Tag Archives: wisdom
I visited Minton Turtle Effigy on July 3, a hot and breezy day in southern Saskatchewan. The dirt road up to the site had about a foot of water at its lowest point so I opted to walk rather than drive. Donning my rubber boots I slogged through the damp spots to the top of the highest hill around. The grass at the effigy site is tall and thick from the year’s abundant moisture, making the effigy difficult to find for first time visitors. But it drew me in and I felt the welcome warmth and compassion I usually experience when I come here. With my new video camera, I took a panorama of the horizon from the site.
Looking southwest from the turtle effigy, this picture shows Big Muddy Lake, usually a dry bed rimmed with white alkali, fluid and blue on the horizon this year.
The Saskatchewan government has recognized the site by erecting three explanation boards for the place.The archies are still trying to figure out what the heck this thing is!
There has been little change in the status of Spruce Woods Provincial Park since my last update. Most of the park’s amenities remain closed and inaccessible due to flooding, including Spirit Sands and Punchbowl, Ispuitinaw Trail, Marsh Lake, the lower area of Kiche Manitou Campground, concession stand and canoe campground.
The upper campground and yurts at Kiche Manitou Campground are open and accessible with the parks call centre taking reservations. Access to these campground sites is only via Hwy #2 from the south, but not the Trans Canada Highway. This map shows the detour. By the way, for the third year in a row, there is no entry fee to visit Manitoba’s provincial parks. They are free! Great deal! Camping fees still apply.
There’s not much to do this year at Spruce Woods but a few of the trails are open or partially open. Using Carberry and TCH access from the north, Epinette Creek is partially open, that is to cabin #2 and Juniper Loop but the trail is closed at start of Tamarack Loop. Arriving from the south, the Hogs Back Trail is open, Spring Ridge Trail is partially open with some flooded sections. This trail has been expanded. Warning signs are posted. The Trans Canada Trail east of upper campground is open, equestrian trails are open with some sections flooded and the main equestrian campground is open.
The prognosis for the park reopening is not good. Ominously, the Souris River joins the Assiniboine just upstream from Spruce Woods and, with the volume of water rolling down the Souris today, it is conceivable Highway #5 through the park will remain closed for the summer, and, depending on the extent of damage, possibly for the year. Though the bridge is still holding, there is massive wash-out of the highway on either side.
As one who hikes Spirit Sands at least a dozen times every summer, I’m having hiker withdrawal this year not being able to walk the land. Linda’s beautiful photographs of the sands in this post will have to do for now. The Assiniboine has probably inundated the low-lying Punchbowl but the sands themselves are at a much higher elevation and escape flooding. I’m imagining how pristine and pure the untrodden dunes must be, how delicately the rivulets of water have drawn their paths down the sloping trails and how the log ladders are buried from disuse.
June 20, 2011
“Enticed back, fulfilling an unspoken responsibility.”
I wrote about Castle Butte in a post called Local Knowledge. Castle Butte, a quarter of a mile around and over 200 feet high, is a huge, ever-eroding sandstone monolith that stands like a sentinel over the vast distance of the Big Muddy Valley in southern Saskatchewan, a prominent landmark for millennia. Many times, I’ve stood next to Castle Butte and gazed down the miles-wide valley, its stratified walls burnished by afternoon sun. Since the valley has filled up over the past 8,000 years, I imagine it five times deeper, engorged with torrents of cold glacial runaway meltwater, carving a new language in a system of channels across the land, its syllables the unstoppable will of gravity driving fresh water toward a warm and welcoming sea. The same water chiseled Castle Butte’s precious shape.
This picture shows the butte holding a cloud.
This year, like last, I visited Castle Butte with my friend and spiritual ally Chris. Just like the returnees I write about in Local Knowledge, we were drawn back. Our detour due to flooding allowed the chance to visit the butte. We were eager to return and happy the gravel road through the valley was easily passable. My experience with Chris defies the reports in Local knowledge since we were alone both times we stopped there. This year, the butte’s sparse greenery is lush from the rains, as you can see in my pictures. When it rains heavy, the butte looks like a fountain.
These four pictures show the streams of erosion on one small face of the butte.
This picture shows one of several pinnacles that Castle Butte sports.
A hoodoo, sculpted by the elements, at Castle Butte.
This is the view across the Big Muddy Valley from Castle Butte.
Castle Butte stands as mute witness to its wild, watery genesis but a full participant in its saga of erosion and change. The wind and water still etch their calligraphy into its soft, willing sandstone, the people still return and all the while, Spirit aids and abets our needs. Majestic and mysterious, Castle Butte waits.
The year-by-year history of the art Linda and I created when we first got together now covers seven years. On DTC Art page, you can find our art actions from 1977 until 1983 with plenty of links to the videos we made and other DTC art attractions. Collage, performance, video, audio, fashion, design, public art – DickTool Co used multi-media to probe the world and its all documented. This picture is from June 1985 when Linda and I were married and is a screen shot from a short video of the casual reception. We were happy kids!
“It makes no difference as to the name of Spirit, since love is the real Spirit of all the world.”
“Those that lie down with dogs get up with fleas.”
“When you lose the rhythm of the drumbeat of Spirit, you are lost from the peace and rhythm of life.”
“There is a hole at the end of the thief’s path.”
OGLALA SIOUX PROVERB
“Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.”
“No one else can represent your conscience.”
“Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way.”
“Never sit while your seniors stand.”
“When you have learned about love, you have learned about Great Spirit.”
“The rain falls on the just and the unjust.”
“If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”
“There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnake’s tail.”
“The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.”
“One has to face fear or forever run from it.”
“Work hard, keep the ceremonies, live peaceably and unite your hearts.”
“The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.”
NEZ PERCE PROVERB
“Talk to your children while they are eating; what you say will stay even after you are gone.”
“Death always comes out of season.”
“A man must make his own arrows.”
“Let us all be meat, to nourish one another, that we all may grow.”
One of the intentions of this blog is to share ancient wisdom. I have created a page called Proverbs which stores and updates all the tribal proverbs that arise on this blog. Find them here now.
“Our first teacher is our own heart.”
“Life’s greatest danger lies in the fact that man’s food consists entirely of souls.”
“You must live your life from beginning to end; no one else can do it for you.”
“The man who freely gives his opinion should be ready to fight fiercely.”
“Cherish youth but trust old age.”
This is the most complex crop circle ever found in a British field. Discovered in June 2008, it is an encoded representation of pi to the tenth significant figure 3.141592654
Michael Reed, an astrophysicist, said: “The tenth digit has even been correctly rounded up. The little dot near the centre is the decimal point.
“The code is based on 10 angular segments with the radial jumps being the indicator of each segment.
“God gives us each a song.”
“Speak the truth in humility to all people. Only then can you be a true man.”
“Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant.”
“The smarter a man is the more he needs Great Spiritod to protect him from thinking he knows everything.”
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”
“If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come.”
“After dark all cats are leopards.”
“Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves.”
“Never go to sleep when your meat is on the fire.”
“Remember that your children are not your own but are lent to you by the Creator.”
“All who have died are equal.”
“Keep the top of your head open.”
“Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.”
“Every fire is the same size when it starts.”
“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”
My dad, Bruce Dickie, died January 28, 2001, ten years ago today. He was 83. It was his time. I miss him every day.
“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.
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
And to die is different from
What anyone supposes