Last Friday, I concluded I needed a Sweat. That night, I went home to my mother's where the lodge is built, and lit my sweat fire. I then tried to find anyone who would be interested in sweating that night and found none. I was alone in the lodge that night and since I didn't want to get out too often for rocks, I started with twice as many as I needed. I usually open the lodge with a soft spoken prayer, but this time I called the directions with my voice emboldened. The temperature rose quickly from all the rocks, and was well contained by the blankets covering the shell. I had to lay down and embrace the protection of Mother Earth before my prayers were said.

I prayed for wisdom for our leaders--that they not make rash decisions. I prayed that we learn to see the humanity in our attackers, and that they see our humanity as well. Our leaders have called this a battle between good and evil. I prayed that our leaders understand that from our attackers point of view, we are the purveyors of evil, and they are fighting for god's will. I live in a world of possibilities, so I was surprised, but not shocked. I am just a man in all equality with my brothers and sisters of the world, and who am I to say who may live and who may die? In all equality, who are they to say either? our noses have been bloodied before, and we have stopped the bullies who have delivered the punch. This time our noses are bloody, and our faces battered black and blue. Our leaders have vowed to stop the whole gang that would wish to hurt us over and over. We have the right to protect ourselves, and punishing those who have proven they wish us harm is justifiable. I pray for our warriors safety, and thank them in advance.

I prayed for myself, and the safety of my direct relations. I have friends and family traveling abroad. I asked that their journeys return them safely home. I prayed that the heavy burden of sorrow be lifted from my heart.

For the survivors and their families, I prayed that they find peace, that they remember those lost with love, and that they are not haunted by this long into the future.

This is not a time for hatred. This is a time for understanding. This is not a time for rash decisions. This is a time for clear and decisive action. Protecting ourselves and perhaps the world from terrorism is necessary and unfortunately that means putting our military in harms way. Let us keep the safety of our warriors in mind as this tragedy continues to evolve.