I am going to make a confession that may amaze some of my readers. Others may not be as amazed, since I try to avoid politics, especially with regard to the people of Pine Ridge Reservation. It isn’t that I don’t see that politics — federal, state, tribal and familial — play an enormous part in causing the conditions that exist on the reservation. The fact is that the cause of the conditions means less to me than does finding ways to assist the people who must live in the third world conditions that are the way of life for far too many.
So I usually write about the people with whom I speak and the stories they tell about their lives.
But I do know some of the history. I recognize the names that have been in the news. I make no judgments about history.
I can judge truth and beauty, however. I recently came across a poem that touched me on many levels. It spoke to me on the universal level of human to human. It also spoke of lover to lover. I will not attempt to analyze or dissect it — I do not want to break its fragile beauty.
Instead I will share it with you. You may be surprised, as I was, to see the author when you finish your reading. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
We are Not Separate
We are not separate beings, you and I
We are different strands of the same being
You are me and I am you
and we are they and they are us
This is how we’re meant to be,
each of us one
each of us all
You reach out across the void of Otherness to me
and you touch your own soul!
Tate Wikuwa (given name of Leonard Peltier)