Sunday, May 03, 2020

Another of My Teachers has Passed

More than 30 years ago, after a year of trying to get included, I was invited, as a journalist, to a Native American Church peyote ceremony just outside of Durango, Colorado. The story I wrote was the first of three I did on the church over a period of a few years for High Times magazine in the late 1980s. Malcolm MacKinnon, a wonderful photographer, took the photos.
I also attended several ceremonies I didn't write about. Three outstanding teachers of mine came from that group: Bertha Grove, a healer who was the matriarch of the Southern Ute band that held the ceremonies; Bertha's brother Everett, a powerful human and an extraordinary Peyote Roadman; and Bertha's son Junior.
Bertha and Everett passed some years ago, but I still reach out to the ether they left behind for advice and strength. Now Junior, a strong buck of a man and, like his uncle Everett a wonderful Peyote Roadman, has just passed. I will sing him on his way though I suspect he's clear enough to get there without my help.
Thank you for everything, Junior. I hope you don't mind my reaching out sometimes for your help.
And thank you, Malcolm, for this wonderful shot of a younger me with Junior.

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