Every movement has a moment in which it is born. Often, that moment goes unnoticed as it is happening but it is not an accident that it happened.
In America today rioting in Ferguson, MO is slowly fading from the news but it is a stark reminder that the line between standing for personal liberties and rights and the role of law enforcement and government is still far from what our founding fathers intended.
When I decided to watch "A Good Day to Die" it wasn't with the intention of thinking about protests and movements. Nor was Dennis Banks, one of the founders of the American Indian Movement (AIM), thinking about those things either as he fulfilled his role in the military as an aviation photographer. In fact, he was thinking he had found a home in the military - something elusive he'd lost long ago.
But for him and for what would eventually be thousands of others, his moment came when he was a witness to the Japanese standing in defiance of their government and the American Military trying to take their land. Land that fed, housed, and provided for them.
The Japanese prevailed, and in time Dennis Banks and AIM would make their stand.
Did they succeed of fail? I think that is always perspective. I did not know much about the stand at Wounded Knee - in 1890 or in 1973.
What I did recognize and why this is an important film to watch is not who is a victim, perpetrator, or the hero. What is important is the moment when a person and then a larger group realize that they are worthy. Worthy of life, worthy of being treated with respect, worthy of being responsible for themselves.
It is never as simple as who is right or wrong or even what actually happens. What is simple is what happens to the people. Some grow wiser. Some grow meaner. Some don't grow at all. And some, die - for the greater good or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time, we'll never really know.
A Good Day to Die is now streaming on Netflix. HIstory will continue to repeat itself until we all learn the lessons that history is trying to teach us. The question is only, when we will learn.
We cover more on these ideas in the podcast below:
There is a storm that while long brewing is beginning to gather momentum and as the world watches waiting to see if the first real hurricane is going to hit America this season.
Translation, Ferguson, MO is gaining strength in its fury and no positive outcome is on the horizon for those in its path.
In the middle of a crisis what can you do?
I would say the more important question is, who will you be?
Big storms equal big tests of who we are. Will you act in Honor or with Rage?
Will you be an anchor of strength or an arrow of violence?
Will you allow your self to be swept away by the power of the storm or will you own the true power within you and stop allowing others to sway you.
It is easy to get swept away.
It is hard to hold your ground when things get loud.
Will you be the winds of destruction?
Or, will you be the eye of calm in the middle of the storm.
The choice is always yours, which will you decide to be?
You can see them in the distance, tiny black specks below the clouds and above what should be grass...
But the cows are no more.
The rain seemed to fall everywhere but here and so the grass never grew which means the cows didn't grow and that is the whole purpose to all of this.
Though I'll never understand how anything can gain weight eating grass...
But we are all sad to see them leave us.
Truth be told they seemed to like hanging out with the dog and cat more than me, but by the end, #122 would actually come up to me and let him scratch him on the head. No food either!
Taking care of livestock is a big responsibility - none of which I had - but I truly enjoy being around the animals.
It feels a little more empty now. With that said, there is still no shortage of snakes, flies, grasshoppers, several varieties of beetles and a large number of other critters I can't keep track of.
Farewell my cows and I am happy you are literally going off to greener pastures...
This is the first sunflower of the season here in the center of New Mexico near where I live. It stands solitary, proud, resilient, and with great beauty.
It does not judge those who did not bloom first.
It will not judge those who bloom last.
It will not condemn those who are not sunflowers.
It will not envy those who will grow taller.
Do sunflowers love?
I don't know, but I do know they do not hate, fear, criticize, condemn, judge, pity, attack, humiliate or any of the the other types of behaviors that humans do to each other.
What must it be to know such simple truth about your self and the world that surrounds us? To live your life without needing to damage the lives of those around you?
It is a sad day as the news headlines scroll...
We have lost Robin Williams.
We have lost our sense of safety in our homes.
We have our sense of community in our towns and cities.
We have lost our faith in any system that we must obey without question under or face punishment or death.
We have lost more than can be counted by only headlines.
It is a sad day.
Do sunflowers grieve for what they lose?
Today I will grieve.
Tomorrow I will choose to love again.
Tomorrow there will be more sunflowers who choose to stand tall and bloom.
I recently read an article about the tiny house movement and while the article was fairly generic and tame, the comments were not.
When did people start believing that what they believe to be right for them, must then be right?
I had to stop because avoiding venom has taken up enough of my time with the scouting of rattlesnakes as it is. I don't need to see venom in print thank you very much.
I live a very tiny life. I have a tiny house. I have a tiny budget. I have a tiny snake safe space. I have a tiny garden. I have very tiny material needs. I have a tiny group of friends. And for the most part, a tiny group of followers here!
But that is all on the outside. I live a very big life on the inside. I have an expansive view both as I look around my tiny home and within my mind, heart, and spirit. Made much more possible by the fact my 'stuff' isn't consuming me with cost, time, effort, and space.
Tiny has a very important place in our world, for some. Why do others who don't want tiny feel that they have to judge and condemn it? Why is it so important to feel right about everything?
Most spiritual practices lead you to a simpler life. Jesus just walked with what he could carry. Peace Pilgrim only carried a comb and toothbrush. Mother Teresa and her followers have almost no physical possessions.
Tiny isn't a right or wrong thing, it is only what it will do for you kind of thing.
Traveling light doesn't have to be a lifelong goal. Having the experience though will put a lot of your life into perspective.
Personally, I'll never go back. I don't like to spend my time taking care of stuff. Time is the currency I value and tiny gives me a lot more of just that.
Why do humans need to judge, condemn, and criticize what they don't want when it is different than what they do want?
From where I sit this need only comes from those with very tiny minds, hearts, and spirits. I am truly sad for you because you don't know what you are missing.
It's not about living a tiny life. It's about are you living a fulfilling, happy, abundant, joyous, beautiful, and meaningful life?
That is what we should be seeking - not the right square footage to be finding. Just my tiny opinion on the beautiful sunny Sunday morning from here on the high prairie in the center of New Mexico.
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!