Exploring the Arts and My place in Creation

Exploring the Arts and My place in Creation - - - - - - - - Please visit my art blog at www.digidoodle.me

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wa wee ay

Alex and I

Touching the Sisters

I have been spending a lot of time with Alex. As you may or may not be aware, I am writing a book about Alex Mathias and the Old Growth Experience. I have been listening intently to stories about life on the land and struggles to help protect it. 

After the long journey in and a few beverages everyone went to bed. The time was about 1am, and I just wasn't ready to sleep. I decided to go for a walk. This beautiful dog, Buck, is on a chain for reason. I had this great idea of slipping the dog off the chain and going for a bush walk. The voice in my head said don't do it, but I often don't listen. Off we went on our walk and it was golden. Buck was really obedient and a pleasure to journey with. After a while I let Buck lead me on a beautiful walk on the beach. Buck walked me to Alex's house and up the path. Suddenly all heck broke loose. Buck began to fight with Mugwish and it was ferocious. I stepped in to break it up and I could not. The three of us were tumbling on the ground and I lost a shoe. I grabbed onto Bucks collar and dragged him away. The 2 dogs were inseparable and I dragged the two of them down to the beach. While trying to break it up, I ended up in the Lake. Sand likes to stick to wet clothing. There was no way I could break this fight up and so I grabbed Bucks collar again and continued to drag the 2 fighting dogs across the beach and back to Bucks chain. I lost another shoe and there I was, wet, sandy, shoe less and exhausted. I managed to drag Buck to the chain but I had also lost my light in the scuffle. I lay on the ground frantically searching for the chain, with two dogs still at battle. As soon as the chain connected to the collar, Mugwish relented and slipped into the darkness. I lay on the ground right there at Bucks place and he snuggled with me as I licked my wounds. I was so darn tired and full of adrenaline that I just sat there until I could calm down. I sheepishly climbed into the guest cabin and removed all my dirty clothes, put a log on the fire and slipped into bed. The following day I told Alex the story. He laughed and said "Now you know why Buck is on the chain. I could have told you that, but maybe its best that you got to learn for yourself" Jeesh...why does everything have to be a lesson and why don't I listen to the voice of reason?

"Hand of Reason" Copyright don wright
Alex Mathias Collection

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Writing a Book

A couple of years ago I had a vision of writing a book about Alex Mathias. The idea never left my mind, as each time I was with Alex, I thought of more and more reasons to write. Over the last couple of years I have been creating this book in my mind, though I never once shared my desire with Alex.

One evening not to long ago, Alex said "Don, do you know how to write" I said yes Alex, I have been journal writing for a number of years" Alex said "Don would you consider writing my book". Alex said "we have been together for a short time, but I feel like I have known you for a long time and I feel like you are part of my family. I trust you and I think together we could make a great book" I felt instant affirmation. There was no need for Alex to try to convince me, as I had already come to believe that someday I would write this book.

I began to ponder about the story and how we might approach its creation. As I went though Alex's photo collection I realized just how many people have been touched by him. As I began to research on the internet, I saw and read accounts and articles by passionate people just like myself.  I began to realize that Alex Mathias was indeed a real life legend.

Alex has a phone in his camp that rings every time I am there. Each time, the conversation has been about how to protect this precious land. As you may, or may not be aware, this land is in a struggle with not only commercial interests but also with the government. Much of this contentious land is unceeded and never surrendered. There are also a growing number of people who realize that our last remaining Old Growth Forests MUST be protected. Highly spiritual places like this MUST be respected and even experienced. Alex is not just passionate, but understands that it is a matter of life and death. I don't want to sound dramatic, but I too share this belief. This struggle to protect the Old Growth will prove to be pivotal in mans understanding of his relationship and responsibility with his environment. This sacred relationship has been trod on by greed and misunderstanding.

One evening Alex said to me in a sorrowful tone " Sometimes I feel like the last Nishnaabe. "That statement has been ringing through my head. I have prayed and I have cried for what this means. This very thought creates in me an even greater passion to write this story, not so much for me, not so much for Alex but for our children's children.

As Alex and I have been dreamcasting we have come to believe that the real story, the real intent of this book, will be to bring awareness to the struggle to protect our Old Growth forest. While I want to celebrate the life and times of Alex Mathias, we will in fact be paying respect for a changing way of life and more importantly, to help provide hope and purpose for the future.

Alex and I believe that there are many people with great skills and passion to help us create this book. We are asking you to share by writing a short story for submission to jusquado@gmail.com. We would like you to share your passion. If you have a picture or two to share with your story that would be great. We would like to acknowledge you in this book.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or if you just want to talk, I would appreciate the dialog. I have never written a book before, but Alex and I both believe that this vision will unfold in the fullness of time and in all its intended beauty. You can also follow the creation of this book on both facebook and at jusquado.blogspot.ca

peace and blessings to you all,
don wright and on behalf of Alex Mathias - Jusquado - Pine Cone

Monday, April 23, 2012

Alex Mathias - Jusquado - Pine Cone

"Alex Mathias - Jusquado - Pine Cone"

Alex and I were chatting and I asked him if he had a Spirit name. He was quick to respond and said "I have an Indian name - Jusquado, which means pine cone". I thought, what a fitting name and what an excellent embodiment of my vision of what Pine Cone would be in our human realm. 

Filled with imagination I asked "how did you get your name Jusquado?" I had envisioned a story involving a pine cone in which some great and grand miracle happened. Alex laughed and said that his mom and dad merely kept getting his name confused with cousin Jusquado. That was funny indeed. I fondly remember my dad rhyming through multiple names before arriving at mine. I remembered the saying "you can call me anything, just don't call me late for dinner!" I guess some things never change. Yet somehow I was a little disappointed. You see, I had a grand vision of Spirit beckoning his name. I had a vision of revelations and grand purpose, yet it was merely a simple and innocent story...no hoopla...no lessons..and no great mysteries. 

I asked Alex how to spell Jusquado and he handed me a book by Hap Wilson called "Grey Owl and Me". In the front cover it said "To Jusquado - Warrior Brother". Alex smiled and said "I spell it like my friend Hap".

Many years have passed and this little boy Jusquado - Pine Cone, has grown into his name and become a great seed and catalyst for change with respect to forest management and protection in the Temagami region. My romantic vision of Spirit name embodiment remains intact, as I can think of no better name to describe my friend Alex than Jusquado - Pine Cone.

Alex Mathias pictured at removed logging access point

Praying for a Sick Pet

"Praying For A Sick Pet" Copyright don wright 2012

I pray for animals. I pray for people. I pray for just about anything. Prayer to me is not a thing but a state of being. I prefer to think of my prayers as simple conversations with One that I have come to trust and have faith in.

My cousin was baby sitting a sick animal for a friend. She even went as far as sleeping on the floor in the garage beside this hurt animal. What an incredible act of self giving love. She herself just experienced the loss of her mother, and wanted to serve in order to heal. Bless her beautiful and loving heart. This is love in action. Bless you Racquel and keep on loving!...that is your prayer. Your self giving love brings honor and glory to God and may very well bring healing to your sick friend.

Watch live streaming video from visionzoomertv at livestream.com

Bruce Cockburn interview on being a Christian

Glamping in Temagami

Glamping—Expanding In All the Right Places
Temagami,Ontario - April ...., 2012

After launching his Canadian glamping adventure - a catered and pampered version of wilderness camping - Kim Cowan’s business venture generated remarkable attention. Interviewed by CBC Radio, CHCH TV,covered in magazine articles (Women’s Adventure and Canoeroots), as well as in newspapers (Waterloo Record and Guelph Mercury), the interest in guide-assisted, glamorous camping was undeniable. 

(Unsure of the definition of glamping? Picture this: a remote wilderness scene is interrupted by a civilized and comfy looking tent. A peek inside reveals, not your typical bedroll, but an actual bed - frame, mattress, and bedding. You are called to dinner with the tempting scent of scrumptious gourmet cooking, and a guide prepares supplies for a family trek or canoe trip to gaze upon ancient Temagami pictographs ,petroglyphs and native spiritual sites. Hike in the last remaining stands of old growth red and white pine left on the planet..
That’s Canadian glamping at its finest!)

CHCH TV video

With website interest from around the globe, Cowan knows he has hit a nerve. "There was a time when people hired guides to escort them into the backwoods, and this is a modernized version. While longing for a primitive experience, many Eco-adventurers hesitate at the commitment required to purchase quality equipment or to take the time needed to learn the required skills for wilderness camping.
Glamping makes it easy.

Sensing a trend, Cowan has fine-tuned his vision. 
Billed as Canada’s first "mobile glamping company," Misabi Adventure Company is offering an exclusive Eco vacation experience like no other in the wilderness of Temagami,Ontario.
Misabi Adventure Company has partnered with Alex Mathias and his family on Obabika Lake . This partnership combines traditional native culture /values and the modern "Glamping" experience to the discerning Eco adventurer.

Alex Mathias is one of the last remaining Ojibwa to speak his native dialect and resides on his traditional family lands at the mouth of the Obabika River.He continues to trap, fish and hunt on his unceded family territory.

Expansion plans and negotiations for the 2012/2013 season continue . 

Misabi Adventure Company is in discussion with Temagami First Nations regarding the expansion of permanent glamping facilities in the Temagami Region.
A portion of the profits generated by Misabi Adventure Company will be donated to the local native community for the 2012 season.
Future donations will be allocated to other First Nations Communities in Canada.

Misabi Adventure Company has also been deemed eligible for a tourism grant from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund . This grant will allow Misabi Adventure Company to expand the operation and create employment to residents of the Temagami First Nations.

A Learn to Camp program has been established for the 2012 season.
Cowan believes that this program will appeal to new Canadians and adventurous Eco travellers from around the world . 

Misabi Adventure Company is also seeking equity investors to expand the operation to other locations within Canada,Costa Rica and Belize.. 

For the eager, and the merely curious, details and contact information are available on the website, at www.misabiadventurecompany.ca.


Earth Day at Obabika 2012

It snowed all day Friday and left us with about 25cm of fresh, white snow.
We elected to leave on Saturday AM instead for safety. 
We drove as far as we felt comfortable and then changed over to the ATV 
Alex showed me his collections of artifacts found on Lake Obabika over the years 
Sue and I went for a hike to the point where the original Missabie homestead was 
We stopped to hug many pines and cedars
This beauty white pine towered above Sue 
This is a pine cone. I posted it in honor of Alex as this is his Indian name.
"Jusquado - pine cone"
Sue can really hug a tree 
despite the cold, the Missabie homestead was sheltered and we basked in the glory of the sun. I even went for a swim, though I guess I should call it a wade...the water is still COLD 
Here is the grave site of Alex's mom 
Here is the grave site of Alex's dad 
Here is the cross marking the spot 
Here are the graves together. We paused here in honor and respect. 
There is lots of moss in the older growth.

We had a magnificent weekend. Alex fed us the best beaver and we talked and went through family photos. The following morning Sue and I went for a hike out to the point where the original Missabie homestead was. We were unable to find he alternate trail out, so we back tracked and did it again, this time from the other direction. We were succesful in finding the trail loop. We hugged a lot of trees. We sat at the point, basking in the sun. We tried to imagine how it would be to live at such a spot. I fell asleep on the beach with my head on a log, while Sue beach-combed. We stayed there for a couple of hours and then headed back.....rejuvinated in our souls and most happy to celebrate Earth Day in this way. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Journey With a Pen

"Thunderbird Takes Flight" Copyright don wright 2012

I sat up and drew last night. I am inspired to write a book and am embarking on a magnificent journey with my pen. A number of years ago, I had a vision to write this book. The vision has never faded and time and again re-affirmed itself. I titled this art "Thunderbird Takes Flight" because I begin my book in an official capacity this weekend. I am very excited because I believe this is a book that needs to be written.

"Wing and Prayer" Copyright don wright 2012

There comes a time when the thoughts must become action. The old saying goes..."I'm off on a wing and a prayer". These are two essential ingredients. There comes a time when one must take flight. One must also recognize that a prayerful journey is a good journey. I have secretly struggled with my thoughts of inadequacy, and have envisioned the pitfalls and all the reasons why not to embark on this journey. Yet, at the end of the day, these negative thoughts  merely serve as inspiration.

Lord God
magnificent Creator
I offer my pen and words to your glory
I pray Lord that I might speak the whole truth
and nothing but the truth
I pray Lord that the labor of our hearts will combine
as a lasting testament for generations.
You taught me to fly Lord
and I feel your presence,
in the shadow of Your wing.

my playground

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Sue and I are heading to the bush this weekend.
I feel excitement inside.
I feel a certain warmth and peace.

Now this is a resting place!
This is one of the Obabika Old Growth sisters.
Call me nuts but you can feel her pulse.
When you hug her its as if you are hugging all of creation

"hugging the sisters" copyright don wright 2012

Rest at the Old Growth - We like to sit with the "sisters" at the Obabika Old Growth. I used to think they were just trees until I hugged one. Old Growth was just a news article until I felt it for myself. Treehugger was a derogatory word until I felt the spiritual energy and now I hug. I hug these trees because our lives depend on them. Its easy to lose sight in the midst of plastic and pavement. Yet ask the 1000's of people who seek solace and rest under the shade of these magnificent gifts. Dont believe me? I will take you there and you can feel for yourself. You will feel the tears of sorrow and joy and you will be changed forever.
....thats my promise to you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

And the Greatest of These is Love

"LOVE" Kevin Yazzie


Every spoken word is an act of creation.  An act that sends ripples of energetic signatures into the world.  I have heard so many upon stages sharing a message that intended to unite when it incited boundaries, divisions, and competition between race, creed, and spiritual paths.  We must shift from competing with one another to cooperating, collaborating and co creating with one another
 Carla Goddard, Msc.D. is a contemporary Shaman Medicine Woman. 

Temagami Old Growth - Earthroots 2008

..must see

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Trout Fishing

We got a tip that the Speckled Trout were on the feed at a remote Temagami Lake. We packed our gear and headed out. We fished pretty hard and not a thing. All was not wasted. It was a beautiful day! We saw loons, wood ducks and a whole host of other birds. The bush is coming alive. On our way in we saw there was still a little snow in the bush. We had a magnificent day and then headed home, empty handed but thoroughly satisfied. Spring has sprung.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Susie's "40th" Birthday and Easter Celebration

We had company come up from the city and the weather was so great, I decided to put the boat in the water. We took a little boat ride. 
Later that day we gathered on the dock to enjoy the sunshine and to have a great meal together. 
That evening we had a fire and played a few tunes. 
and roasted marshmallows and made those graham cracker and chocolate thingys that I cant remember their name. 
Next day we went up to Sandy Falls for a shore lunch 
We cooked whitefish that Debbie caught on my new camp fry pan. 
We had a great site right on a peninsula 
Pete was in charge of flippin the fish. Beer battered just the way Sue likes it. 
After lunch Pete took the young lad for a paddle and they did a little whitewater 
You gotta love 3G network at the falls.....I leave my phone at home.

So there you have it. The beginning of another awesome season. I cant decide which season is the best.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Life Changing

The Setting Sun

"At The Foot of the Cross" - Copyright Kathryn Scott

The son will set and rise again.
For a moment darkness
For a moment fear
For a moment sorrow
For a moment tears
Yet with the rising of the son
comes the promise of a new day
and an invitation to the way.
I'll trade these ashes in for beauty
and wear forgiveness like a crown
for it was done for me
a long long time ago
in the name of love
and in the name of the one
who was crucified
for me

"Dweller by a Dark Stream" Copyright Bruce Cockburn

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Temagami Red Pine

"Temagami Red Pine" copyright don wright 2012

Standing under a big red pine is like standing under the shadow of God.

The Sound of Music

"The Sound of Music - Edelweiss

It all started at Christmas 2011 for me. I watched The Sound of Music for the FIRST time! What an incredible movie! I had to see it again and surf the channels longingly and no luck. I went to a few local video stores..no luck. I surfed netflix and you tube and still couldnt find it. I went and LIKED the sound of music facebook page and a couple weeks ago there was a post for the 45th anniversary limited release for only $24.99 at Amazon. I jumped on that and yesterday I heard ding song of the courier at the door. To my glee and delight my package had arrived. The package came with blueray. dvd and audio soundtrack, along with 2 books, a number of post cards and even a letter of authenticity!...whatever that means these days.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Tribute to Alex Mathias

"Alex Mathias" Copyright don wright 2012

Alex Mathias - Changing of the Seasons Ceremony 2011

One day I had a vision. I have an impulsive and compulsive mind. I became driven or should I say, beckoned to the Old Growth at Obabika. I bought a bus at a party and envisioned myself driving that bus into the bush. My buddy Mike had been exploring these parts and he told me about a native man who was living back there, and if I wanted to see the old growth, I should talk to him. As it turns out, my bus broke down at the top of a logging road just a mere 2 km from the last camp and about 4kms from the lake. I had phoned ahead looking for a spot to winter over and the camp had a spot for me. Now that the bus was parked, this became home base for exploration. While driving past the locked gate leading to Alex's place, we noticed Brandon and asked him to ask Al if we could come for a visit. I told Brandon about my desire to walk the Old Growth. We were invited to the Changing of the Seasons Ceremony 2008 and my wife and I eagerly attended. It was life changing for me. Perhaps this is wrong...it was more like a fulfillment or acknowledgement of the vision. Sue and I were accepted like family. It was as though we already knew each other. When we reached the 3 sisters red and white pines I sat down and cried. 

"Hugging the Sisters" copyright don wright 2012

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Mizhakwad- clear skies 

Better Than TV!

Our picture windows are better than TV! I stand in front of them, beholding the constant and ever changing beauty.

Three big woodpeckers flew into the tree and started bouncing around like they owned the place. To our amazement they were Piliated Woodpeckers! The largest and grandest and rarest of them all! I am overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving.

When I was a young lad, I grew up on the upper credit river valley. I would roam the the bush in search of speckled trout and to view wildlife. One day I spotted a Piliated Woodpecker. I spent many hours in pursuit of just another glimpse of this magnificent bird. When we moved north, we began to see more.

Now I see a pair of Wood Ducks. The most beautiful and unique of all ducks. They are diving along the waters edge. They are very beautiful and another creature that warms my soul.

This is better than TV!