Later, I learned that Jerry started his great journey to the White Mountain and on to the stars a few minutes later. Even before I learned of his crossing the great divide, I sensed a very strong link.
The two of us were that way.
So it is that each day at sunrise Judith and I send him good medicine for his journey and talk about what an outstanding human being he was while on his Earth walk. I knew Jerry when he was pretty much at ground zero with his businesses. I knew him on this descent and later on the ascent, and I celebrated with him with his major accomplishments. They were many.
I thought of a time when he came in from a vision quest on the wild, Canadian River. We had crossed the swollen river in the bed of a pick-up truck with the back tires reaching for the bottom and only making marginal contact. A large rattle snake had traveled past our tents. A big black bear appeared to some of the questers. Through it all, Jerry danced his path, and that became his Earthtribe name, Dances His Path.
And he did. He danced his path.
He danced his path around an Earth Dance pole and met his beloved spouse, Linda. “One of the best gifts ever given to me,” he told me any number of times. Judith and I married Linda and Jerry at the Blair House in Wimberley under considerably more civilized terms than the Canadian River, but still wilder than your corner Church.
He graced me with invitations to be part of birthing various business adventures. He invited me to partner with him in community building with a number of refineries where he was assisting massive petroleum operations in “turning around” their practices to be more environmentally friendly. Once, we organized a “buffalo hunt” for a large refinery and its 1200 key personnel. On that one, we took them outside to build a fire and have a ceremonial meal so they could breathe the air they were influencing. After a day of breathing the air, their environmental record improved. Jerry was very much in favor of strengthening the EPA and its safety regulations, not watering it down. He was far in front of his times.
Jerry and I sat with officials of British Petroleum after the Texas City fire and before the oil spill in the Gulf.I came away from these meetings with deep respect for Jerry because he pushed and pushed this large corporation to do better, to be safer, and to honor the environment. They balked but also relented. They set up tents where Jerry and I conducted ceremony for shifts of several hundred workers and their families as they sorted through their grief. Jerry was fierce in his demanding safety for his team and for the refinery workers.
I could go on and on. We really dreamed well together. We talked eco-physics. We played a little golf. Our last project was for Extra Special People, a night for Big Hearts. Jerry invited me to work with the staff in creating a children’s book on nature-based spirituality for children with disabilities. For over a year I have had the privilege of being a background consultant in the writing of this book. It is a book about a sparrow born without tail feathers and his journey of consciousness and usefulness. Jerry, Linda, Judith, and I had planned to fly together to Athens, Ga., for an event where they expect 3000 people to celebrate and support these courageous children. He kept telling me,”Will, they will inspire you. They will inspire you."
Now, we will fly to Athens without the physical presence of Jerry. He is on his big journey to the ancestral domain. But his big heart will be with us. Just as I did at many of the gatherings at our business functions, I will blow the ceremonial conch. I will assist the people whose families include children with disabilities in chanting,”Believe beyond limitations! Believe beyond limitations!”
In my heart I will be linked with Jerry’s big heart. I will miss you, Jerry, AND the heart of the Universe holds us all. Because of you,
We believe beyond limitations!
Will Taegel, Ph.D.
Elder - The Earthtribe