a firetender’s saga

Not terribly long ago, I came to the conclusion that my life’s work is all about the healing arts wherever they are found. The overwhelming thing about the concept was that I found them everywhere!

All of the individual paths that I had thought I had been on in my life were just one big Superhighway designed to exercise, channel and direct my powers as one who explores and articulates the world of the healing arts. Bouncing from guardrail to guardrail, across and under lanes and back again, moving forward, and by the grace of the Gods, not hitting anything substantial, I finally made it to you!

While most around me looked at me as the typically unfocused Gemini “Jack of all trades: Master of none,” I just kept on doing the work, stepping through the doors that opened to me and not bitching about the ones that slammed shut in my face.

My obligation was to communicate what I experienced along the way. The metaphor I kept coming back to was my times on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (SD) as firetender for sacred ceremonies. That’s the person who works with the elements to prepare, maintain, and energize a sacred space for others to experience the deepest part of themselves in connection with all their relations. My focus was to work with the spirit that lies in me and all things. It all made sense in the context of a ceremony.

Life had presented me with an enormous number of gifts that could be employed to help others experience themselves in new ways. Most of them were from the most potent lesson of all; changing my personal pain into power. If there was a thread that connects all my personal themes like cable, it would have to be I have been gifted with many stories to tell about this!

It took me a long time to figure out that for me it is all one story, the story of a firetender, and this whole thing called life is nothing but a ceremony. This firetender was asked to work with many different kinds of materials, under all sorts of different conditions.

Whenever I did take the time to pause and reflect, however, I realized my bag of tricks was getting bigger. The drive had to be all about the exploration then, didn’t it?

All that was important was that I was building a body of useful experience. It was not up to me to decide its best application. Along whatever path I was on in the moment, the Great Whatever would lead me right to the people where “Bingo!” some obscure momentary experience of mine would be the perfect key to release the frozen lock.

This character called firetender is more of an aspiration than a realization. It’s a guiding spirit, if you will. The sacred scars he carries from getting burned are now — when he’s at his best! — teaching tools to help others deal more safely with their own flames.

Welcome to this sacred space where these reflections of my explorations are for you to utilize as you see fit.

Mahalo (Thank You!) for this opportunity to serve.


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