Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Live from the Rez ...

I meant to post this yesterday (Tuesday morning) but didn't find time to hook up to the net.

One of the wonderful things about a VIM trip to Tree of Life is the cultural events that are available each evening. This evening we were fortunate to hear a presentation by Chief Duane Hollow Horn Bear. Chief Hollow Horn Bear’s story is truly amazing. In some ways it is a mirror of the saga the Lakota people have endured for the last 150 years. In other ways it is almost triumphant, if not triumphant certainly filled with hope. Rather than go into all the details I would encourage you to schedule a VIM trip to Tree of Life and hear Chief Hollow Horn Bear yourself.

Part of the Lakota saga centers on the fate of the Black Hills. The famous tourist area full of cheesy amusement parks and the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally is also a central part of the Lakota creation story. Despite “promises” from the U.S. Government in a series of treaties, the Black Hills, or Paha Sapa, were illegally taken from the Lakota. The legal battle for the Black Hills remains the longest unresolved court case in U.S. history. With that little bit of background, this morning’s reading from the Benedictine Daily Prayer was Psalm 42(43). As I read it, it occurred to me that if one replaced God with Creator, this could be a Lakota prayer.

Defend me, O Creator, and plead my cause
against a godless nation.
From a deceitful and cunning people
rescue me, O Creator.

Since you, O Creator, are my stronghold,
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go on mourning,
oppressed by the foe?

O send forth your light and your truth;
let these be my guide.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

And I will come to your alter, Creator,
the Place of my joy.
My Creator, I will thank you on the flute,
Creator, My Creator.

It’s 5:30 a.m., it’s thundering, lightening, and raining which should add to what already promised to be an interesting day.


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