As Long As There Is Life

In 2015 I travelled to South Dakota on a bearing witness retreat with one of my great mentors, Bernie Glassman. There we stayed at Pine Ridge Reservation with Tiokasin Ghosthorse and visited Wounded Knee. While I was there I learned…

As Long As There Is Life

Source

0
(0)

In 2015 I travelled to South Dakota on a bearing witness retreat with one of my great mentors, Bernie Glassman. There we stayed at Pine Ridge Reservation with Tiokasin Ghosthorse and visited Wounded Knee. While I was there I learned from a beautiful elder, Charmaine Whiteface, that there are currently over 3200 open uranium mines in the Great Sioux Nations alone. Because of failure to close these mines on what is referred to by the government as “National Sacrifice Areas”, plutonium and uranium travels in the dust and in the air we breathe today. During one of the lunches we shared, I met the great Ophelia Rivas. We were discussing the nature of duality in human beings and our learned separation from the natural world. She said, “it is in our prophecy to live as long as there is life.” I was so moved by this statement, I asked her if I could write it down, she giggled and said “sure!” For me there is nothing like being in the presence of powerful freedom fighters and getting a window into their playfulness 🙂 Since then this song was born and my relationship with Ophelia and Tiokasin continues to grow. Here’s a remote recording with Tiokasin and Chris Bruce, generously edited by Dorothea Trufelman for our benefit concert for Kids In Need Of Support (KIND)

Words and Music by Morley
oneism music/ASCAP

I will never forget when Ophelia Rivas said,
“We will live as long as there is life.
We’re not defeated, not relics, not frozen in time.
We live as long as there is life.”

I was driving through the badlands
Always coming home
Listening for what it means to be remembered

Miles of grey-blue-silver
Once under the ocean
Open to what it means to be forever

The soul of a place can never be erased
We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life

I went to bear witness at Wounded Knee
On Pine Ridge Reservation, to listen and to see
Myself in the reflection
And destiny

We live as long as there is life

I met a beautiful woman
Charmaine Whiteface
Defender of the Black Hills

Her eyes are like two half moons
Half open, half free
Looking into the distance, then right at me

She said “Every action is a prayer.”
You don’t need to live close to me
To get sick enough to care
We measure the water and we see through the government’s plan
Abandoned open-pit uranium mines
Keep poisoning our bodies, our water, and land

The wind, the wind won’t recognize man-made borderlines
What they do to me, they do to you
The water and wind never recognized nobody’s borderline

We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life

I will never forget when Ophelia Rivas said,
“We will live as long as there is life.”
Not defeated, not relics, not frozen in time, not a mascot

We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life
We live as long as there is life

0 / 5. 0