Standing Rock: Why I’m glad I went

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I’m glad I went and am thinking about going back. Yes, I blogged that it can be hard to be a white person at Standing Rock. But I loved every minute of it. Why?

Because it’s a rare and important opportunity to stand with people having the courage to speak truth to power, at great risk to their lives and well being. It’s a skill we all need to exercise, maybe particularly now. I am grateful to have seen it, and honor it in my own prayers.

It’s very scary. To see authority out of control, ruled by some adolescent notion of domination, able to randomly mace senior citizens in the face, is so completely opposite of their standing as law enforcement and peace officers. It’s such a betrayal of the public trust that it could only be described as a monumental selling out to the highest bidder.

And, in the face of it, I’m grateful to see how a people can still live prayer, day in and day out, in all that they do. It’s not something they put on and take off. It’s something they are, because they’re steeped in it.

And there’s a power that comes with living outside most of every day that we forget. That river is an ancient and knowing force in their lives, not an unseen convenience like running water is for most of us. When I would wake up at night, with Mother Earth beneath me and Father Sky above me, and the moon reflecting on the river running just beyond our camp, I felt such a part of all that is most important about our world.

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The Native concern for the next seven generations of life always makes me think of my grandson, fearlessly ready to jump into the world.

People are getting their books–whoa!

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Sometimes I forget how and where and why I even wrote this book–after all, I wrote it more than two years ago and have written a few more since then–and now it’s out there.  Actually, that was the first question of the Examiner interviewer–how did I come to write it.

I said I wrote it for two reasons: (1) I took a creative writing class at Inprint, a great writing program in Houston.  There were eleven of us in the class, an engineer, a physicist, a lawyer, a teacher, a student, etc.  What inspired me is that they always wanted me to read first, to see what happened next.  I wrote the intro to the book in that class, but I didn’t know it.  (2) Every psychic I’ve seen, and that would be about a half dozen in the past decade, generally done with a group for fun, would ask me where my book was. Not that psychics necessarily have a corner on the truth, but by the time the sixth one asks you, you begin to wonder.

Ultimately, writing is such a private act, there’s still something shocking about it going public, even when you know it’s coming.  I wrote it every night after work is the how.  Generally in my second-floor Albuquerque apartment (corner of Broadway and Coal) is the where, staring out the window at downtown whenever I paused in my typing.  The real answer to why is that it came and it kept coming, every time I sat down to write and sometimes in between.  It still comes.  I keep a notebook with me, to catch it.

Now I feel as if I’m in that dream where you’re standing naked in front of a clothed crowd, no where to run, no where to hide.  Even though this must have always been the goal, I’m still a little freaked out to have achieved it.  I guess I’ve jumped.

 

“Kinetic energy on the fly!” – the Void.

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No one documented the small patch of singed grass under the trees nearest to the Void or the tiny iridescent scales that dazzled in the sunlight.

“I’m a study of a man in chaos in search of a frenzy.”- Oscar Levant.

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“The coils of “reality” began to unravel, After I scored the twine of dreams.” – Margaret Ornelas

“It’s better to have your insanity take over than your vanity.”- Margaret Ornelas

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“It ain’t the heat, It’s the humility.”- Yogi Berra.

“Eagarness awaits.” -Margaret Ornelas.

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“Knowledge is the life of the mind”. -Abu Bakr.

 

 

Lack of inhibition is a marvelous thing, It’s yearning to be released through the crevasses of your being. – Margaret Ornelas.

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“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson