A tale of dark deeds on even darker streets.
And . . . Redemption . . . if you can call it that.

by David D. Wronski

©Copyright David D. Wronski 2017


He stood there with her that bright morning at the docks, still reeling from the whirlwind of happenings over the past several hours. And, wondering. Wondering what in the hell was all that about?

When you go through things with someone, as they did with one another even for only a handful of hours, you bond. And, they were. Bonded. It didn't hurt that she was the best looking thing he had ever seen. And, with a head on her shoulders too. 

Life is a journey only when you look back and create a narrative of the what's, why's, and wherefore's. Otherwise, it's just something that unfolds in ways in which we like to imagine we have some say. Doership, it's called. The Wise Ones tell us it's an illusion. Just a happening. (Think about that when you read the news. Oh, boy!)

Maybe it is. And, certainly after the night they just had, it was also definitely a mystery. 

The temptation also — if this is indeed an illusion — is to wonder what it all means. In the final analysis, it means what you think it means. Just that some folks seem to live out their lives with their received, handed-down thinking in tact. Works just fine for me, kind of thing; thank you, very much. If you're lucky, like they were, the Universe will conspire to upturn that furry rut people like to maintain for themselves. 

But, enough philosophizing. 

The Sampei docks that morning were busy, just like any other morning. He remembered he had arrived there for a layover until he could catch a ship going to parts unknown; but, parts dreamed of. 

As he looked at the harbor opening in the direction of the wide sea beyond ... talk about mysteries. On such a bright sunny morning the sky out to the horizon looked like a wall of dark stone. Gray storm clouds from the horizon to high heaven; as far on the horizon on one side as the other. Holy Cow! He had already been through a stony passage that night. Now it looked like venturing beyond that bright city and setting out to sea he would have to deal with who know what then?

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

How did he come to this spot anyway? It's a story in itself.

Chapter 1.

What a Town

Old Sampei. You heard of it? Been there? Friend, probably not. So let me tell you. I'm not saying it did, and I'm not saying it didn't. A tale to tell anyway. Cautionary. Well, yah!

That derelict town was a smoky hell hole if ever a place on this side of God’s creation did exist. The worst of it, that dank waterfront in Old Sampei was no place to find yourself at any hour; but, to venture out after the sun was down in the dark of night you were either up to no good . . . or looking for it. 

Not the least for the predictable nightly fog that hurriedly rolled in from the sea like a love starved sailor coming into port from a voyage long, looking for some warm comfort in two arms for hire. Under cover of that fog the most unspeakable of darkest dastards prowled those oily streets looking for what to do, for who knows . . . and why. 

And that fog was as reliable as the bell in the old church that rang the midnight toll. Church, hah! No one was fooled. God had left those premises. Call to vespers? No one in these parts is looking to slake their thirst for the Divine. Solace in a bottle. Now it's a liquor joint, probably the worst in this God-forsaken town. Oh, there was worship there, alright. But, the devil got his due.

That key. 

It came to be known as the "Sampei Siamese Jade Dragon Key". When he stumbled upon it the key had spent who knows how long lodged between some blackened cobblestones in the Chinatown quarter. What for the inexorable shifting of those steel hard stones the key worked its way ever so slightly to stick out enough to call attention to itself should a passerby step on it. Why he looked down when he felt the sharp edge of the key break the sensuous smooth pattern of the cobblestones is any body's guess. But he did. His curiosity would not be rewarded on that fateful night. Though he could be up for whatever the Fates dealt him, he was not one to court unnecessary doings. That notwithstanding, his Fates did seem to have a rather reliable way of thrusting him into unexpected and highly complicated situations. So, as he was wont to do, he bent low and carefully worked the key free from between the two stones it had kept company with for those so many years. For so many who knows how long, really.

The ancient mystery that key would reveal would have better been left to keep. But, it wasn't in the cards.

Wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Just how he came to be there that night itself is a story all its own. He was a White orphan left with missionaries. The precocious and exuberant boy was too much for those starchy Presbyterians, and they soon shuttled him off to a nearby monastery where to put his wild spirit in order he was schooled with extreme discipline in books and the practical stuff of living; and fighting and dying. Tough love, they call it. Let's just say he could take care of himself. And, he looked it.

In spite of the years of discipline and schooling the boy who became the man had enough with ways that by plain genetic disposition felt not his own. He had round eyes and yearned for a round eyed world. The White Man's world. As cursed as it had come to be. But, he hadn't received the news up there in the country. In any event, he took his proper leave and hitched a ride on a riverboat laden with cargo from the North. What cargo? One doesn't ask such question in those parts. In Old Sampei he planned to catch a ship going anywhere, anywhere but here.

Why he wandered into that saloon right after his ship came in is anyone's wonder. Maybe because it was the brightest spot on the docks. The only bright spot to be seen. Called "The Dragon Nest", its sign lit up the otherwise gloomy street in a garish mish-mash of shouting neon colors. It beckoned like a proverbial flame to the moth. The name was fitting.

The Dragon Nest was the kind of place that most folks would steer clear of for fear of going in and never coming out. Oh, that did happen. The bar was long and the counter encrusted with gold coins; real gold coins. The house rule was, "No loitering at the bar. Take your drink and get the hell away, pronto." This rule had two purposes, it made sure that only paying customers would belly up. And, it kept the bartender free to pour his libations and not babysit a menagerie of losers with broken hearts and tales to tell. Just to take a gander at that king's ransom in gold coins was the draw itself. The thirst for gold and the thirst for surcease. Let's just say that joint did some business.

And, speaking of business . . . she was there too. The kind of gal any man would be happy just to find himself next to. All yin, to a man's yang. The intoxicating refined features of the Orient blended with traces of a lineage from the West. To catch her gaze was to fall in love. To feel her touch, to melt. To be in her arms, downstairs at a table, a month's pay. To be alone with her and experience the warm tenderness of her most intimate embrace, that would cost you a fortune. Plus the cost of the room. And, then only, if she liked you. But, she had to really like you. For Old Sampei, she was a class act. 

She hadn't seen a man she really liked in a while. Until he showed up. His chiseled, movie star handsome occidental features shook the foundations of her half-breed soul. Without any thought her rose petal tongue lavishly moistened her ruby lips. She quickly dabbed her glistening lips lest her lust show itself and reveal her undeniable vulnerability. She was moist alright. And ready. Oh, yes. But, she knew the score. This game had some rules. First things first.

They both played it cool. But, like strangers who know love at first sight all too well know, he knew and she knew. And he knew that she knew, and she . . . well, you get the drift. They fixed their stance near to each other anchored like magnets feeling that gravitational pull, only held back by circumstances that for such an anything-goes kind of joint could only be called ironic decorum. Otherwise, should they have chosen to give in to their throbbing impulses, they could just as easily be on the floor in an instant at each other thrashing in reckless and unselfconscious abandon like two fish fighting for their lives caught together in a net. They would have their time, that's for sure. But it could wait. Yes he was that good. And, she was his match. Business before pleasure. Perhaps that sea voyage out of town would have to wait too. 

Business? When two fated souls such as these meet they see their karmic agenda laid bare. Without thinking, he whipped it out. She let out a small shocked gasp. He presenting it to her like a fine jewel before a queen. She didn't budge, and showed nary a sign of reaction. Except for those flared nostrils. That was her give away. What she saw made her body groan in yearning and anticipation. 

That key! She had never seen it before, but somehow it was as familiar to her as those smooth thighs and tapered calves she lotioned every night religiously. It was hers, and she knew it. Now, how to purloin that mysterious artifact from this devilishly handsome stranger. He held the key she coveted. And, perhaps the key to her heart?

Chapter 2.

A Walk in the Dark

With barely a nod and a quick darting of her deep luxurious eyes she gestured for him to follow her up the staircase to her most private sanctum. He obeyed like a puppy dog. Behind closed doors she finally showed herself. As she draped her graceful lily white body across those satin sheets her robe came undone. He could barely contain himself. Oh, he wanted her alright. But the key had its own allure, and it spoke of an even greater mystery to both of them. He lay the key obediently on her heaving bosom and she swiftly snatched it up in her lotus petal hand. Quickly sitting up she raised it overhead revealing the most exquisite silhouette of her most flowing female form, but somehow masterfully keeping the focus on the key itself. Just as quickly she draped her loveliness and walked to a door on the other side of the room. Like a bull moose in rut he followed her down the secret back stairway and out to the street. The moist cold night air sharply slapped his face, and he snapped out of the spell he came under after seeing her there in her secret chamber. 

The key clutched in her most beautiful tender soft delicate hand knew its destination and they followed. Still not saying a word but saying everything with her eyes, they walked together in the dark, the fog folding around them like a love potion whose chemical effect kept them in thrall of one another as they walked arm in arm for how long and to where, who knows?

In each other's company, for them, time stood still. They walked silently content and aimless like young lovers for a long while tracing a twisting and turning path among the dark streets of the dockside Old Chinatown quarter. At a crossing something made them stop and look down the narrowest of streets. There at the end of what turned out to be a cul-de-sac was a small storefront with windows showing only the slightest trace of a yellow bulb light glowing deep inside. As they approached they could make out the gilt lettered name, "Long's Time Antiquities".  It was the kind of store you don't much see anymore in any of the Chinatowns of the world. Intricately framed tall Victorian style bay windows open to the street view with a forest of plants flourishing just inside, each specimen in a beautiful glazed pottery planter. One couldn't see inside much at all for the plants and the thick mist draping the windows, suggesting a hot meal recently prepared and welcoming, or a pot of water on the boil for some rare and exotic black China tea. They went inside.

The door tripped a sleigh bell announcing their entry. A fat drowsy cat was first to greet them. As they approached that mouser slowly rose and sauntered off to find a more private spot. Soon from behind a beaded curtain an exquisitely old Chinese man appeared. Graceful and thin, with a bearing suggesting many a year well lived. A Westerner new to the Oriental culture could easily make the mistake that people from that part of the world are all imbued with the wisdom of the ages. In truth, fools thrive all over the world, and appearances can be deceiving. Not so with this ancient gentleman. He radiated strength and understanding. You just new. Not so much by how he looked — though, he indeed looked the part — but by how his very presence resonated within you. Oh, you would know my friend. Even you would most certainly know. He was the real deal. Enough said.

He greeted them with the slightest, most graceful bow. And gestured them to sit at the table set in the center of the room. Situated around it were pieces of antiquated furniture and large artworks, placed like sentinels each one guarding its own feudal kingdom of mysterious antiquated objects from distant lands and times. Beyond in dark wood framed, beveled glass showcases items of remarkable workmanship; and farther still, against the walls, shelves covered with the same darkened wood panelling with glass inserts. The smallest articles were kept there, each sat majestic and silent, and each a treasure of wonderful imaginings and story.

As if on cue a graceful silk robed young girl came into the room through that beaded curtain carrying a tray with a huge pot of China black tea and three thin porcelain cups. Clearly, it was an unspoken invitation to stay a while. And, as is the custom of commerce in the East, you have some tea, you buy something. Yes? Over tea the couple told their stories. The old man patiently listened, but he instinctively knew the purpose of their visit, and after they were finished with their little stories, he gestured as if to say, ". . . And?"

She retrieved the key secreted in the silk wrapping around her soft warm bosom and forthrightly placed in on the table in front of the old man. He reverently picked it up then held it for a long time, near his cheek. Perhaps savoring the warmth imparted by her body and its exquisite yin essence. Remembering his own youthful, passionate times. He signalled to the young girl and without a word or hesitation she brought a lacquered tray with a fine thin silk cushion fit in the center. He gestured to place the key on the silk cushion. Then the three of them simply sat there looking at the key and sipping their aromatic cups of tea. For what, it seemed like a very long and silent time. The young girl had vanished, having done her duty. Not far away should she be needed, but out of sight, out of mind. Everything in its place.

When the old man spoke he spoke in measured, quiet tones. Not a breath wasted. He asked where did this key come from, and our fellow flatly stated that he found it. Purely by accident, in the street, not all that far away. Well enough. No need to get melodramatic about finding a key, even a key which the old man without a doubt knew could open a world of mysteries . . . and, troubles, should it get in the wrong hands. 

For every key born there is a lock. And most keys and their mated locks stay close. It may be a cliché, but this key and the lock it fit, a holy alliance? Or, unholy? The world, my friend, is as you may see it. The answer lies in your own heart, and what you value. As was suggested, the contents that key unlocked could be a blessing, or a curse. It's all in how you hold it.

The old man sat silently slowly sipping at his teacup for a long time. Like I already said. Just looking at the key. That key with its delicate jade finial spoke its own truth. Not to be forced, and with the greatest respect. This key opened a treasure.

Suddenly from behind the beaded curtain an old woman materialized and plodded silently toward the table where the three of them were held silent in the aura of the jade key. She brought with her an old box, of age who knows. The box was set with a brass lock with a menacing jade dragon face surround. Open at your own peril could be one way to interpret its unspoken message. Or, rich rewards to the fearless interloper. You tell me. Only one way to tell for sure. Yes, you got it. Open it.

With all this mystery it was rather surprising how the old man so swiftly and unceremoniously took the jade key and opened the box. At a certain age one opts for economy over theatrics. Though the casual observer would expect to see some outward show of respect confronting such a mystery, the old man had earned his chops; respect was ground of his being. The box opened, and yet another key. This one rugged iron, and large. The kind of key you would expect would open a big and ancient door.

The old man deftly picked up the key and handed it to the monkey on his shoulder. Did I mention there was a monkey on his shoulder? No matter. The monkey held the key, knowingly. With ferocious tenacity, in fact. Then, he tucked it securely into his belt. Did I mention the monkey was dressed in a costume, like some kind of fine gentleman.

The old man whispered something silently into the monkey's ear and that little simian beast seemed to nod as if to signify understanding. Then the old man said to go with the monkey and seek out the door that belonged to that cold hard key. But, important, don't touch the monkey! Nobody touches the monkey. The creature would recognize the door and would turn over the key without fail in due time. Meanwhile, the monkey would guard the key should anyone attempt a street mugging. A very likely turn of events at such an hour, on such streets.

Just as unceremoniously, the old man stood up and showed them the door. The monkey dutifully followed behind, and off they went into the dark, fog shrouded night. As they left the shop and its only light on that street, the road ahead darkened and once again they came to that intersection where every option was as dark as the next, maybe except for a small crack of light coming from a shuttered window here and there, or a quick play of light and shadow cast by the light of the moon running among the clouds.

From here on out it was all feel your way by instinct. But, the keyholder monkey had instincts as well. It struck out ahead of them on the street off to the right, and they obediently followed. Imagine, he thought to himself, in the middle of nowhere with a smoking hot dame in the dead of night following some overdressed monkey. To what? Why? Best not to look for answers to some questions. Not right now anyway. The answers will come after the deed is done. Maybe not the answer one would want, but the hard true answer nonetheless. They pressed on. That little critter leading the way.

Chapter 3.

The Sampei Gate

After not too long a time they came to the gate. It was a huge double affair, maybe ten or more feet wide and double that in height. They wouldn't have stopped except for the monkey. It stopped and simply stood there staring at that gate. The gate surround and walls stretching far on either side were made of ancient massive stones. Square cut at their fitment sides, but rough hewn to the outside. Those stones looked like they were set there centuries ago, and would stay there centuries more. And, those massive walls were topped with huge stone spikes with menacing gargoyles placed shoulder to shoulder all along the length under them. No one was going in except through that gate. Or, out.

The thing is that it was so dark at night in those precincts that you wouldn't even notice that structure there, again save for the gesturing monkey. And, funny, the lady herself knew those streets well enough by day, so well she could at any time in the daylight accurately place herself in relation to the rest of the local terrain. But, she never saw those ramparts with the gateway ever before in all her travels in the light of day around that godforsaken town. Yet, there it was. Barely visible except for moments of moonlight granted by the chance of an occasional cloud parting.

That gate. Age darkened wood timbers framing more wood timbers mortised in among a square lattice grid design. Crude and heavy wrought iron hardware with a shiny black patina speaking to years of careful attention. Half round iron bolt heads as big as a fist studded everywhere holding all that wood in place. And, in the center, the keyhole opening to the lock box. So small, almost too easy to miss for all the outsized scale of all of it. But for the monkey, gesturing as if to say, "Here dummy, that's where you put the key." 

Never underestimate the value of a smart monkey.

They took a long silent look of one another, the key their common bond. And maybe too the irresistible animal magnetism still vibrating in their bones. She nodded assent, and he let the key into the small slot. It entered smoothly with a feel of an accurate tolerance. When he turned it, it also moved so easily, noiselessly. She breathed a sigh; of relief? (With a babe like that the context could easily shift. She had it going on, for sure.) Except for, after a few moments, the sound of a huge clockwork of grindings, bashings, turnings, squealings, squeekings and clashings screamed out from the lock box of the gate, shattering the dead silence of the gloomy street. It's no wonder that the entire neighborhood wasn't awakened by that monstrous, ecstatic noise.

Then the gate silently swung open. Not enough to take in whatever view there was to be had of the inside, but just enough for one person to shimmy through. Again, they stood there looking at one another. The key in his slack armed hand. That gave the monkey its opening, and the little bugger snatched it back and was off down the street and gone before you barely knew what happened. 

Alone together they approached the gate opening. He went first. Once he was inside and out of sight, he offered her an inviting hand. She trustingly accepted and followed. Then as she stepped inside the gate, just as silently, it closed and there they were together alone, their fate sealed, so to speak. Nothing more. The story now is theirs to create; if they will. If they can.

There are locks which only appear when the key is in hand. You won't even know beforehand if a key will be granted. But, if it is, the choice is not whether to turn the key, but when. And, where.

Chapter 4.


Of course there are keys, but what is a key without a lock. And . . . a door? An entire subject, and deep, unto itself. But, on with the tale.

They stood there in the dark trying desperately to get their bearings, some sense of what kind of context into which fate had put them. Not a clue. Pure calligrapher's inky black in all directions. Except for a pin dot of light off straight ahead. They hurried toward it like the proverbial moth to a flame. That light was so far off in the distance that it was already morning there where it was. And, when they finally arrived, this is what they were confronted with. A choice? Yes, and no. The real choice was whether to go forward or turn back. Back was not an option. So now, which door to enter.

From the looks of it any which door appeared to go to the same brightly lit place. But it's been a night of surprises and these two weren't in any mood to take things for granted or make assumptions. And, besides, who says you have to choose only one. Why not fling all three open and see what's to see. Just that if there's something behind one of those doors that should stay in behind there then when you open it it'll be too late and you have to deal with that. As they say, "Oi Vey!"

"OK, here's the plan," he said. "Who put you in charge, mister," she retorted. Like I said, they had shared karma.

Anyway . . .

The idea was to open all three doors as simultaneously as two people could, take a gander and make a move. If indeed something was lurking  — and you might as well know right now, yes, it was — they could escape into one of the other doors and close it behind them. Let's not get into the further possibilities. Unless, of course, all three doors opened to the same place. But, why would somebody set it up that way? Just to mess with you? Sometimes life comes at you so fast you need to act quickly and clean up your mistakes as you go along. There's that old expression, you call it fate when you don't know who's messing with you.

They chose the middle door, the blue one. Her eyes were pools of deep blue; so, what the hey.

Just as they entered, and completely the opposite of their experience coming through that dark gate in the first place, just as soon as they passed through that door, there directly in from of them was yet another door. Behind which, a most brilliant light shone. Now there was no choice. Onward they must go.

Chapter 5.

A New Day Dawning

And, once beyond that final door, what did they see? Where, indeed, did they find themselves? Back in Old Sampei, no doubt. 

But . . . a New Sampei, that's for sure. The whole damned smelly, dank, fetid, grime encrusted ramshackle place looked like it was reborn. Scrubbed clean. The people too. It was like by some magical incantation everything had started over again. Fresh, new. And, clean. The two of them stood aghast trying to take in, not so much the fact of this bright new Sampei laid out before their eyes; but, how could this even come to be? And, more to the point at hand, what to do? Even the lowly cockroach with all its eons of bred-in instinct for survival would be brought up short were the world to become brand spanking new again. It does after all thrive on the detritus. Some people too. These two sojourners of happenstance were jaded enough. But not so that a fresh face on things would be out of the question. Maybe him more so. She had obviously been around the block a time or two. 

This, however, is a fated tale so the answer to that question would not be far away. In fact, as the colorful buggy drawn by two fine horses inched away from in front of them . . . again, that monkey. There that little brute stood, staring them right in the face then turning to lumber down the road with them in tow. Again! That monkey. 

Turning down a narrow street, which turned out to be a cul-de-sac, the monkey led them to the building at the very end and sauntered inside. Of course, they followed. Inside the elaborately painted red outer street wall they found themselves in a sunny courtyard. There with the usual fountains, flowers, shade trees, and the requisite exotic tropical bird or two. Farther beyond, through a exquisitely sloping archway, was a doorway to what would turn out to be a residence.

The door was left slightly ajar, and they nervously entered. Well, that's where that monkey went too, so they figured that to be their sign.

Inside was a huge room with the highest ceiling you could imagine. Every inch of that sanctum was decorated with  fine painting, inlays, carvings, silks and gilding. The precision and detail of the craftsmanship was such that it would take a lifetime career with a magnifying glass to observe every detail, much less chronicle it for posterity. It was a knockout, for sure. And, even more startling, the darned place was decorated with what seemed to be the contents from the old shop from the night before. Strange coincidence. Transformation, indeed. 

Without a sound a young man appeared in the middle of the room. When they turned toward him, they both couldn't help to think they had met him before. Maybe a much younger and vigorous version of the old man who sent them out with his monkey late last night? Looked so, for sure. 

They say that life is a spiral. But, this spiral was turning far more quickly than these two adventurers were used to, or would care for, if they had a choice. Oh, they had a choice, for sure. To go along or resist. Simple as that. 

He gestured for them to sit and no sooner than an old woman inched herself into the room, scratching the fine hand woven silk carpet with her wooden shoes. She must have made this trip many times over many years. That most intricate and tightly crafted carpet was pristine except for the pathway from the doorway from which she appeared to the side of table where she placed the huge china pot of smoking aromatic tea. Placed. More like dropped. Then she unceremoniously poured the tea into wide saucer shaped cups, and set them down in the most off handed way. Some attitude on that one, our girl said under her breath, to no one in particular. The old lady picked up on her whispered jibe, and smiled in such a way that you knew for all the brusque manner in her service, this old crone knew exactly what she was doing. Maybe an unspoken gesture signifying that sometimes even in the most amazingly beautiful and wonderful situations, things aren't what they seem and that trials and difficulties unseen and unimagined were in store. But, only maybe.

In point of fact, that was her message. But, did the two of them pick up on it? The bitterness of the tea might have been the clue. 

Chapter 6.

So now we come to the place where we started when we began telling this tale.

Dockside. He knew well enough what was his original intention. Stay awhile in Old Sampei and get on the next reliable looking ocean going vessel to the West. Only now, that wall of stone-colored clouds threatening in the not so far off distance. 

And, besides that, what to do with her? Like I said earlier, by now they were connected at the hip, so to speak. Would she follow him off on yet another adventure? Or, stick to her crummy existence, just out of it being so familiar?

We'll leave those two strangers, their stars linked in clearly locked-in orbits. Let them work it out. 

Just to say, they lived happily ever after. But, not without a few hurdles along the way. Theirs was not to be, as you could imagine being the fearless adventurers they were, the cliché vine covered cottage in the lyrically bucolic countryside. No. 

©Copyright David D. Wronski 2015

The Pink School House

During the summertime in Michigan we would occasionally drive north to my aunt and uncle’s cottages just north of Port Huron.
The main road going there at that time was Gratiot Avenue. On the way we would always make two stops. One, a treat for the time. The other, something more lasting.
The first was Brown’s Creamery in Mt. Clemens. I would always get their one of a kind orange-pineapple ice cream on a cone. Fruity juicy good with bits of orange and pineapple studded throughout.
The second stop was a ways further up the road near Richmond where my father grew up on a farm. He had a job as a boy up very early each morning and working on a horse drawn milk truck. Sometimes in the dead of winter; it took a toll on his health.
The second stop was my dad's little one room school house. Painted pink. The Pink School House was just off the road on the right. It seemed deserted to me, but I don’t know for sure if it was still in use at that time in the mid-1950s. It was summer and school would have been out. My dad would have us all get out of the car and trot over to a well with an old hand pump. We would give it a couple of strokes and soon water flowed. We let it go for a while to clear, and then he would insist we all take a sip. It seemed very important to him that we had a drink from that well.
Dad boasted about the mineral content of the water. I remember the water being so very mineral rich it tasted like iron nails. 
He left me with vivid memories. I sort of understood that those two stops were landmarks in my life. Browns Creamery is long gone, and I suspect so is the Pink School House. And, I believe my father understood at the time that he was giving us that memory, links to his past and later to our own.
My father was a poet.
Words of great wisdom, The Native American Code Of Ethics:
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. If it was not earned or given, it is not yours.
6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.
13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.
14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.
20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.