I rarely come from a place of Changing Minds. In fact, a very small, bitter and hopeless part of my brain reluctantly begins to believe lately that People Can’t Change. I’ve woken up this month in a series of deep sighs: The burlap curtains have been drawn tightly; I move slowly, without the will to. I greet the toddler and smooth the baby’s hair; lift & hold her tightly. She is round and warm deep into the cavity of my shoulder- a weary head’s seamless exchange from mattress to body. In the familiar rustle, I nurse, change her, begin breakfast to the hum of a refrigerator.
I hadn’t applied for a driver’s license until I was 30 years old. Before I needed one to support the new needs of two children, I used my two God-given feet; lived in proximity to where I worked. Adapted. I made the decision after 9/11. I acted politically, environmentally, peacefully, and humanely as one person can. Because I’m no martyr, and I’m nobody’s savior either, I decided never to tell my stance unless someone asked me. But isn’t it a wonder in all of those years that not a soul did? It is truly astounding how very seldom people approach one another with curiosity about the way they live.
I didn’t know in time if I would ever have children, but the one thing I did know was that a time would come when I would have to answer for my actions to every child, as this world is their future: and we are just living in it. These precious gifts are curious and seek guidance to navigate life’s complicated struggles. Each of us answers to the child who looks around their world and grows old enough to ask: If you knew something was wrong: Why didn’t you do anything about it?- before we ever even answer to God.
There are various serious issues in this country, and that they should come to a peaceable resolve is pending. We may feel we can not govern these issues suitably or gain traction for those that are systematically marginalized. To objectify people in this waiting game is puzzling, but embrace the challenge: in our moment this is best solved by people laying firmly together, like the pieces of a puzzle. Showing our government that we are our vision realized. What does this picture currently look like? What are you laying on the line for others? If you ever think that one person does not affect much, do the math on 16 years in gas. You do.
There’s a stone in my heart for Standing Rock. And if we don’t manage to come together to change it, I imagine that rock will become a part of me. My heart will begin to grow around and absorb it; the hard knot of loss in there Always. The media has given such poor coverage in the 9 months that the Water Protectors have been on site, but I’ve learned which news outlets and twitter feeds to tune into and that in itself is valuable, as reputable mainstream journalism continues to fail us. And as I’ve learned of Wesley Clark Jr’s mission to deploy United States Veterans to offer what he’s called a “warrior’s respite” in the coming week to Protectors, there is renewed hope real heroes and good forces at play. Recently, the Army Corps have threatened a camp evacuation to deter the Vets from arriving. This is disheartening but not surprising. Please donate to their GoFundMe, if you would like to, so they go undeterred and protected.
Living in deliberate Choice seems daunting; walking bravely to what end(?) and mornings in this country are currently cold and dark. I wobble, I fall, I’m pushed; I’m learning to stand. But with each step I do my human work, the day wakes me: I pick myself up by the bootstraps, make new clear paths, and build a bridge to the future I envision for us all. I stretch myself thin, and that’s ok, I’m reaching for it; I want it. I’m trying as hard as I can in ways that a stay-at-home mother of toddlers in a modest single income home can stand to. We’ve spent Thanksgiving day creating large cloth banners to lift the spirits of the Water Protectors, because I’m an artist and I can find a way to use it. I bend over hand sewing when the machine breaks, because I can do that too. And we will close our bank account, as their plan of direct action has suggested. It’s going to painful because there are a lot of moving parts for us at this time. We’ve donated what money we can live without in increments to Sacred Stone Camp, and after that we pushed ourselves more for the Veterans going to Standing Rock. … anything to make a difference.
The more I do this, the less I try to be in the business of Changing Minds. There are many times when we can’t tell whether talk is cheap or money speaks, but in my life I’ve learn this irrefutable truth: A single person is the bankroll to a hell of a lot of Change.
Standing Rock Go Fund Me Link HERE