“Soon after Reginah and I had a conversation about the title of the book, Reginah sent me a narrative that speaks to different layers in the writing. She had been reading one of my other books and ran across a phrase that indicated she was a bridge between Bear Heart and the modern world, including many of his students. As she was contemplating the notion of the bridge, a memory came to her.” Will Taegel
Reginah's remembrance of a "bridge" story.
In 1990 my dear mother had crossed over. I found myself in deep grief. Although I had been teaching and facilitating using the tool of Voice Dialogue, a large part of me felt lost. Even traveling with Bear Heart didn't fill the hole I experienced in my life. On an impulse, I signed up with the Department of Labor in Albuquerque, NM to take an aptitude test. I had expectations of finding work that did not include having to be on such intimate terms, heartfelt connections, with folks as was the case in being a co-worker with such a powerful medicine man. Both my own work and being a “medicine helper” to Bear Heart called for a willingness to empathize with others. I was tired. Out of gas. Maybe I could do something, at least for a while, that would give me some relief from having to feel the pain of others since I was so engrossed in my own pain. A nice thought, at best!
The two hour test in Albuquerque led to a conversation with a vocational counselor about my future. She told me that I had an aptitude in the area of “bridge inspecting”. Say What?
I had a good chuckle over it and quickly returned to my deeper soul and my life dedicated to deepening awareness of ourselves as the best way I knew to contribute to our world.
Exactly two years later Bear Heart and I were on a trip to where he grew up. Nearing the place where he was born, we came to cross a bridge on a country road in Oklahoma. I was driving. He calmly said, pull over here. I had learned to not question his motives and dutifully parked the car on the side of the road before the bridge. I want you to inspect this bridge before we cross over it for our safety, said Bear Heart.
I laughed so loud I thought I might have dislodged that bridge.
Later I began to see how my own sincere interest in both the consciousness movement and the Native American ways I was experiencing, was like an energetic bridge. I was deeply involved in looking for ways to speak about these bridges as connectors. I cared about honoring the ideas that had been brought forward by all my teachers. I was being a “bridge inspector” of sorts.
When I first read Chief Joseph's famous saying, “What we do to the land, we do to ourselves” I thought, “Yes, and what we do to ourselves and each other, we also do to the land.” The bridge goes in both directions.
Will Taegel writes:
"Bear Heart's teaching in this story sends us in the direction of viewing this new book I am working on as a bridge. A bridge between the here and now with ancient medicine wisdom.
A bridge between shamanic practice and the newer sciences. A bridge between individual seeking and communities rooted in Earth. A bridge between the chaos of the modern world and a coherence rising out of the confusion and disorder. A bridge between our ordinary habit patterns that we call ego and the deep dimension we call soul. A bridge between who we are and who we are called to be. A bridge between the love we now express and the larger love we glimpse in our visions."
So come along with me to an organic conversation with this remarkable medicine teacher and the deep points of stillness in all of us.” Will Taegel-- (from Prologue of forth coming book, THE BEAR IS OUR GRANDFATHER.)