Monthly Archives

November 2016

Inter-Faith

Standing Rock

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Back in our camper, by the light of the Shabbat candles, I ‘m musing on this astounding week. We arrived at Standing Rock still flummoxed by election returns, and fixated on daily newscasts out of Washington and New York. To our delight we found no mention of the T-word, no fretful forecasts. That’s because the story here is far more compelling, and the historical context of the Dakota Access Pipeline battle much broader–four hundred years in the making.

This week I witnessed a new culture alive in our country, one that’s vast and growing.

I had pictured Standing Rock as a few tents and a tepee or two. In actuality there are hundreds of tepees, yurts, and easily a thousand tents spreading out as far as the eye can see. Building is going on in every direction; vehicles continue to pour in.

These are folks of all colors, ages, and states, who refuse to buy into the capitalist values that cater to a white majority. Unlike mainstream America, this emerging culture holds to wise leadership at its center, indigenous elders steeped in a long tradition of prayer and ceremony, rather than the cult of self, wealth, and materialism.
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Inter-Faith

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, 2016

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I am not an activist. I avoid crowds and cold weather if I can. So why was I was drawn to this relentlessly frigid, straw-colored landscape filled with people this Thanksgiving? Truth is I’ve been traveling too much and would have relished some time off to stay put and catch my breath.

But today at dawn I understood more. As David and I huddled in a prayer circle of 400 (500?) people from all over the continent and beyond I felt shutters of awe dissolve my cynical affect, my wariness of New Age unreality. Looking around I was astonished to see thousands (yes, thousands) who have camped here and two camps nearby. At the center of the camp we were surrounded by a sea of tepees and yurts, tents and RVs. Wood smoke rose into the cold new day.

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