This letter was written by Bear Boy in May 2004 for our Dance Community Prayer Request List while he was in the hospital. His words still ring loud and true, and filled with “help for the people”:
Attention to the Naraya Community and the people who tune into the prayer hot line. It’s a letter to you, like that. It ain’t really my custom to write a letter.
Let’s see, I’m trying to feel this. I was very happy in my world, I felt like a little bear cub, so free in this world until sickness came upon me. To me it is not a very easy thing to open my feelings of my sickness to people I don’t even know, because it would be a sign of weakness, because of who I am.
It was not my choice to be on the prayer list, but the community of Utah said that it would be good that the rest of the community understand my sickness and what is going through me. To me it is a sign of weakness, but I trust the people of Utah, I know them, they would not put me on some kind of display. They would not do that to me. What was written in the prayer hot line by the people of New York was done in good taste, it was not done to pity me or exploit me. So with that thought I am writing this letter.
Sometimes we all go through a period of time, through our sorrows, the pain and disappointment of life. I don’t even know if I should write this, but sometimes people have to understand that to go through the darkness, there’s always going to be the light of a new day. Do you understand? Maybe sometimes you need to put your pride away, too, you know? Do you hear me? Sometimes the suffering and the pain is a great blessing, though. To me it is almost like asking, “what have you learned upon this world?” Instead of being selfish, a person should learn to accept and not be a bitter person, that could be your downfall. This is why we make relationships upon this world. Got it? To support each other, to help each other, to heal one another.
So now as you read this letter, you could think of someone who needs to read this, and maybe they can open their eyes and see the crystal more clearly. And from there they can have compassion for themselves. This letter is going to be long, you have to understand this… It is my custom to just see a person eye to eye and that’s how I can relate and see what’s in the heart of a person, or if I’m just wasting my time, got it? I can feel something from all these good people who took time out to talk to me or send me something. It’s beautiful to watch the world move, though. It makes me feel like singing a song, whatever it is.
This is me, Guelga Apa Vu, I’m trying to catch something that’s still coming through me. I’m only human and from here I will tell you how I felt, so maybe you can understand, or I can understand myself, too. It’s just like while I was in the hospital they were giving me medications and things I didn’t know anything about, and that makes you confused, like you don’t know what is really happening. To me, it felt like I was a little cub, locked up, confused, did not know what they are really talking about. The only thing I knew was my natural life, and the natural life of this world is spirituality, which you learn. When night came I talked to my Grandmother, the Night, and told her I want to go home with all my limbs, and I talked to my Grandfather, the Sun. I wanted to talk to my Grandfather the Sun, the next morning. I told him the same thing, “I want to go home with all my limbs, not the way the doctors are talking to me, wanting to cut off my limbs, my leg, put me on dialysis and all that stuff. Does that make sense to you?”
I don’t know I don’t know what to think. It’s almost like a thought, you don’t even know what you’re doing in this world. All the great deeds you’ve done, all the people you’ve helped. It makes you put a doubt in your mind, your body, heart, and spirit. But there’s always a light somewhere. You just have to find that light somewhere and accept it. Your body’s just a shell upon this world, and your true spirit nobody can ever take that away, or do anything with it, for that belongs to a spirit that has no name. Nobody has ever touched that one.
This is a big teaching of it’s own self, if you open your mind, your body, your heart, your spirit. I’m not trying to make myself sound like something great, but something to teach you with, got it? I’m just a bear cub trying to learn about life. I’m not a great teacher or anything of that nature, got it? I’m just a bear cub, a bear cub, just living in this world, got it? I’m just trying to understand myself and people around me, got it?
Right now, would be a good time to write this, like that, got it? People like to read into letters, they like to read between the lines to see what a person’s thoughts are. Don’t you think so? Got it? Are you there?
Let me help you out a little bit, this may sound personal, then again it might just be something I’m trying to express to this world… I’m thinking about a memory, of a person, I am sitting here talking to my Grandmother, the Night, waiting for my Grandfather, the Sun, to come upon me. The happiness that you have given me, the great blessings of acknowledgment of my existence upon this world, it brought a lot of love to me.It made me live for the love which you have given me. It makes me live for the the love that I felt. A better way to express myself is to see the rays of the sun light shine upon me, and feel the warmth of my Grandfather, and knowing the love my Grandfather has for me, and the deep understanding my Grandmother has for me, and the quiet feeling she has for me.
There is no other place I’d rather be at this moment, but to have the thought I just had of that life, and to think about the good songs I shared with you, and to see the smile upon your face. I am just waiting for the sunrise to come, the lovely feeling that I have felt from the Sun and the Night, the love that you have given me, for the love that I live today now. I’m just trying to express myself, how I appreciate what you have done for me. Maybe this letter will take you through a journey, then it will take you through different levels. Got it?
Just as the first beginning of the flower… It’s like the first creation of life was sweet grass, the second was the flowers, then cedar, then after that sparks, then fire came.
I am going to step in the circle and I want to acknowledge all the people who called me and wrote to me for the moment of time, for the moment in time. Now I wonder what happened to all the people. I am not receiving letters, maybe the world swallowed them up. It’s something I have to learn about, maybe its a custom you have. I don’t know, but all in all, you’re all in my prayers. I have to learn to accept this, just as you have to learn to accept me. so we forgive each other, so we move on through life, with each other, or without each other, but me, I wish that we can all grow old together, in the passage of the Great Spirit.
Maybe the way I see it we move from one crisis to another, and that’s how humans are driven in your world, but for me, I’ll always have a good spot in my heart for you. What I think is very gentle and it’s very polite. I don’t know if this works but it sounds like a song. Amazing Americans you put a smile on my face. Maybe I see things very differently than you see things, I don’t know how you do it, but it works.
It’s a very enchanted time right now. Why? Because it’s Mother’s Day. I am so happy for everybody, celebrating this day they put aside for Mother’s Day. From there I wish not to go any further than that, but I’m happy for Mother’s Day. If the mother was good or bad, whatever, life takes it’s toll. I’m happy for my Mother, for letting me be who I am, and for giving me the strength of the great blessing of life and the great spirit.
Even though natural life has it’s own problem with the children and mother, there’s always a positive attitude of discovery of life. At this time I miss my mother and I think there’s a lot of people who lost their mothers, too. But the Great Spirit made it in its own right, without the manifesto of white men reminding us of Mother’s Day. The Great Spirit that I know has never forgotten anything, for every day is Mother’s Day to me, for as I walk upon this world; I can truly say this world, this Earth, is my mother, that’s what we call Mother Earth.
That’s how I feel. Maybe other people have other feelings about life and death, but that’s how I feel and nobody can ever take that away from me. Nobody could ever desecrate where my mother sleeps, for I’ll give my life up for her.
So with that thought I leave you with this — I am riding on a shooting star, you never get older, you just get younger, and whatever is to come will come, and we all will be praying to our God.
Guelga Apa Vu