OK so I’ll admit, in the last few weeks, not much has gotten done around here. My partner and I did go to the coast overnight and I intended to write about that, and several other things. But I haven’t been writing.
I am also “supposed” to be working on a rewrite of a review for my Bardic Grade studies. I wanted contemplate more deeply and write about a “Water Ceremony” that I did nearly a year ago. You see, I have a problem with water. It has never been my friend. So I buckled down yesterday, turned the world off, and re-read some old notes from nine months ago. Water has had a lot to teach me. I spent yesterday reading about my personal experiences with water, the metaphorical meanings it has for me-emotions, danger…and reviewed the ceremony I did.
I finally set that aside last night and dove back into social media to catch up on what’s going on at Standing Rock and Mississippi Stand. I can’t help it. It’s a magnet. It’s big. This is not some theoretical fight, nor it is just cops against Indians. This stand that people are taking-not just Native people but Allies as well, is about all of us. It’s about wondering if our children will have clean drinking water, or if the water they live with will give them cancer-at a higher rate if you are a person of color, or poor, because that’s how it is here in America.
And it’s about wondering how the hell America has changed so quickly that a corporation, hell-bent on poisoning the drinking water of millions of people so they can make a profit can afford to “militarize” a county Sheriff, and how these corporate paid security and county peace officers can commit blatant, heinous and frequently photographed crimes against peaceful protestors while NO GOVERNMENT OFFICE stops them.
And so I stayed up til 2am, and this morning chastised myself for not getting back to my “work” because I consider my education as a Druid to be my work, and well, I’m slacking off.
But this morning, I found myself, bright and early, up and to Twitter and Facebook, and all of the obscure news media sites I have carefully bookmarked, checking in on people that I KNOW BY NAME now. These are not movie stars, these are not nameless radicals, these are grandmothers, and mothers, grandfathers and uncles trying to guide the younger generations, and young men who are passionate about doing the right thing for our planet and our people.
I found myself searching for the best video view of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who visited the Water Protectors this morning to show his support. I found myself BAWLING as I wished I was there-just like I wished when I was eight that I could be at Alcatraz, or when I was 10 and wished I could go fight at Wounded Knee. But in between, I have been asleep. And then I woke up. I am Woke, as they say these days. I am an ally.
But I have to face it. I can’t go to Standing Rock. I cried about it this morning because more than anything I would like to go, and be like my heroes. I should have done that when I was 20, but I made other choices. I was asleep. Now I am not in great health, I get fatigued easily, and don’t have the financial resources to get there either. Nor to get bailed out if I get arrested. But I can man the social media channels, share videos, tag people, make calls to Senators, share petitions and PRAY.
And I have been praying. Daily. Calling on the Ancestors, and Spirits of Place and Tradition to help the brave people at Standing Rock, to help save Elohi-the Earth. I can pray, to my own Cherokee and Tuscarora and other unknown Native Ancestors to HELP these Native people at Standing Rock. I can pray every time I take a shower, or do the dishes, or laundry. I can pray when I drink water. Because I am blessed to have that. I CAN do another water ceremony, right here-praying for the protection that I KNOW the Ancestors are capable of. And it suddenly dawned on me-this is ALL Water ceremony. I am continuing to work with water on a daily basis. This is not the elemental education I had envisioned, no, it’s far more important and far less abstract.
Right now, praying and Social media ARE my job. I should NOT feel guilty because I’m not doing my Druid homework. THIS IS my DRUID WORK. No certificate needed. THE time for being present is RIGHT NOW.
And so I will no longer chastise myself for not getting my work done. THIS IS my WORK. Staying Woke, and Praying. Praying for all of the people in Iowa and North Dakota that have made their entire life a walking Water Ceremony. #MniWiconi #WaterIsLife