In the middle of the night a few hours after family thanksgiving dinner, I awoke in the pitch dark feeling like there was one of those big tunnel-boring drills from the original Total Recall coming out from the depths of hell, about to pierce through my right eye.
I shifted positions, trying to escape the inevitable. There were no safe positions, and I tried them all. It made my stomach churn with every move. It may as well have been a rotting leather canteen full of acid and angry fleas. And I had this peculiar vision, along with the pain. It appeared, in between the bouts of being partially awake, to be emanating from the events in Standing Rock. It felt like a channel had opened, and in that waiting room between asleep and awake, I associated the drilling pain with the open channel, and tried my best to get away from it.. to go around it somehow. I couldn't. The drill fixated on that right eye, bulged outwards into the goo, and cleared the way for a few of the more convincing henchmen to rampage, and pull at those little nerve levers in the hidden broom closet of the brain that blur the borders of sanity. I zombied around until I found advil, and then I sat against the bed and I tried to find the least painful position to ride it out. I was still locked in to this wormhole into North Dakota, and so I sat there for probably an hour, letting it in. I had no choice, this would not be ignored. At this point of the day, after a few attempts at explaining this, I realize the retelling is fuzzy enough to risk being dismissed as pure fable. But there it was, nonetheless.
I've never had a migraine before. It's a certain kind of madness that I hadn't had the displeasure of experiencing until now. Sweet Jeezus. To anyone who has a lot of these, I'm sorry. I can only hope that it's my last.
So here I am, a few days later, with one of our country's greatest inner conflicts still heavy on my mind. A few years ago I was sitting inside of a teepee in the desert of California, with 3 of my dearest friends. We made a fire inside, and shared our hopes and goals with each other. I took this picture then, and eariler this year had it's outline tattooed on my arm. The symbol's energy remains a strong presence in me, and if you believe in the paranormal, or at the least in connective energy... you might believe that it's an antenna of sorts, and it tuned me in. Most likely it's just the inhumane treatment of the natives and peaceful water protectors that's got me feeling like this.
I believe that there is a compromise to be made here between the two conflicting parties, but so far it's going pretty much as the country is currently going, and battle lines have been drawn. When you really read into the issue, and see how big money truly works against those without, it becomes more personal. This is much bigger and more important than it even appears in print. It needs to stop construction through this area, and there needs to be a standing down of armed force. If a single human were to lose his or her life over this, it will be an enormous, completely avoidable tragedy.
If you'd like to help but don't know what to do, or just don't feel comfortable being involved publicly, this site will help you.
I strongly encourage you to do your own research beyond this site, and beyond the facebook posts and propoganda from either extreme. Challenge yourself to thoroughly look at this from both sides. After doing so, I believe there is a fight for rights here that couldn't be more important. This isn't just about oil, money, or politics. This is about right and wrong, life and death, and about listening to and caring for your fellow countrymen.