Black Elk, Elders...

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Posted by Mike (B) ( on July 06, 2001 at 17:33:52:

In Reply to: sweat lodge posted by Den on July 06, 2001 at 03:57:27:

Hello there,

Hey DEN, that's pretty neat. It is a small world after all. Wallace used to come down to Florida every now and then and perform ceremonies at our house. All kinds of indians did (Lakotas, Navajos, Cherokees, etc...). I suppose I could start naming them, but what's the point? Except to perhaps give a frame of reference. Some of them that I met have passed on and I would not dishonor them or their relations by trying to use their reputations for any reason. Kind of funny, I once saw a rock, which was holding the door open, fall off the top of the lodge onto a woman's head. The woman had been giving Wallace's wife a hard time and she had just scolded and harumphed a little. Then the woman became way too hot (Everyone else was fine (You know how that goes)) We had to stop the next round because of the woman. She had to be dragged to the door where she then lay gasping, looking up at the sky outside. After a moment's pause, the the rock kind of jumped onto her head with a loud thump. Rocks don't ever fall from there. :) ).
I reckon I have been very privileged in my life to spend some time and pray with many of the elders who give/gave of themselves to travel around performing ceremonies at private homes, churches and prisons. I used to get to ride with them around Florida and help prepare the lodges and do the rocks and all of that. I think we were sort of a way point for them. What an experience. Indians have a pretty different sense of humor sometimes. :) I'm not to sure what they thought of the redheaded, blue-eyed mixed blood in their midst. But, nobody tomahawked me or anything I guess :)

Hmmm. It occurs to me that you may know my father, John Bragg (John Standing Eagle) and maybe David Eply. My father also traveled out west a number of times and spent time doing some of the same kinds of things as you mentioned. Interesting. It takes a special kind of person to do that. They do not accept just anyone into their midst as you well know. You must indeed be a special human being. It can also sometimes make you realize what racism is all about. Though you cannot really blame them. (You should have seen me trying get work on/around the reservation in Cherokee, NC. a few years back. LOL :) )
I really miss those days. The smell of sage and cedar, the hiss of the steam and rocks, the feel of the cool damp earth, the pounding of the drums and the upraised voices all singing. To me, that's praying! Talk about uplifting and cleansing. It has been probably 4(?) years since I have been in a sweat and it is high time I returned to that road. (Haven't really left it I guess, just been working alongside it, trying to get the energy up to move ahead again. It can be a difficult road.)

Anyway, if you are not Dennis Graham (And even if you are :) ), I am very glad to hear that you were able to have those experiences. That's a lot of what it is all about.

So, before I wear this keyboard, myself and anyone reading this stuff totally out again (Yes, I did actually edit out some words :), I want to thank you very much for praying for Cathy. It seems she just found out that a good friend of hers is about to die and she has to travel to Kentucky. Your prayers are well timed. There is a lot of heartache in her life right now. Thanks again.

You will also be in my prayers (All of you)!


Michael Bragg

- BTW, aside from thinking that this guy writes way too much at a sitting (Just imagine how much I must be thinking! Whew! LOL!), some of you might be thinking that this stuff is maybe a little too personal and such for this venue. Well, for one thing, judging from your posts to each other, I do not feel to worried. Besides, I am a fairly open person. Also, I don't have a darn thing anyway. Just two legs and a heart and mind that pretty much work right most of the time. Who'd want to steal my meager possesions from me anyway? Just go down to the local Wal-Marts or thrift store or something. It'd be a lot easier. :) Oh! and you can take my headaches too if you want. Thank you very much! Ha!

Peace and pain free hapiness to all.

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