Blind Ambition and Finding Enlightenment in Flin Flon, of all places – The Emily Dahl Foundation

Blind Ambition and Finding Enlightenment in Flin Flon, of all places

“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!” 
That is the quote that Eckhart Tolle has at the very beginning of his book “The Power of Now”.
Let me tell you a short story about me meeting an amazing man by the name of Ted Ohlsen who has uncovered his divine purpose of helping others and how he helped me and The Emily Dahl Foundation.
I was in Saskatchewan in early August to visit a Gold property in Northern Saskatchewan in the historic area of Flin Flon, which sits on the border of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  My site visit was just south of Flin Flon which sits ever so gently on the Canadian Sheild amid the Boreal Forest.
We stayed at Twin Falls Lodge and it was there that I met Joan Beatty.  I grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan and I recognized her name immediately from her involvement with CBC radio in Regina.  Joan is just like the energizer bunny.  Joan Beatty’s life-long work for the betterment of Indigenous people, journalism to politics has always been grounded in family, community, and love of the land. She will be quick to tell you that “I want to be lost in the bush”, and I know how she feels as the draw to nature is (or should be ) strong in all of us.  Our bodies come from the earth and we will soon return to the earth for the inevitable “dirt nap”.
As she entertained us with local stories and her love of the North, I noticed some lovely wood carvings that were for sale in her lodge foyer.  They were lovely.  It turns out the artist is Ted Ohlsen.   Now get this , the name of our gold property is the “Olson” property.  We asked Joan if the gold property was named after Ted (even with the wrong spelling) , as Ted used to own the fly in fishing camp located very close to the well know Olson Gold property.   Joan was not sure but told us all about this amazing Ted Ohlsen who had owned fishing and hunting lodges in the area and was also an accomplished wood carver and mechanic for Mercury outboard engines.  And much to our surprise , is blind.
Something overcame me as I held his carvings and listened to Joan tell his story, so I asked Joan where he lived, and she told me Flin Flon.   Within an hour or so I was on my way to Flin Flon.  I had a few reasons to head to Flin Flon, but it was about 4 hours out of my way – and I was supposed to be heading to Hodgeville, Saskatchewan to have dinner with my Uncle Vern. I missed dinner but still made it to Hodgeville.
One of the reasons I wanted to see Flin Flon was because of the deep, deep history Flin Flon has in the mining industry globally.  But the main reason I went was to see if I could meet Ted Ohlsen.
When I arrived in Flin Flon, I called Ted and his lovely wife Diane passed me over to Ted and within about a half hour I was in Ted’s workshop in Flin Flon talking about life.
This visit with Ted turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life and has further allowed me to achieve another level of awareness.
More than anything I was touched by Ted’s desire to help others including me.
That afternoon visit with Ted helped me and Ted told me it made him happy, therefore it must have helped the world.
Ted taught me that no matter what you do in life, there’s always some other hurdles you must overcome.
Even in his carvings he uses this motto to find beauty in wood that others may see something negative or useless.
At one point in the afternoon talk with Ted I closed my eyes as Ted explained in a soft and calm voice to me that if you consider the call of the loon , the slapping a beavers tail on the lake , the warmth of the sunshine – you cannot buy that kind of stuff.   This simple silence in my own mind and the words of Ted Ohlsen were divine and intense.
Ted touched me and The Emily Dahl Foundation deeply and that will last forever.
Ted gave me a very special carving to remember my daughter Emily (picture included in this article).  If you look closely you will see that Ted has built a shotgun casing into the carving which allows you to put a candle in the carving.  Ted said to me “every time you light a candle you will know there is more than one person thinking about Emily”.
I am headed back to Saskatchewan in September and Ted is going to be my guest and we will fly in together to the fishing camp that Ted used to own – Ted and I are both very excited.
A special thanks to Joan Beatty – the energizer bunny that encouraged me to go meet Ted in Flin Flon.
We have also included a link to “Blind Ambition – The Ted Ohlsen Story”.
Sherman Dahl
The Emily Dahl Foundation
Aug 2020