Chiefs who lead ceremonies and chanting say: “We are here to care.” No alcohol or drugs allowed, and elders speaking of this. Many of the noble elders give the teachings in headdress and lead the moral reflections.
The orientation was three hours long. All day long I hear chanting.
It’s profound. I weep every time I hear the drums. It seems almost impossible not to be crying all the time. Everyone listens intently. It is a shared reality of compassionate listening.
Women play central roles, coordinators.
I am wiped out by the cold. It is hard to function. It is snowing now.
Much of what we do at Agape around our fire with the college youth, including the chanting of our Indian poetry and prayers makes me feel that the impact on young people of these mystical circles is profound. I have sat with group after group of bigged-eyed youth, who, when I tell them about Agape, say: “You’re kidding!!! You do that????”
Back to the Michigan tent where I am staying. Glorified chaos all around.
Most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen. Many young people complaining about press coverage, so low radar and only drab pictures and dire stories, not capturing the whole transition represented here from White supremacy. That’s what native people are saying. White Supremacy is the evil of our day.
A white young woman gave the orientation, saying that the philosophy and value system of the camp is “Keep your mouth shut. Don’t opinionate. Just Listen. Figure out what’s going on. The primary sin of white people is that we/they have to have everything figured out in advance.”
No one tends to really know what will happen on the 5th.
These people are the New Society, talking about a constructive program, just as Gandhi did.
I am looking at a line of about 600 flags now, ½ mile long representing 250 tribes. There is a line of cars in the illegal camp I am in about a mile long.
Native people keep saying: “We are here to serve.”
People are overwhelmed with emotion at the beauty of what they are seeing and experiencing. Many say: “I can’t leave.” And I feel the same way. Everyone is amazing. Everyone is interesting. This is great spiritual work. Sometimes, I get so emotional I can’t hold onto myself. Presenters cry as they are presenting. It is over the edge with powerful emotions. It is historic beyond ethnicity. The lesson for me regarding Agape is that we all should continue to do exactly what we are doing.
Brayton, Tim, Nelia and truck arrived in SD after three days of driving at 1pm.
Brayton comments: “One of the most breathtaking experiences of my life. Everything is well organized. There are tepees everywhere, fires and chanting. Native people riding past us on horseback, a glorious sense of community, like Occupy. Most everyone is under 30 so far, but we are only at one section of the camp and there are about a thousand people here from all over the country. Everything is very efficient. We delivered the bales and immediately people appeared to help us unload them. I will be sleeping in a heated teepee.”
I told Brayton, Tim and Nelia of our support and prayers. Veterans arriving now. A piece on WGBH right now, so if you can live stream it, you might want to hear it. Pbs.org/newshour. The so-called evacuation of the camp day is Monday, Dec. 5th. Brayton will be there.
Dixon, Octavia and I were in Ware Center yesterday. Today, Dixon went alone with his sign: “Standing with Standing Rock: No Pipelines” and a man stopped to take his picture and said that his son, a Veteran was at Standing Rock.