Healing Hands

This last weekend was a great opportunity for me as I was invited to participate at The American Indian Center in Baltimore to offer massage and energy healing to folks. There were several other people involved who practiced their style of massage / energy healing. An acupuncturist, an herbalist and four of us massage therapists.
We had no shortage of people coming in to receive bodywork. We also served food which we had made and brought.
Everyone was so appreciative.
The weather cooperated which meant more people were out and about.
In another room there was testing for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Wonderful! plus they had a support group information for people who tested positive.
In this day and age it is so important to be tested and know that there are treatments available.

On Sunday I was able to attend the prayerful ceremony of sweat lodge.
I first came across sweat lodge in 1985 at the time of the Harmonic Convergence.
That was along time ago. I had my two children with me that weekend. They were fairly small and both came in the lodge for a while.
My son received the name Little Bear and my daughter Running Doe.
I sweated with Charlie Thom, a Kurok medicine man from Northern California and he and his local person Shaw who bore the powerful name of Skybull were huge influences in my life for many many years.
We sweated together, did vision quests and had a tremendous community together for many years.

I love this kind of community. It is a wonderful place to grow and share. I feel honored and so grateful to be a part of the communities I live and work in and so grateful to all my teachers.

SWEATLODGE
Through the canopy of tall trees
Evening’s birdcalls echo
We sit in a circle in prayer
The fire pit blessed
The fire built, stones stacked.
Reverent of the earth, singing
Together in prayer.

In time
Enter the lodge
Find our place
The ceremonial journey begins in sweetness
The tears, the sharp fragrance of healing herbs
Stones brought in
In prayer, in gratitude

Sage, lavender, sweet grass, tobacco on the hot stones
Water to the stones, steam rises.
It is hot,
A good hot to me,
The gift of the sacred lodge,
We sweat together.
Four rounds, one to
Each direction.
Healing comes.

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Train to Fairbanks,AK

Train to Fairbanks,AK
AN ALASKAN TRAIN RIDE
The click clack, click clack
Gathering steam
In the best window seat
Blue leather like seats
Generous, comfortable.
Plenty of leg room –
At 0840 we are loaded
Pulling away from Anchorage
Out the winding tracks
Up to Wasilla –

I buy a trip book
Which tells of the towns
The mountains
Some history.
Bought a long map one that unrolls
So we can follow the journey

See the rivers and mountains.
The sun is bright and we get tea
in the dining car
two cars back
through the heavy doors
cross the moving metal platforms.
The train to Fairbanks
With a crisp, blue sky.

The lovely train that presses forward
On the slick clear tracks.
In the dining car the conductor
And the policeman
exchange stories with each other
sitting at a table.
They make this 12 ½ hour run
Twice a week, north on a Saturday
South on a Sunday.
The mile markers flash by on
The right side of the tracks.
There are small shacks holding
Mail and supplies and three
Feet of snow on their roofs –
There are crossings with cars
A temperature monitor says 16 degrees
Fahrenheit.

In Wasilla several people get off
A few get on. I could not see Russia
But a good puppy sits prettily at her Mistress’ feet
A lovely Malamute.
The Conductor opens the top of the door
So we can take photos
Without the glass-it’s cold.
We traipse up there several times
Taking photos and movies, laughing bundling
Up our ears and hands.

The wind is wicked, skies  brilliant blue
I write and photograph madly
Everything so new
Frozen rivers covered with snow
The stark footprints of moose.
One set only
tracks of snowmobiles
crisscross and circle
Slim shadows of birch lining the tracks and
Short, bony firs mixed in.
Lakes and streams
expanses of snow.

And here we go into the mountains.
Denali looms and we croon
oohs and ahhs.
I am standing much of the time
Taking photographs
Which I trust will be wonderful
Eating the wind from the ½ open
Door and we stop just past
The trestle covered bridge
To look over the steep gully

Of the Tanana river
That becomes the Chena
When it gets to Fairbanks.
The sun is setting and I am
Still snapping
With names like Nenana
Usibilli Tipple
And my favorite Talkeetna
rolling around my tongue
Like the best garlic dish.