So it is that while waiting to hear what Executive Council of the Episcopal Church might do concerning the United Thank Offering bylaws and organizational structure, we here at Preludium have been about other tasks, to wit:
Reading Custer Died for Your Sins, in which Vine Deloria, Jr. years ago now wrote,
"Some years ago at a Congressional haring someone asked Alex Chasing Hawk, a council member of the Cheyenne River Sioux for thirty years, "Just what do you Indians want?" Alex replied, "A leave-us-alone law!"
The primary goal an need of Indians today is not for someone to feel sorry for us and claim descent from Pocahontas to make us feel better. Nor do we need to be classified as semi-white and have programs and policies made to bleach us further. Nor do we need further studies to see if we are feasible. We need a new policy by Congress acknowledging our right to live in peace, free from arbitrary harassment. We need the public at large to drop the myths in which it has clothed us for so long. We need fewer and fewer "experts" on Indians.
What we need is a cultural leave-us-alone agreement, in spirit and in fact." (pg 27, 1988 edition)
So what then would it mean to go to Lakota land? Not to fix anything, not to help, not to become Indian or to become an expert on Indian issues? Is it possible to simply stand with the people there and let what can happen happen. Is it possible to be with others with wonder but without judgment, with differences and yet without the need change the other, but rather to live in the presence of the other and ourselves? Might that be called Prayer?
Is there any place for meeting that is not prone to disaster?
I think so. It is the place called earth, as in earth under our feet, earth that receives us, star stuff that is our physical origin and end. I think we begin by standing together and walking on the earth, noticing what we notice, telling stories as we go.
One of the punch lines to Custer having died for our sins is that, of course, that being so we don't have to any more. We whites can let go, just let go, of having to control.
Well, that keeps the little spiritual grey cells going!
And then, Preludium's chief author is given to watching somewhat sappy movies, Babe, a movie about a pig, being a favorite. In it the farmer, James Cromwell, sings a song using a tune by Saint Sanes.
Here it is:
A wonderful Gloria has been written to this tune:
So, hanging around waiting for things to happen out there, I wrote this, IN HERE.
Words in honor of the Holy Trinity, an idea about God that is much more complex and mysterious than say, the relationship between UTO, the DFMS, and the Episocpal Church.
Here it is:
To the tune from Camille Saint-Saens. Symphony # 3, used also in the movie Babe. The (/) indicates the timing.
I thank/ the LORD/ for all/ that flowers/ today,
Within/ my soul/ there is /wondrous play,
For God/ has caused/ a world/ made new /and clear
And all /who live /in God/ are present here.
If I had words/ to make a world /for You,
Lord Jesus/ it would be/ lovely /and true,
And we would find /the time to hear/ and see,
And be/ with You/, completely/ free.
Holy Spirit,/ please /come/ take your place,
With all who /want justice,/ mercy /and peace,
And be our comfort/ now and for/ all time,
Bring joys/ of love/ peaceful /and sublime.
Oh Holy /Trinity,/ to you/ we raise,
To the True God,/ our best/ purpose/ and praise,
That in vocation/ of Your/ Holy Name,
We find/ we are/ renewed again.
As you try to sing it to the tune (it takes some doing) I hope you get the sense: God Creator give the wonder, God in Human Form makes us free to celebrate that wonder, God the Spirit gives us the sense of justice, mercy and peace,
The three persons give us renewal.
Well, as long as one is waiting for the Church to catch up, might as well read the witness of those who wish to be left alone and sing a song of renewal. True?