Robert L. Peters

31 December 2007

Best wishes,

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Winnipeg, Canada

Warm, heartfelt wishes for the new year…


28 December 2007

Respect! Encomium for Susan Sontag,

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Winnipeg Beach, Canada

I discovered the writings of Susan Sontag relatively late… I first read her seminal 1966 piece Against Interpretation and Other Essays in the early 1980s. Since then, I’ve been awed again and again by her impassioned writings and unapologetically humanist stance (and in surprisingly places, such as her insightful essay [along with designer Dugald Stermer] in the remarkable 1970 journal The Art of Revolution [which I drew on in my Communication Arts feature “Cuba Si!” last year]) .

PBS’s Bill Moyers has an interesting video interview with Susan on his blog, here. (Thanks to Rick Strong of Ottawa for putting Bill’s blog on my radar).

Well, here’s to your legacy Susan! (Susan passed on four years ago today…)


27 December 2007

Film Festival in the ,

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Banff, Alberta

Don’t miss the upcoming Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour’s visit to Winnipeg… brought to you by the the Alpine Club of Canada… at 19:00 on 19 January 2008 at the Burton Cummings Theatre (formerly the Walker).

Watch the trailer on YouTube here. Ticket information here.


26 December 2007

,

If, as Archie Bunker puts it,

Christmas has us by the throats again,

then is it like a scarf of virgin wool

out on a cold clear crystal night

protecting someone’s ‘Away in a

Mangering’ voice

or more like creepy crawly fiendish

fingers clutching, gripping,

stifling us & causing us to barf

or

If it’s the ‘insect season of the year’

is it an anthill gone berserk

with drive & push & buy & wrap & work

or more like caterpillars, all cocooned &

cozy

getting ready for a new year’s dazzling

butterfly radiant rainbow wringing blast

letting go the last like cast-off wrapping

& getting off on the long-anticipated

gift

Or else could it be

could it be

could it be

could it be

something else entirely?

+ + + + + +

From the soon-to-be-published poetry anthology entitled Gray Matter Grafitti: Remnants of collections lost… by Sam W. Reimer (my cousin).


22 December 2007

Go Chaz!

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Boston, Massachusetts

Our friend Chaz Maviyane-Davies is featured in the current issue of the Utne Reader (#145, January/February 2008), under the heading “Graphic Activist—a Zimbabwean designer’s political posters hit you in the gut.” Chaz has been engaged as a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston for the past few years, as he continues tirelessly (or so it seems) in his prolific iteration of activist posters and visiual communications related to human rights and social justice. Read the Utne article (online) here. For a glimpse at Chaz’s prodigious and award-winning works, visit www.maviyane.com


19 December 2007

Father forgive us,

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Steinbach, Manitoba

Our Peters family got together at my brother Jim’s place in Steinbach (about an hour SE of Winnipeg) for a love-filled family Christmas celebration yesterday. This photo of my older and younger brothers book-ending my ex-missionary octogenarian dad (at Falcon Lake in 2005) surfaced in the process… admittedly I suffered from being the middle child, but what might their excuse be?… :-)


18 December 2007

On climbing Kilimanjaro,

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Tallahassee, Florida

My cousin Faith Eidse (environmentalist, author, prolific writer [with a PhD. and the Kingsbury Award from Florida State University]) has a compelling “diary” online describing her ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro along with her Swiss ndoye… at 5895 meters (19,340 ft.) Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa (it’s also considered to be the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world at 4,600 m [15,100 ft.] from its base) and was made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his 1936 short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Read Faith’s story Ndoye, My Namesake, here.

In 2003, Faith also authored/edited the book Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing up Global, documenting “a life of growing up in multiple nations, cultures, and language regions.” When I read the book, a number of lines in it cut through to the quick… e.g., “The freedom of the nomad is the loneliness of disconnection,” and “…incessant longing to belong along with a fear of attachment…”—I thought that Faith had just described my third-culture-kid life to a T—(Wanderlust, Weltschmerz, nomadic identity, promises of “closer distance,” disengaged melancholia, etc….)

Last year, in the acclaimed book Voices of Apalachicola, Faith compiled the stories of more than 30 individuals who have lived out their entire lives in the Apalachicola River and Bay basin, one of Florida’s most endangered ecosystems… and I’ve just learned that the book has just won the Samuel Proctor Oral History award of 2007 from the Florida Historical Society.

Go, Faith, go…


A reason to rope up,

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The President Glacier, British Columbia

We all know that glaciers are melting rapidly (thanks to global warming). Winnipeg climber friend David Cormie took this revealing photo in August (read his account in the Autumn 2007 ACC Manitoba Section Cliff Notes here)… brings back sphincter-tightening memories of punching through into “bottomless” crevasses while on glacier crossings—and a good reminder to travel roped even when the surface looks benign.

This past spring I wrote and illustrated a booklet for the Alpine Club of Canada entitled Top Climbing Knots—the piece includes two friction knots (the Prussik and the Klemheist) that are useful for climbing out of a crevasse… of course, only if you are roped to team members on the surface. :-| If you’re interested in a copy of the booklet, contact me…


17 December 2007

FITC Amsterdam

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

Momentum is gathering for FITC’s debut European event… on 25 and 26 February 2008 in Amsterdam, at the venerable Felix Meritis, the European Centre for Arts and Sciences. I’ll be giving a talk entitled “Do The Right Thing. Do The Thing Right.” Read more about the event (69 days from now), or register, here.


10 December 2007

Home sweet home,

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Basel, Switzerland

I was delighted to have the chance to spend the past few days back in my childhood haunts, in and around Basel. It’s been a few years since I’ve been back, and I’d forgotten how much I miss the place (with its unique sights, sounds, and smells)… roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, tasteful shop-window displays, friendly families out on the town… brought back many happy memories. I was also able to cram in quick visits to Lörrach (where I also lived for a half dozen years), to my brother Phil’s (he and his spirited family live in Binzen, just down the road from the Vitra Design Museum [Frank Gehry’s first structure in Europe]), and to Black Forest Academy, the school I attended for many years. Ah, sweet yesteryear…


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