In Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World, Stephen J. Bergstrom gives creative voice to visionary souls in process of awakening.
Through imaginative device, Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World reveals two contrasting visions that shape contemporary existence.
In one, conquerors traverse the world as a series of endless privileges secured through material means and patriarchal oppression.
In the other, conquered and oppressed individuals and groups perceive that consciousness animates nature, humanity and the spirit of a Living Earth.
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Acknowledging Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotȟake/born Hoka Psice)
My people gave me the nickname Hunkesi which meant Slow in the white man’s language because I saw every part of every thing and knew that each affected many.
In the mysteries of my people, I saw the previous worlds and how all things would end in this world and in the worlds to come until the Great Spirit awakened, refreshed.
When the meadowlark came on the hillock beside me, his voice told me, “Your own peoples, Lakotas, will kill you.”
The bluecoats burned to avenge Yellow Hair. The Ghost Dance came to my people and put great fear in the blue coats. Fear is in their hearts. When I met the Great Father, when I rode in Cody’s Wild West Show, I saw many of his people homeless in the streets and I saw that fear bound them into a people.
I was with two of my wives and my son Crow Foot when they came for me and I knew this would be the day. The Grand River was slow and the return of the sun neared. I will go with you, I told them. Many of my people surrounded my cabins and the tribal police, infected by the fear of the white man and lost in those ways, acted when the Ghost Dancers moved toward them.
Catch-the Bear and Strikes-the Kettle fired first and I knew the meadowlark would call on me. Those shots hit First Lieutenant Bull Head and First Sergeant Shave Head. Bull Head, falling, shot me in the abdomen and I saw the bullet coming from Sergeant Red Tomahawk and knew, in an instant, that as my own people had killed me, the meadowlark would sing the same song for the white people.
In that moment that is all moments, I knew the day would come when the blue coats would kill their own people for, in this world, I am those people and fear is in our hearts.
~ Stephen J. Bergstrom