2013, Art Actions, video art

Manitoba Flood Update – Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reid Dickie

“Don’t Come to Brandon.”

The Assiniboine River continues to threaten cities, towns and farmland in Manitoba today. The river level at Brandon increased about 3 inches overnight and forecasters estimate the crest of the flow is near. Though the rain has stopped, the weather is quite windy, not ideal. Some good news this morning: no further rain is expected in Brandon for the rest of the week although rain is predicted further north. So far, over 1200 residents have been evacuated south of the river but people on the north side still remain in their homes. According to Brandon flood officials at their morning briefing, nearly all the sandbagging and diking is done. They now are in a state of maintenance, watching for seepage and breaches. The Brandon bypass – Hwy 110 – may be opened to piloted heavy commercial vehicles only today; First Street remains closed but Operations is hopeful it may reopen on the weekend; all lanes of 18th Street may open to traffic today. This sounds promising but the Assiniboine may have other plans.

Brandon’s mayor, Shari Decter Hirst, stated that, though everything looks calm and under control, the city is in the eye of the storm now, waiting to see what the river will do next. She emphasized that it’s not over yet so don’t get complacent. “We don’t need tourists,” the mayor said. “Don’t come to Brandon to gawk at our hardship. We don’t need anyone doing that. Brandon is in a state of emergency. Respect that.” Since most of the evacuees are lodged in Brandon hotels, there are no rooms available to stay in anyway. The Corral Centre remains closed. The mayor again commended the “everyday heroes” who have worked to save the city.

“Controlled” release set for Thursday 

Manitoba Water Stewardship announced today the “controlled” release of river water just east of Portage la Prairie is scheduled for Thursday morning at 8 a.m. The intent is to drain some of the Assiniboine into the La Salle River watershed so it will empty into the Red River south of the floodway. Residents of the 150 mostly farm homes affected by the release are evacuating today while military personnel build dikes around their properties.  The “controlled” release is preferable to an uncontrolled release which would have unpredictable results. I don’t know how big a gamble this release actually is for the government or how firm their predictability is but I am compelled to reprint poet Gary Snyder’s caution: “It is not nature-as-chaos which threatens us but the State’s presumption that it has created order.” Here is a map of the area to be intentionally flooded.

The Portage Diversion, which diverts Assiniboine water northward to Lake Manitoba, is being re-enforced, its banks heightened to accommodate greater capacity. Homes along the Diversion are on flood evacuation alert.

Other rivers and lakes

The Red River still cuts a wide swath across southern Manitoba. The Floodway is adequately protecting Winnipeg again as water levels decrease slightly. The Souris River is causing havoc in Melita with levels increasing due to excessive rain this week. Dauphin Lake is at flood stage with heavy precipitation expected there today and tomorrow adding to the woes of cottagers and farmers. Over 600 military personnel are working at various sites along the Assiniboine. The province has requested 300 more.

The waiting is underway big time now in Brandon and communities all along the Assiniboine flood plain. When will the crest arrive? Are we protected? Stay tuned for the answers to those and other watery questions. My next report comes late Wednesday evening.

Provincial government flood information here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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Filed under Flood, Local History, Natural Places, Prairie People