Saturday, June 16, 2007

Power in a circle

"After the heyoka ceremony I came to live here where I am now between Wounded Knee Creek and Grass Creek. Others came too and we made these little gray houses of logs that you see, and they are square. It is a bad way to live, for there can be no power in a square.

You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle. And that is because the Power of the World always works in a circle, and everything tries to be round...

The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball. And so are all the stars. The wind in its greatest power whirls.

Birds make their nests in a circle, for theirs is the same religion as ours...The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves...

But the Waischus (white men) have put us in these square boxes. Our power is gone and we are dying, for the Power is not in us anymore...Well, it is as it is. We are prisoners of war while we are waiting here. But there is another world."

Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, from Black Elk Speaks, by John G. Neihardt (and preface of The Poet of Tolstoy Park, by Sonny Brewer).



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