What you heard was true.

I was there when Fetcher freaked out.

Lyndon Kessler
2 min readSep 6, 2021
Raju Bhupairaju on Unsplash

What you have heard is true. I was in the Sweat Lodge when Fetcher ‘Freaked’.

The Leader of the Sweat was yammering on about how he ran sweats. I could see Fetcher two spaces to my right. He looked confused.

The Fire Keeper was tending the stones in the fire. The full moon was setting behind the houses of suburbia. Sparks from the fire rose into the sky and flickered out.

Colored cloth bundles of tiny prayer ties arranged in a circle on the ground beyond the fire.

The Spirit Food, three bowls of food and a bowl of water, to consume before smoking the Sacred Pipe. The Pipe was leaning on a low pipe rack, waiting to be lit.

The lodge, assembled of Green Creek Willow branches, shaped like an upside-down bowl, was covered with blankets.

Everyone wanted to feel good about living again. We were all waiting to finish the ceremony.

The Leader called the Fire Keeper to bring in ten heated stones to begin the Sweat. The stones were placed into a small pit in the middle of the lodge dirt floor.

Leader asked everyone to introduce themselves and tell us why we had come while the stones were brought in.

Every time ten more stones were brought in, the heat and steam produced were orders of magnitude greater.

I was concerned for Fetcher, the NOOB.

In the middle of the third round, the Healing Round, Fetcher began screaming in pain. He crawled out of the lodge and sat on the ground outside the doorway. Fetcher’s wife asked to go out and tend to him.

After the fourth round, we exited the lodge. Leader had Fetcher join us for the Spirit Food and to smoke the Sacred Pipe.

The question remained. Would Fetcher continue on the path presented to him? He did. I have seen him in many ceremonies since that night.



Lyndon Kessler

I am a Vietnam Vet, my wife and I retired to Arizona December, 2013 after a lifetime living in California. I use Apple computers since 9/11.