Strangers on a Lake
17 december 2007
To run ahead and go where the others have yet to follow. To be responsible for all the people near to your life. A person able to move directly and without hesitation into the unknown. An energy of exploration made possible by the obligation to take care of those who will follow.
You cannot run ahead and leave everyone behind. Running ahead really means “bring back something useful”.
108 Sacred Fires want to be lighted upon the mother earth, in a circle with its home point being Pantelleria Island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is a place with a great Manitou. It is a Small Turtle floating and dreaming on an emerald sea. In the beginning of time Sky Woman made the Mother Earth from a tiny mound of earth brought up from the bottom of the sea.
By placing a long sacred morning tobacco fire here we are appealing directly to the mystery life in what is a visible language and intentions.
For the next days, until the Winter Solstice at 7:08 am here, on the 22nd, we will make the ceremony of the morning fire. We will make dream songs and walk on four legs into the sweat lodge. We will be touched by Eagle Feathers and be in a position to breathe in silence with the Sacred Pipe.
Just now, our time, we have made the tobacco fire. Over the next days we will put the tobacco into the fire and send out songs to the eight directions. By the moment when the Solstice arrives, we will be feeling very well.
The Solstice is not even mentioned on most calendars you see these days. Sometimes the weather guy on tv brings it up. Most newspapers still have a small and old traditional almanac page which probably lists it. Does anyone read the newspaper anymore?
Today I found an old piece of obsidian. It was different than any other I had seen. It took me some moments to figure out why. It had melt marks on one side. From the time it was a liquid, the marks are preserved from the moment it became a solid again. Little waves. Most obsidian you see is from a mining operation with mechanical operations and the stone looks like a big hunk of broken glass. This one is tough and gnarly and has little waves. The old indians thought the stones you find winking and nodding at you just laying around on top of the earth are special and important. The stones which come up from commercial mining are like disaster victims or children of abusive parents. This stone resting on the open belly of the earth does have a completely different sense and it is more fluffy.
When Sky Woman made the earth for the Ojibway people, we began an eight direction ceremonial migration to fill her. With the arrival of the white man these migrations were interrupted. By taking the Four Directions Unity Bundle out and into and around the world I have taken it upon myself to resume, in a manner, that ancient ceremony.
I believe that if we can make 108 Sacred Fires around the world, that it will change the world. The whole world.
The two travelers. Two people traveled to the morning fire on Pantelleria from far away (Milano) in this week. One of them was told no, he could not come, and he came anyway. He never arrived at the fire (since the answer was no). He stayed on the island in a hotel for three days.
The plane he departed on brought a woman to whom the answer was yes, and who had made an appointment to stay with the fire for a few days many weeks ago. She arrived on the airplane he left on. They do not know each other. They have never met. He is from the east side of some lake in a village near to Milan and she is from the west side of the same lake.
What is the difference between yes and no? The old Indians said to me, “There is no difference.”
The gift from the Sea
Some months ago, we shared in a day of cleaning the ports around our little island. A lot of trash was pulled away from our sweet sea, the Mediterranean. There was also a lot of whitened driftwood in all shapes and sizes. That was brought to the house for the sweat lodge and possibly some art projects. In a few moments, my time, we will light the fire we make from this wood. It is the first time I have ever made a sweat lodge with wood that has come from the sea.
..a child of Nana'b'zhoo