Reflections on a Grey Morning – March 4, 2018

Carol A. Hand

On this grey morning thoughts of the Standing Rock Water Protectors again touch my heart with deep sorrow. It’s far more than the legacy of historical trauma that brings tears to my eyes. It’s the continuing structural oppression that I have witnessed for so many First Nations reservations, Appalachian hill communities, urban neighborhoods or rural farming communities. It’s the overwhelming sense of threat and loss in the ongoing clash of worldviews that makes everything I have done and am doing and wish I could do feel so pitifully ineffective.

My granddaughter will turn 11 tomorrow. My grandson turned 19 last month. There are so many reasons to be concerned about the future they face.











As I feel the physical limitations and pain of my aging body, the scars of so many past efforts to build healthier more inclusive communities weigh on my heart. I wish I could be hopeful but I can no longer believe that change is possible unless a critical mass of people awaken. It feels as though all of my efforts to help that process along during my career have been so insignificant.

Perhaps the tears that are flowing will clear my vision so I can see possibilities. But as I greet this morning, it’s all I can do as I type these simple words. All I hold dear is threatened by insane forces that wreak death and destruction.

Still, it’s time to dry my tears. Somehow, my ancestors found the strength to survive genocide, displacement and Indian boarding schools. I owe it to them, the Standing Rock Water Protectors, my daughter, my grandchildren, and all life to do what I can any way.


28 thoughts on “Reflections on a Grey Morning – March 4, 2018

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  1. C’mon, dear Carol! Cheer up! God sees everything! But…in our uneasy times we must have incredible Faith & strength! Remember the Lord of the Rings…the victory has come in the darkest moment, when everything seemed to have been lost. Our duty is keep on fighting! Greetings to Queenie!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carol, you just wrote here, what lays heavy on my heart and mind every day now. And we are not alone! My closest friends and others, with children and extended family, are sensing the same helplessness and futility that you are describing here.

    We can only do what we can do, Carol! And although this is no consolation at the moment, it is the truth. You have fought the good fight, and continue to do so, which is more than most people have even considered doing.

    We are not saviors. There are no saviors for humanity, except humanity as a whole, united and starting over. And humanity has been divided for so long that, it appears anyway, “the writing is on the wall”.

    My closest friend and I came to the conclusion, just yesterday, that the only way for the world to be turned around, is for a worldwide catastrophe, which would mean having to begin again, from scratch, for all of us. And isn’t that a pleasant thought?

    So I not only sense your pain here, I greatly empathize with it. But I am not going to quit, and neither are you, because we can’t! There’s no turning away or back!

    So, Carol, lets “Rejoice! Rejoice! We have no choice but to carry on!”, just like our ancestors before us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Resources globally are running out. The climate is warming up. As the nation states begin to crumble, now is the time for the oppressed and the visionaries to push forward, to better organise themselves, to use the internet while it still exists, to reach unprecedented levels of organisation and effectiveness. We must join forces globally as activists. We must find concensus where we can and be brave to act on it. We have a window of just a few decades at most. Slave-holding empires did not last. Feudalism did not last. And so capitalism will not last. I urge all of us to be alert to the space that begins to open up as this old system fails! We have a chance for justice. We have a chance!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Carol, you are very welcome. Thanks for keeping your heritage and politics alive for remote readers like myself to learn from. Please, could I be a guest author on your site? I don’t know when, but sometime within the next few weeks? And perhaps occasionally ongoing? I am good at choosing subject matter that fits the site I am writing for. Also it would be good to have a link to my blog in my bio on your site, potentially.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I share your distress, Carol. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we cannot give up the struggle. As Sojourner notes: “We are not saviors.” I see myself more like Paul Revere, sounding the alarm of the impending danger.

    Every voice counts. We can never judge or ever know how effective one tiny voice may be. Sixto Rodriguez, a failed singer-songwriter in 1970s Detroit, comes to mind. The documentary film, Searching for Sugar Man (2012), reveals how one of his CDs gained popularity among South Africans suffering under apartheid.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Rosaliene, and your patience waiting for a reply. I love the reference you made to the power of Sixto Rodriguez’s music to touch people suffering under apartheid. Sending my gratitude and best wishes. ❤


  5. I am so disheartened too. But my nieces are fighters and I’ll bet your grandchildren are as well. If I have hope, it’s that the new generation will overcome the obstacles that stand in our way now.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Diane. I am not surprised to hear that your nieces are fighters. My daughter has been on the front lines, and my granddaughter has stood with her at Black Lives Matter events here and in the twin cities. The recent advocacy of students gives me hope. ❤


  6. When I start to think nothing I can do will make a real difference, the Dalai Lama’s words come back to me: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”. Thank God for all of us mosquitos. I am grateful for all that you’ve done and continue to do. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Don. Please forgive my belated response. Life sometimes leaves me little time to respond to let people know how much I appreciate their kindness. ❤


  7. so much sorrow, pain & loss
    makes grieving natural & necessary, Carol.
    the water protectors’ efforts are for all.
    where are others, many, many others?
    thank you for continuing to find
    & share the love, despite it all 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear David, thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I know you understand the deep grief of historical trauma and the costs of continuing to care and work for change any way. Sending my best wishes, dear friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you and everyone like you who has the courage to stand up and hold these others to account. It has been a discouraging 18 months- we have our own political and social struggles in the UK over Brexit and social care – but your young people are find their voices and making them heard. My hope is with them. They and everyone need to vote. That’s how these tyrants get away with it when good people stay at home. Now is the time to come out in force and use the system you have before they dismantle it irreparably. Your efforts will not go unnoticed or unrewarded. Take heart, Carol, you are not alone. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Chris, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and for sharing a little about what is happening in the UK. I agree that the advocacy of the youth is a hopeful sign. I send my best wishes and gratitude for your kindness and support. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your care and compassion which has helped you fight all these years is weary with battle … can you not take a little break, renew your strength and energy. Your resilience never wavers, the body and soul needs a little break. Your grandchildren are growing stronger too with each day and soon adults in their own right … amidst your sorrow feel the joy in having them and seeing them well. Hugs, my friend…may the pain ease for you. Xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am crying with you. Because I still can. And sometimes that has to be enough. We are not dead, inside or out. And so the struggle continues. Because it must…

    Peace, strength and love can also be shared, and so I do. With you…


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carol, our gray days serve an important purpose, I believe. On gray days, we grieve, we cry, ever careful to not fall into the fear and seemingly unrecoverable sadness that can lead us into the edges of depression. I’ve seen that dark hole many times…and now see it and walk around it rather than falling into it. The gray days pass and the sun along with my positive and hopeful feelings resurface, having been washed clean by the tears. I have no doubt that your past efforts have made differences that you cannot see or necessarily know. I trust that despite the apparent ongoing patriarchal influence on our society, people are waking up, rising up and speaking up; more and more each day. Their opening eyes remind me that the shift is occurring. I know I will not see it to it’s completion in my lifetime. I am grateful to be here for what is happening now. I wish you many blessings to hold for your gray days and much love to have in the days when the sun – inner and outer – are shining bright. 💕​

    Liked by 1 person

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