O Si Yo
Identity and ego are not the same thing. A healthy ego is a function of survival. Beyond that it becomes pride and vanity which are unhealthy traits. Humility is an aspect of a healthy ego coupled with a clear identity. A person who is gifted with the ability to have insights; visions, is more effective in fulfilling this role in society when they have a functional identity and humility. As such, a person who serves in this role isn’t going to be an aggressive person. People who function in the role of a visionary aren’t going to argue with you about their vision. They will just shut up and follow the merits of their insight. Like if they get a premonition about a forest fire and no one listens to this insight. “No one knows the future.” A vision isn’t carved in stone when related to the future but it should be considered as an insight of some merit. That’s one of the roles of our Elders. This current society devalues our visionaries and Elders who would evaluate the merits of an insight. This will be changing soon. Love.
October 3, 2020 1:57pm
As I sit here on this Thursday evening, October 8, 2020, and reflect on this years Bull Run there are a number of things that need to be talked about. It's been four days since the Run. I was told many years ago to hold off talking about ceremony for four days and I understand why now a little better than I did when this was related to me. There is post-ceremonial depression that comes with the crash of having been in ceremony and that feeling that comes with it. There was a lot of resistance that was coming through before this year's Run. There is always a lot of resistance to ceremony, both individually from the person participating in ceremony, and the outside forces that don't want it to happen. That is because ceremony changes things and there is always resistance to change. That was especially true this year in the middle of a global pandemic, COVID-19. There was a question as to whether I should even host the Run this year but three people chose to brave the risks and attended the Run, so it happened with more than just me. A big thank you to Maggie Loveday, John “Caterpillar” Kasiah, and Andy “the half baker” Weatherly for participating in the Run this year. When I did the spirit plate offering for breakfast after the Run I related in that prayer how grateful I was to be doing this ceremony with people that I enjoyed doing ceremony with.
This was a very important aspect of this year's Run because there have been many times when I was doing the Run with people that I didn't enjoy doing ceremony with. I was in a learning curve and trying to be tolerant but I'm not functioning at that level any more. I'm still learning a lot about ceremony and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. It is important to note that my tolerance level has gone way down though. Even so, I am a lot nicer than many of the medicine men that I've met over the years. We get old and have pains that become a distraction. Pain changes one's personality and I've been riding out a lot of physical pain these past few years. The topic about how I'm a grouchy old man now came up during the proceedings on Saturday night. One thing that I'll say about that is that from my personal experience I found that most medicine men were a lot less grouchy when they found out that I was willing to help out with chores and make their life easier when I was around. The protocol is that a traditional host has to make folks feel at home and that gets taken advantage of a lot. I'm guilty of taking on a lot of the work before ceremony over the years and that isn't going to happen any more. If people are under the impression that they can show up for ceremony after all the work is done and enjoy the fruits of the labor they are in for a big shock. Sometimes a person has a good reason to show up at the last minute, as happened this year, but that same person has showed up many times in the past and helped out, so that is understandable.
One of the things that needs to be pointed out again is that the Bull Run is a young person's ceremony. It is time to pass the torch on to a young man to facilitate in the Bull Run and function as the leader in order for this ceremony and vision to continue. I've put in a lot of time and energy into making this ceremony accessible to young people from the beginning, so it isn't my fault that this hasn't happened yet. I keep praying that someone will have a good dream that will show them the merits of serving the people in this manner. Perhaps this will happen. I'm not one to go out and recruit people so if it happens before my time is up, great! I will say that during the past few days after the Run I have been sitting in the dark riding out the post-ceremonial depression and seeing that there are a few young men that could be serving in this role who have been part of the Run since they were teenagers. If they are getting the calling and don't step up, they might not be with us very long. It is sad to say this but that is what I've been seeing. Pray for them. It isn't over yet. The insight is that the young people will be coming around soon and that paragraph at the top of the report is for them especially.
I've been somewhat casual in some regards over the past four years and five Runs. Basically I've been doing the bare minimum in order to honor the vision. That is okay. What could be done to honor the vision goes way beyond what has been done thus far. But it is time to tighten it back up, no matter where the next Run is held. This came through this year because I forgot my smart phone with a camera on it this year. I'll confess that one of the reasons I was taking photographs and posting them to social media starting in 2016 was two fold. One, I wanted to let some folks know that I was going to continue to honor the Bull Run vision from where I was right now as a call out to everyone who had taking part in the Run in the past that they could be honoring the vision from where ever they were. That call to action became very important this year with the pandemic and social distancing. The second reason was to announce to those who sought to stop this ceremony that their best efforts had failed. They know that now. Ha! But that phone. I had walked the route a few weeks ago and knew that a tree had fallen over the space where we had planted our sticks last year. As I walked over to see if it was still possible to plant my stick there, Maggie said, “There's a Little People trail over here.” She said it twice. So I diverted from my course of action and went to where she was standing. Little People trails are barely visible if you know what to look for. Maggie has been walking along Little People trails since she could walk. So we took the Little People's trail and followed it to a good place to plant our sticks. I kept suggesting that Maggie take a photograph of a tree root that was very “Little People” but somehow that never happened. And when it was realized that this never happened no one went back. The Little People are willing to help us out with the continuation of the Run because of this. That means no more photographs during the Run. No more casual conversations during the Run. It's time to get back to normal during the Run. That is the most important message coming from this year's Run.
A few minutes after we had planted our sticks we heard a kitten talking it's distress call. Maggie went looking for it. I had to abandon the search and keep moving because I started having dizzy spells. I get dizzy spells. I've had MRI's and blood work and all that and there doesn't appear to be a reason for the dizzy spells. I figure they are being projecting upon me from outside forces. If so they'll go away. After we (the men) had been back at the apartment a few minutes and wondering if we should start cooking or wait on Maggie, I called her. She had the kitten and would be back to the apartment in a few minutes. When she walked in and I looked at that kitten I knew immediately what it was doing here. The Bull Run is a healing ceremony and it was part of the healing. The Cherokee Boogie Man Dance used a “two face” mask. The Boogie Man Dance was a ceremony to ward off the Boogie Man. The Boogie Man was believed to be what stole the breath of the infants. SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Of all the things that I have done in this life time, I would have to say that the most incredible one was to bring Maggie back from SIDS when she was 16 months old. This happen in the afternoon after the Run in 1994. We had gone to a friend's house to rest for a few hours before going out to eat. I started hearing Maggie cry out in my sleep. It took a minute to wake up. She was already blue. I sat her up and started rubbing her and singing a medicine song. It took a few minutes before she took a breath and came back. Whew! The teachings tell how an infant isn't attached so strong to their body until they are around two years old. They can cut out and go back if they don't dig the scene. I totally get that. I've apologized many times to Maggie for things being so hard this life time. That kitten showed up to tell me it was okay. I don't know if I should pass on how to respond to SIDS to those young people that are ready to learn how to become medicine men and women. It's a heavy responsibility to mess with someone's karma like that. Part of me says to let them go back and try again next time. And stop being so negative around infants. Dig it!
John stuck around for an hour or so after Andy and Maggie left and we smoked the Bull Run Pipe. At the end of the Pipe Ceremony I popped the pipe against my right palm to knock the ashes out. When I closed my hand and opened it back up the ashes formed something on my palm. Sometimes I see a buffalo or a bird. It is always a sign being given. This time it was I M. Capital letters. I double space M. Both John and I read it to say “I AM”. I am here. I am real. I am present and accounted for. All the above. That means something. Now I've told you. Love
Oliver Loveday October 8, 2020 9:07pm