Citizen Arrested for “Trespassing” on Public Land: Cry Out!

Categories: Evidence, Poems (published), Upper Michigan, Yellow Dog Plains | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 22, 2010

In dark news, our friend Cynthia was arrested this week for “trespassing” (!?) in a public forest parcel on the Yellow Dog Plains, at the sacred Eagle Rock site.  (This is where the global mining conglomerate Kennecott wants to start a controversial sulfide mine — where they want to blast a hole into the sacred Eagle Rock itself, and tunnel underneath the pristine Salmon Trout River).   Note that Cynthia was on Public Lands — yet arrested for “trespassing.”  An insult on so many levels — civil, ecological, judicial and spiritual.  I’ve been incredibly honored to know Cynthia over the past eleven years, and I am fiercely proud of her for resisting Kennecott’s bullying.  All citizens, regardless of their personal feelings about sulfide mining, must recognize that their public access to “public lands” is at risk!  Confronted with a bulldozer, security guards, and police, most people would apologize and leave the site — even if they believed they’d done nothing wrong.  It takes a very strong person to draw a line in the sand, follow their heart, and resist.

Here is a portion of the news article by

….. arrested today for “trespassing” on public land in the Escanaba River State Forest, in northern Marquette County.  Cynthia Pryor planned on visiting Eagle Rock, site of Kennecott Minerals’ proposed “Eagle” mine, to keep an eye on the company’s activities.  She was arrested while sitting on an old tree stump with her dog, Sophie.

She arrived to find Kennecott removing trees and widening a short road leading from the Triple A road to Eagle Rock, where the company plans to blast a portal for the mine. Pryor was confronted by Kennecott security guards who informed her that she was “trespassing” on land leased by the company from the State of Michigan.  Reportedly, Pryor responded that she believed she was not trespassing, as she was on public land and Kennecott lacked a permit to begin construction activities at the site.  Company security made some calls to area law enforcement, reporting Pryor’s presence at the small tract of public forest.

Both state and county law enforcement responded and informed Pryor that she was trespassing and told her to leave.  Pryor refused, reiterating that she was not trespassing, as the site is on public land.

Pryor has been visited in jail by legal counsel.  The Reverend Jon Magnuson, a close friend, attempted to speak with her this evening.  According to Magnuson, while he wasn’t allowed to visit with Pryor, he was able to pass prayers along to her.

“Civil disobedience has a long and noble tradition in American democracy and part of the religious responsibility is to honor and respect that,” said Magnuson.

Many thanks to Jon Magnuson for relaying all our prayers.  The whole situation has me thinking of a poem by Robert Bly, Call and Answer.

Here are the first few lines:

Tell me why it is we don’t lift our voices these days
And cry over what is happening. Have you noticed
The plans are made for Iraq and the ice cap is melting?

I say to myself: “Go on, cry. What’s the sense
Of being an adult and having no voice? Cry out!
See who will answer! This is Call and Answer!”

Read the entire poem (and see a short video of the poet reading his poem) here:

Celebrating National Parks Week!

Categories: Art, Artist Residencies in National Parks, Badlands National Park | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 22, 2010

In honor of both National-Parks-Week and April-as-National-Poetry-Month, my audio poem “Why I Want To Be a Park Ranger When I Grow Up” (plus a watercolor sketch depicting the wall of Saddle Pass, from my residency at Badlands National Park) are currently featured on the National Parks Traveler website.  Please share with all the inspiring park rangers in your life!

Wall of Saddle Pass

In honor of National Parks Week, I’ve just read T. H. Watkin’s book Stone Time (Southern Utah: A Portrait and a Meditation), and Jon Luoma’s The Hidden Forest, which focuses on forest research being conducted in the Andrews Experimental Forest and other National Forest research stations. I’ve also downloaded dozens of brochures from the many National Parks, National Monuments and National Forests I’ll be visiting in May and June, and I’ve installed the “Park Maps” app on my new iPod Touch (the program contains a lot of popular park maps, but just the tip of the NPS/NFS iceberg, and no BLM maps at all).

Gratitude to Old Teachers

Categories: Poems (published), Quotations | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 19, 2010

This week I have been listening to some of my old audio recordings of Robert Bly reading at college poetry readings, conferences, radio interviews, etc. In honor of National Poetry Month, I am reposting this Bly poem, in honor of my own teachers:

Gratitude to Old Teachers
Robert Bly

When we stride or stroll across the frozen lake,
We place our feet where they have never been.
We walk upon the unwalked. But we are uneasy.
Who is down there but our old teachers?

….(Read the complete poem at Poetry 180.

As featured on National Parks Traveler

Categories: Art, Artist Residencies in National Parks, Badlands National Park, Observations | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 12, 2010

Panorama Sunset
Panorama Sunset, Badlands National Park

Check it out: one of the watercolor sketches from my recent artist residency in Badlands National Park is currently featured as the “Park Photo of the Week” at National Parks Traveler!

iPod Touch — check

Categories: Artist Residencies, Planning | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 12, 2010

Preparing for my upcoming roadtrip — 2 months — I’m configuring an iPod Touch to help me stay in touch with my husband while wandering. Step one (not mentioned in the manual) seems to be “make your fingers smaller.” I’ve done way too much rock-gardening, power-sanding, concrete-mixing and finger-smashing over the years, I guess. Feeling very clumsy on this wee 2″ keyboard simulator. Might have to try a stylus tomorrow. Either that, or search the AppStore for some sort of mind-reading-to-text converter program…

Cabin Fever

Categories: Artist Residencies, San Juan National Forest | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 10, 2010

Aspen Guard Station (historic U.S. Forest Service ranger station north of Mancos) – originally uploaded by FeVa Fotos

This article in the Durango Herald News (“Cabin Fever” 4-9-10) mentions my upcoming (June) residency at the Aspen Guard Station in the San Juan National Forest.

Why I want to be a Park Ranger….

Categories: Artist Residencies in National Parks, Badlands National Park, Writing | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 8, 2010

Golden Moment, Cedar Pass

Hey! Hear all about it!

Badlands National Park’s website (U.S. National Park Service) is now featuring an audio poem — my own ode to NPS really —  in which I reminisce about my early encounters with Park Rangers, and their life-long, larger-than-life acorn-embossed influence on me:

The symbol formerly known as @

Categories: Evidence, Factoids, Writing | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 6, 2010

I feel compelled to mention a strange CBC interview I heard today, with Paola Antonelli, The Museum of Modern Art’s Senior Curator of Architecture and Design. The gist of the story is MoMA’s announcement that it “has acquired the @ symbol into its collection.” Seriously.

Many are dismissing this as a MoMA publicity stunt of dada-esque proportions, in which case I am playing into their hands by wondering aloud how any institution (even if it is a beloved art museum) can say they’ve “acquired” an element of typography with centuries of documented development, ubiquitous contemporary meaning, and global usage. There is no one to acquire @ from (or Everyone – did everyone give them permission?), and no price to negotiate, so it is a terrific bargain for MoMA.  They may decide to quit acquiring real art altogether, since it is so darn expensive, and focus on the rest of the keyboard.

My first thought, as I have been considering the demise of the hyphen, was that perhaps I should announce that I’ve “acquired” the hyphen!  I’ll just rewrite their press release slightly…  On second thought, perhaps I should acquire the question mark while I’m at it — ?????? –  since this issue raises so many of them.

After much head-scratching, I decided to look for MoMA’s announcement in print, and found this MoMA blog post by Ms. Antonelli. As in the CBC interview, Antonelli’s post briefly (and articulately) summarizes the history of that typographic mark we now refer to as @, or the “AT sign.” I am certainly fascinated by the history of “@” and would love to learn more about it.  Luckily, expect there will be a lovely @ coffee table book published soon. Or perhaps now it is the “@ symbol recently acquired by MoMA” (or will MoMA change it’s name to MoM@)?

Antonelli’s post contains several statements that I would like to quote here. First, after acknowledging that the symbol could not really be purchased, she states “We have acquired the design act in itself…” Wow! So not just the @ symbol, but the whole creative process, the “@ct of Design, brought to you by MoMA.” Statements like this really make me question their institutional hubris.  Antonelli also state “The @ symbol is now part of the very fabric of life all over the world.” I would say YES — and this is the very reason that any single institution cannot claim to “acquire” it. I am left to wonder whether the Catholic church will now announce that they’ve “acquired” the cross symbol. Wouldn’t their press releases say the very same thing? “The cross symbol is now part of the very fabric of life all over the world.”

The acquisition of @ takes one more step. It relies on the assumption that physical possession of an object as a requirement for an acquisition is no longer necessary, and therefore it sets curators free to tag the world and acknowledge things that “cannot be had”—because they are too big (buildings, Boeing 747’s, satellites), or because they are in the air and belong to everybody and to no one, like the @—as art objects befitting MoMA’s collection.

I am left remembering when Monsanto, back in 2005, announced they’d patented their newest genetic invention, the PIG.

MoMA | @ at MoMA.

Cloud over South Dakota

Categories: Uncategorized | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 4, 2010

Cloud over South Dakota

Originally uploaded by miss_distance

Quick sketch in watercolor of a key image from my long drive back from the Badlands to Upper Michigan: CLOUDS. I became quite mesmerized by the clouds. For a long time, it seemed that I was driving at exactly the same *speed* as the cloud’s shadow, neither pulling away from it, nor seeing it pull away from my position on the interstate! Somewhere near the SD-MN border, the sky began clearing, and as the clouds spread apart, each seemed to be a unique character, witch distinct features. The sunlight *beamed* through this one slightly, spotlighting a distant treeline with yellow light, and hiding the rest in shadow. I found the clouds so moving I needed to pull over, and make this sketch.

Sugar Bush native serves artist residency in the Badlands

Categories: Artist Residencies in National Parks, Badlands National Park, Press | Kathleen M. Heideman | April 4, 2010

On Friday, this article appeared in the Post Crescent newspaper, published in NE Wisconsin (where I grew up on a dairy farm, in the unincorporated town of Sugar Bush).  As the boys on the street corners used to say, read all about it!

Badlands or Bust!