Heal the whole body

We mustn’t let down our guard. That black snake is not going to back down easily.

I feel something in my gut… I’m not rejoicing just yet… There are VERY powerful people with a LOT of money who want to see this go through. Even if we’ve won this battle and Energy Transfer Partners actually stops construction – rather than simply pays some fines and continues business as usual – the war is not over.

Old habits die hard and we’re talking about CENTURIES’ worth of habits. There are 600 years of genocide behind this. There are 200 years of industrial revolution raping the planet behind this.

Even IF Energy Transfer Partners respects the treaty and redirects around the reservation, WE STILL HAVE YET ANOTHER OIL PIPELINE PENETRATING THE EARTH. WE STILL HAVE AN OIL ADDICTION TO SOLVE.

This is not some random occurrence, folks. This isn’t like some big bad monster that arose from a slumber and is hungry and cranky and wreaking havoc on a shocked and unsuspecting village. WE the people have a demand for oil. We drive cars and fly in airplanes that drink it up, we buy plastic products, we buy food wrapped in it. Not a day goes by that I don’t notice just how ubiquitous plastic is in my own life – and I would say I’m a fairly earth-conscious person.

We created this monster. And we – ALL OF US – must change our ways – and SOON! – if we’re going to survive on this planet much longer. We’re all playing a little part of Dr. Frankenstein, so there’s no “winning” to be had, until we defeat that part of ourselves, too.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot since I returned from Standing Rock is how so many people felt and feel called to lend support to the cause. There’s no doubt of the importance of thousands of people disrupting their lives to go to North Dakota and thousands more donating money and supplies and prayerful support. But, we can’t get so focused on one wound when the whole body is in trouble.

How many pipelines are crisscrossing this country? How many native peoples and people of color are still suffering the effects of colonialism? How does the misogyny and patriarchy in this nation directly relate to the disrespect of Mother Earth?

I think, I hope, I desperately pray that Standing Rock has garnered this much attention so that we will all be inspired to turn around and look at what we can do in our communities. What is in your arms’ reach to embrace and help heal?


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