Be Yourself

Tonight I will sleep in the gymnasium here at the Cannonball recreational center with quite a few water protectors. It is cozy with cots and sleeping bags and blankets. A few dogs squeak in – helping curb my missing of my canine pals at home.

I want to thank you for the encouragement and the expressions of humanity that you have shared with me during my stay here.

I have felt for a long time that we all need to put our judgments in check – the Lakota seem to do that well – trust our humanity and let peace find its course.

I am more certain of that now than ever. It is time to not just talk about prophecy but also to fulfill it.

What is needed? A critical mass of those who recognize we are not the color of our skin; we are not our gender, our nationality, the sum of our wounds or of our successes. Those who recognize we are a brief shining star that gets to inhabit a body of dirt and water and a few other very mortal things, and those who know that the point of our being here is to shine. That is what is needed.

I will never be able to tell you the sweet moments here at Oceti Sakowin Camp of shining stars touching one another. I will never be able to tell you all the hope and the love that has passed before and through me here. I will never be able to remember the names, the words, the tears, the laughter or even the kindnesses, but they have and they will continue to guide and inform me.

What if it is only our doubt about what is possible that keeps heaven at bay?

Our words, our glances, our actions carry great weight. They are powerful tools of healing or of destruction. It is within our power to chose. Who we are as a People and what we will be is still unformed. It is up to us to shape our destiny. That destiny can no longer be formed from a system or systems that have harmed us – any one of us. It is time to create anew. It is time for the dawn. The darkness will have no place when we shine.

Shine on.


Couldn’t resist this photo by Tom Jefferson of “Big Dog” as he is called here. Big Dog was chased from the rec center many times, but he has the great gift of persistence, and finally it seems he has been granted access. I suppose that is why I love him so much, we share that same trait and he has continually reminded me of its importance. When he is not sleeping he is at play, doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. Hmmm, we are related.

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