Only just yesterday my new batch of carvings arrived from Flin Flon. Ted Ohlsen pioneered diamond willow carvings in the early 70’s.
As many of The Emily Dahl Foundation supporters and readers will remember, I visited Ted last month in Flin Flon and will be seeing him again in October.
Ted and I had a nice long chat yesterday where Ted continued to teach me by telling me his story of the development of his “inner eye”. This is something that we all can develop using mediation and introspection of our own lives and understanding the truth of the way things really are.
Ted took me back to when he was 22 years old following his accident when he was told he would never see again. He had lost his sight forever. Ted decided that in spite of that he would go on to become a world class outfitter in Saskatchewan and further evolved into making carvings and fixing Mercury outboard engines. And he does most of those things until this day.
Ted also made it his mission to help others and he has helped me tremendously to see that out of tragedy can come happiness and growth. He has also helped me understand that the suicide of my daughter and the effect it has had on me is similar to the awakening and the inner eye that Ted developed after losing his sight forever. What we can learn from this is the out of mud can come a lovely lotus flower. And, in fact, you must have mud to make a nice flower. Ted could have chosen to be stuck in the mud, but his inner eye led him to something else. That something else is love, compassion and kindness towards others. Ted helps others, period.
When the new treasure of carvings arrived my very dear friends Mike and Judy were visiting me and my wife Katie from the prairies and we all got to unpack Ted’s treasures. This amazing lamp with the deer was one of them. Mike and Judy picked an eagle carving from the collection to take back for their home on the prairies. We all sat around and discussed the work and teachings of Ted. We even called Ted and my pal Mike got a chance to talk with Ted.
Ted’s main teaching for me this week was the work that The Emily Dahl Foundation is doing is very important. Ted said, “you need to be the locomotive and others will get behind the foundation and support all your efforts of helping others”. I was, as usual while speaking with Ted, speechless and his words sent me deep into introspection and love.
Later that evening Mike and I continued to talk, and Mike shared with me on how he has achieved happiness and calm on his ranch in the prairies by appreciating the simplicity of nature and the star lit prairie skies. The locomotive was simply filled with more fuel.
Now , this carving of the deer is extremely special as I have been waiting for a certain carving that seems just right to give to an old friend of mine and his wife in Vernon – and this is it. The couple that will get this treasure from Ted are well known to many in this community and have helped many and have recently helped our family and The Emily Dahl Foundation. I hope they love this wonderful lamp and carving from Ted. The locomotive charges on.
The lovely and compassionate man and his kind wife that I am refering to is also one of my teachers. He recently told me this story of a mother deer and her baby fawn that he watched on his property in Coldstream, BC. It is this story that inspired me to choose the deer carving for him and his wife.
“One day I watched the mother deer that is often on our property placing her baby fawn gently into the bushes to give the baby a safe place while she was going to be away for a bit. The baby fawn quickly poked her nose out of the bushes and the mother patiently pushed it back in. Once again, the baby fawn poked out her nose and Mom once again softly pushed it back in. Finally, satisfied, the Mother deer went off and left the baby fawn safely hiding in the bushes. A few minutes later, when the coast was clear, I watched the baby fawn jump out of the bushes and dance and play on the lawn while Mom was away.”
If only we could all see the absolute beauty in this and begin to realize the oneness of this universe. And further, and most importantly, that this and all that we are is magnificent on its own and true happiness will never be found in material things , selfies , and things of that sort.
As I write this, I am also pleased to let everyone know we just received another sizable donation to The Emily Dahl Foundation.
And lets all remember that true happiness comes from helping others. That will be the eternal goal of The Emily Dahl Foundation.
The locomotive is getting stronger and more awakened every day.
The Emily Dahl Foundation
September 3, 2020