My Love is a rocket.
With no helmet or seat belt, I ignite.
Coordinates —> the heart of your sun.
Like a moth in the dark, I risk all to be with your light.
Like a fool on the run, I lift off no return in sight.
Just for a chance to soar through the heavens with you LOVE.
As I sat sipping on my butter coffee, staring at my pathetic tiny toast, a sound cracked in the sky like a dying rabbit’s scream followed by the smell of the Tuffys plant blowing in through the window…
The smell reminded me of the time I cried as I child when my mother came home with a perm for the first time. I remember saying something like; “Why did you wreck your hair, it’s ugly!” Just what she wanted to hear. I imagine.
The entrance is closer than you think.
Fear locks the gate in and opens the gate out.
This place appears dangerous, so many leave.
I wait for you here, I am not afraid.
If you were here right now I would kiss you.
No, first I would hold you and then I would kiss you in one…fell…swoop.
But what if my kisser no longer works? Yeah right.
What if my intuition fails me?
Can’t deny the morning dove sign or your clearest green eyes.
You are blind, small & young.
We are old, wise, in disguise; witnessing the demise of your many lives.
You run around having no REAL fun – dumb.
No worries, someday you’ll leave and we’ll still be…
I live on a deserted island.
There are others here, but without you…
this realm -> deserted.
It takes me all night to get to you in my dreams and when I do our conversation is easy, as always, but then I awaken.
Some days when I look at the sun I know you are too.
Some days when I look at the sun I imagine your boat crashing on my shore with a knock at the door…
what happens next devours all that ever existed.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve been here.
September 30th, 2015 is the DEADLINE to comment on ENDbridge’s proposed revision of line 3, the tar sands oil pipeline. Send your comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission at this email address: email@example.com. Under the subject line of your email, put in docket PL-9/PPL-15-137 and PL/CN-14-916. Below is the comment letter that I submitted on September 25th, 2015.
To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing to comment on the “Certificate of Need” and “Route Permit” for the Enbridge line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The validity of this comment and review process is more than questionable after the unanimous vote of support by the Minnesota Public Utility Commission for Enbridge’s Sandpiper oil pipeline project earlier this year. I choose to share my thoughts and perspective on this attempt to create a oil pipeline corridor through the region in which I live, in hopes of inspiring others to comment as well. Not all Minnesotans are willing to sell out the long term livability of our home for short term profits for a foreign corporation. After listening to debates, attending meetings and following this important matter for over a year, here are some aspects of these oil pipeline projects that I would like to point out:
1. Water is more valuable than oil. At a time when other parts of this country and world are literally starving for clean water resources, here in Minnesota we live amongst over 10,000 fresh water lakes and wetlands. Many of the lakes located along the company’s proposed route for the pipeline corridor are some of the cleanest, least polluted lakes in the state. If one takes a look at a ground water map of Minnesota which shows the sensitivity of areas to contamination, it appears as if Enbridge intentionally chose a route for their pipelines through the most sensitive areas in the state.
2. Creating more pipelines only increases oil companies’ capacity for profit, which does not justify the risk posed to Minnesota’s clean water resources. The idea of creating more oil pipelines to alleviate congested railroad lines is a misconception as oil companies use these two transportation methods: rail and pipeline; to access different markets for their product. Most of the oil shipped by rail ends up on the coasts of our country, while much of the oil that would pass through this pipeline corridor would end up in Superior, WI or Chicago. Oil companies are going to ship their product to the places where they can make the most profit, so adding more pipelines will not necessarily eliminate the congested rail line problem. Since the recent decline of oil prices, if you pay attention around the state you will notice miles of parked oil train cars. It is time to slow down, take a step back and see how we can make the process of transporting oil safer for everyone, including the environment. What appears clear to me is that the explosive “trade secret” chemicals used in the fracking process should be eliminated completely or extracted before transport. Along with removing the explosive chemicals before transport, the train cars used to transport oil should have double hulls to eliminate the chance of leakage during a derailment. Any pipeline built in Minnesota should use a similar double hulled technology. Rather than over produce oil which saturates the market, we should encourage the scaling back of dirty “fossil” resources as the move is made to renewable energy options.
3. Why would oil pipelines ever be permitted to run through unaccessible wetland areas that would be nearly impossible to ever clean up? Enbridge’s stated response time to an oil spill is upwards of 60 hours. Can you imagine watching a ruptured pipeline leak oil into a river for 3 days straight? Another argument for the creating the pipeline corridor is the jobs that the project will create. Most of jobs that this project would create would be short term, so why not route the pipeline through southern Minnesota where the soil isn’t nearly as susceptible to contamination. The southerly route proposed by the Friends of the Headwaters would keep the builders of the pipeline employed longer, protect the more sensitive areas of the state from oil spills and create a route for the pipelines that would be more accessible when there is an oil leak.
After the recent ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Sandpiper pipeline, the Line 3 replacement project should have it’s own expanded environmental review to study the effects of transporting corrosive tar sands oil across the state. What a foreign corporation has proposed here is a pipeline corridor running through the heart of Minnesota’s lakes and wetlands. It is our job as custodians of the land to protect it for future generations. We must not allow the livability of our Minnesota home to be sacrificed in the name of profits for the oil industry. The oil fracking industry will leave western North Dakota an uninhabitable wasteland and if we don’t speak up and pay attention these oil pipelines could do the same to our beautiful Minnesota home.
Now that we are past the spring equinox 2015, I would like to share a few thoughts and intentions. The connections we made through hosting a Barter Fest the last five years are truly incredible. We couldn’t have asked for more support from our family, friends and community who all participated in creating this great event. Thank you to everyone who helped us make an amazing Barter Fest in Hewitt a reality! While we have realized that it is time to retire this Barter Fest, we are hopeful that others may light a similar fire in their community.
At some point we all come to a crossroads in our life, but luckily we still have the freedom to choose which path to take. Each and every day we are presented with opportunities to change our ways. The path that I have chosen for the new year is a path of empowerment for myself and those around me. No longer will I stand by watching others disempower themselves and I challenge you to do the same!
Our life path can be perceived as a two way street. In one direction we slowly destroy ourselves or willingly allow ourselves to be destroyed. Surprisingly enough, this appears to be the paved and easy road, the one most traveled these days. Why would a society choose to promote and indoctrinate such a direction? Profit & control. As long as there is money to be made by people getting sick, there is no incentive to stop creating the causes of illness. As long as we are overworked, unhealthy and distracted, we will not pay attention to what is really happening to us and our world. Notice the scope of frequencies on this map of consciousness that you take in by watching the nightly news on your “tell-a-vision”!
It is possible to empower yourself and those around you. At first, this trail appears to be an uphill climb. The portage this way is long and hard, so you best ditch the extra baggage and self hate you’ve been carrying around all these years. Once you are free from self loathing, you can start to forgive those who have done you wrong. It is helpful to consider the cycle of patterns that have been placed over you by family and friends during your upbringing. These patterns can be passed down from generation to generation, but you do have the ability to the break these chains once and for all. Once you have broken free, you have a responsibility to help those around you do the same. When deciding what to eat, how to spend your time or who to hang out with, ask the question; does this empower or disempower me? As you strive to change direction in your life and our world, know that you are not alone in this effort. Our time here is short, so we best make the most of it! Together, may we leave behind a legacy of more beauty, truth and love!
Performance schedule for Barter Fest’s hay wagon stage:
Open Mic 12:45- 2:15
Old School 2:15-3:00
Michael Mitchell 3:15- 3:30
Buffalo Skin 3:45-4:15
Natasha Vodkavitch 4:30-5:15
Al DeSautel 5:30-6:15
Amanda Standalone 6:30-7:15
Karen Townsend 7:15-8:00
Dorthy Fix 8:15-8:45
Duluth Spin Collective 8:45-9:30
Leon Boots 9:30-10:15
Matt Faulkingham 10:15- 10:45
Sycamore Smith 11:00-12:00 am
Indoor Schedule 504 N Front St:
Brain Washh 12:00-1:00 am
DJ Guy Jean 1:00 am – ???
The 2014 Barter Festival is made possible by the Hewitt Lions Club, the City of Hewitt and “by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultrual Heritage Fund”.
Barter fest demonstration classes will be held indoors (unless noted otherwise) at 504 N Front Street Hewitt. These classes are sponsored by the New York Mill Cultural Center and are made possible “by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultrual Heritage Fund”.
Kathy Connell – Seed Saving
1- 1:15 pm
Kathy Connell- Continued
1:15- 2 pm
Nikki Werner- Coptic Book Binding
Brad Wegsheid- Raku Ceramics (outdoors)
Pat Kilby- coffin making
Bruce Engebretson- spinning & weaving
As always, this year’s Barter Fest flyer was skillfully made by Amber Fletschock.
Are you ready for another Barter Fest?! For the fifth year in a row, individuals from around the region will gather in Hewitt, MN on September 20th, 2014 to exchange items, knowledge, talents, create new relationships and experience a menagerie of artistic entertainment. Unique to this year, the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center will co sponsor the event by hosting numerous folk school classes all day. If you’ve never made it to Barter Fest, this is the year to do it!
Bartering is so much more than a transaction and rarely are two barters the same. The act of each barter is a creation in itself, a memorable story to be shared and quite possibly the beginning of a new relationship. The practice of bartering is to assign, discuss and agree on a shared value with each transaction. Along with the liberating experience of bartering, this event will present an opportunity for you to sing songs, share a poem, story or just speak your mind on an open mic stage. Interwoven with the open format of songs and stories will be scheduled performances from a wide range of artists from the tristate area. Check back soon for a complete schedule of classes and performers for the 2014 Barter Fest!
What can I bring to barter? Here are a few ideas but don’t let these limit you; home grown food, firewood, your art, your products (what do you make?), your business (what do you do?) useful items that you no longer need, livestock, manure, straw bales, plants, antiques, honey, maple syrup, wild rice, jam, baked goods, building supplies, school supplies, clothes, jewelry…the list is endless! This is the time to celebrate the season’s bounty and a chance for us to come together before winter sets in. May our paths cross at this year’s Barter Fest!
Often I like to imagine what this area was like before the settlers arrived. There is a rich, but relatively short history to be found here. Most of our communities in Todd and Wadena County were founded 100 to 150 years ago. Ever think about how humans would navigate this once great Wilderness? Well trails and rivers were their highways and while we may not live in lakes country, thankfully we have the rivers!
A few years back, on a mild November day, my wife and I threw our recently acquired canoe into the Wing River in Hewitt. For nearly three hours we drifted down the river, enjoying the bountiful wild life and vegetation living along this forgotten terrain. I am guessing that it had been awhile since anyone had braved the Wing, with all of the fallen trees and barb wire fences crossing the river. When we left on our adventure that first time, we didn’t even have a plan for how to get back to town, but thankfully we caught a ride home by the county line. Since that initial experience, we have continued to enjoy trips down the river. The head waters of the Wing are located near Parkers Prairie and the river runs to the Leaf River, emptying into the Crow Wing and finally meeting up with the mighty Mississippi. So in theory, you could travel from Hewitt to New Orleans by river!
Rivers have always been great ways to travel, but not that long ago they were also a clean source of food and water. Over the years we have turned our backs on the health of the environment and the rivers in particular. As the water ways flow through the country side, much like the blood through our veins, the rivers accumulate numerous toxins from a variety of sources. By the time the water from the Wing River reaches the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi, the environment there is uninhabitable creating what is considered a “dead zone”.
I would like to see our communities be more conscience of the water sheds we live in. It is important for us to be aware of what we are draining into the rivers. The first step in accomplishing this is to get out and explore your river ways! The rivers are an untapped recreational resource in our area that are vitally connected to the future health and livability of our region. It is up to us as citizens to care and monitor what is happening with our water supplies. Only the areas of our nation that make a concerted effort to clean up and protect the environment will continue to support a healthy habitat for future generations.
Michael Dagen works and lives in what he calls, “the suburb of Wadena” aka the City of Hewitt. Michael is a song writer, audio engineer, and passionate lover of the outdoors.
Article published in the Wadena Pioneer Journal on June 5th, 2014.