Tuesday, June 28, 2005


We're off for vacation soon, and I'll be gone from tomorrow until July 5th. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend! We're heading up to Fort Robinson in the northwest corner of Nebraska. I'll try to bring back pics of buffalo, western skies, the bluffs where Red Cloud's tribe stayed, and the spot where Oglala Sioux Chief Crazy Horse was killed.

We were there for our first anniversary (when we lived a few hours away and had NO money to our name) and loved it. The kids should too. We'll take them around the scenery, be staying in a two family cabin, see a rodeo, buffalo, and take a hayrack ride and eat buffalo stew. We'll be spending our time with our friends from Minneapolis and their two boys as well. Everyone has plans for a busy 3-4 days, but I'm simply looking for some long sought after solitude and quiet…a respite of a few hours each day would be nice. I'm taking my camera, a good book, a pen and my journal. There is such a sense of freedom and I hope that I'm opened up even more to God when out there when I write. It's a wonderful place; spiritual in a way. Second only to South Dakota's Badlands on my places to go for such purposes. (Having never been to Rome, etc.)

Others visit more exotic places on their vacations…I prefer the wide-open skies of the Great Plains myself. Refreshes my soul, much as last year's visit to Minnesota and eastern South Dakota did. Last year: Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Corn Palace; this year: Crazy Horse & Pine Ridge.

It was also at Ft. Rob in 1994 that I picked up a book called Black Elk Speaks. It remains to this day one of my favorite books. You can read more about the man born "in the Moon of the Popping Trees" [see below] who witnessed the Battle of Little Big Horn as well as the death of his cousin Crazy Horse, supported the Spirit Dance movement that ended with the sad slaughter of his fellow people at Wounded Knee by a senseless US military, and of his conversion to Catholicism here.

The first peace, which is the most important,
is that which comes within the souls of people
when they realize their relationship,
their oneness, with the universe and all its powers,
and when they realize that at the center
of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit),
and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.
The second peace is that which is made between two individuals,
and the third is that which is made between two nations.
But above all you should understand that there can never
be peace between nations until there is known that true peace,
which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

~ Black Elk Native American spiritual leader


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