My Time At Pine Ridge

When I first came to Pine Ridge I felt scared and alone

could not shake the feeling that this was not my home

yet I gave it an open heart and mind

and left myself open to whatever I could find

 

Coming to sweat I tried to be still and calm

tried to let the love in with an open palm

going into the sweat pushed me into the dark

and I sat waiting for a healing spark

yet when the steam began to build and grow

all the memories began to rush and flow

as Justin beat the drum and chanted

I looked back and realized I took a lot of things for granted

 

I sat in the lodge in a panic as by body began to shake

as my skin felt like it was going to bake

I felt something larger reach out to me

and I felt what I really wanted to be

someone who people looked to for comfort and joy

not just a larger and terrified boy

how I needed to let go of my hurt and pain

and not leave it as a stain

for me to put the sadness and anger in the sweat

and to let it leave with no more regret

 

The feeling when I was comforted outside the lodge

left me with a feeling I could not anymore dodge

“Maybe people see something in me that is good”

even when I feel that I was always misunderstood

because on face value I did not think people found me appealing

even though I had so much kindness and love I was concealing

 

I was so nervous talking with people after the first sweat

but I had a new mindset that I had not tried yet

you are not a burden to others

these people are your sisters and brothers

 

I realized through this experience that confidence is contagious

and that feeling good about myself was advantageous

I would like to thank everyone involved

for helping me through what was unresolved

from the LittleBoy family and Bruce to the Lakota group

you have helped me to end the vicious loop

 

Thank you

 

-Raylon Silberman

This entry was posted in Block 3: 2011-12. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My Time At Pine Ridge

  1. robinberk says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This is an amazing piece of work and I have so much respect for your ability to embrace vulnerability and share this with the class.
    It fills me with great joy knowing that you had such a positive, personal experience at Pine Ridge. I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that I am so grateful you were in this class. Throughout the block, it has become evident to us all just how much “kindness and love” you have and please know that it has not gone unappreciated – the class would not have been complete without you, nor anyone for that matter. I’m glad through this experience that you have been able to become more confident in yourself and have been able to trust us along the way.

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