It’s been a little harder than usual to be hopeful for me this year. The ugly presidential campaign, between two of the most unpopular candidates in history has cast a pall across our nation. It has set a tone and seems to align with news about things I care for being in rough shape. The stand-off at Standing Rock, the racial divide and police killings, run away climate change, the ever growing surveillance state, never ending war, income inequality, access to health care, the unchecked power and influence of banks, multi-national corporations and the global oligarchy, disappearing habitat and loss of biodiversity, friends and family are struggling in many ways, geez the list goes on and on.
Perhaps it’s the non-stop news cycle, focused almost exclusively on negative stories. Maybe it’s related to being older, being a grandparent and wondering what kind of planet will be left for future generations and why I didn’t do all I thought I could when I was young and more of life was ahead of me instead of behind me. Elders I looked to for wisdom and perspective are gone. I’m having to squint a little harder to find the light.
Then it hits me – it’s up to me to change the way I’m looking at things. To find hope I have to be hopeful, to see the light I have to turn my own up. When a child smiles, when a song rocks, when the next generation of activists make their voice heard, when the brilliance of what humans are capable of reveals itself in art, dance, scientific innovation or inspired revolution hope grows. When loving displays of compassion are revealed in the middle of disaster my own resolve is renewed. I simply have no choice, I have to believe we can make it better.
Now more than ever, it’s time to be in touch with the creative mind, the moral imagination, the source of the light. Time to come together and feel our power. That’s what the Clan Dyken Revive the Beauty Way Tour has been all about for 25 years. In our small way we connect in community and bring that collective good will in the form of food, supplies, firewood, labor and witness in a spirit of solidarity to true Earth Protectors and Wisdom Keepers of the Dineh Nation in the Black Mesa region of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Remembering how we act every day, how we treat each other, how we use our energy and where we direct it is far more important than who we vote for in Washington.
Like the Land and Water Protectors at Standing Rock, the people who live between the Four Sacred Mountains stand up to and resist fossil fuel extraction by a government backed multi-national corporation. Peabody Coal has been mining here since the 1960’s and sending tons of coal to generating stations to produce dirty energy for the southwest at the expense of the original people for decades. Since 1974 the people have been resisting forced relocation and dealing with the health effects of living next to one of the world’s largest strip mines. Sacred sites, including the Sundance grounds have been bull dozed and desecrated. They have been torn from their homes, seen the earth ripped open and plundered, had the water, land and air fouled by greed and a lust for dirty energy. I’ve seen them confronted by militarized police, spied on, lied to and disregarded as human beings. The fight is the same as the one in Standing Rock, but it’s been going on for over 40 years in this part of the country.
We started this years’ Beauty Way Tour in Jamestown at the Refuge. It was a wonderful kick off to the journey and we were happy to send half the proceeds to Standing Rock. We sent it to Curly and Donna Eagle Hawk, who have set a prayer camp between the Red Warrior and Sacred Stone camps, on tribal land. It’s a place for rest and respite, free from arrest or violence. Our contribution, funneled through local activist Jenny Fuqua bought a generator, lumber and propane.
We’ve decided to stand with Standing Rock for the rest of the tour, spreading the concept of Thanks Giving a little farther. Our goal is to send at least $1000 per show to Standing Rock. Be a part of the celebration in solidarity with Earth Defenders around the world.
There are opportunities for you to join us in kindling hope or even to make the journey to the reservation. We will be joined by light bearers, amazing artists and other members of the tribe at the following shows. I can’t wait to see you and make magic!
4 – Oakland – The Place For Sustainable Living 7 PM with Heather Normandale and Desirae Harp
5 – Grass Valley – The Banner Grange 4 PM- with Boca Do Rio, Fast Rattler and Kimberly Bass. There will be a screening of Broken Rainbow, the award winning film about the struggle in Black Mesa
11- Sebastopol (tentative) – A house party, we’ll update you when it’s all set.
12 – Arcata- Bayside Grange 7 PM
17 – Mount Shasta City – The Temple of Intention 7 PM with Djin Aquarian
18 – Williams, OR – Williams Grange 5:30 PM With the Community Corn Dance
19 – Junction City – The North Fork Grange 7 PM with RXR, Stealhead and the Trinity Tribal Drum
20 – 27 – Out to the reservation and back.