Nahko Bear’s Manifesto

Anyone who follows me on Facebook for long enough knows the deep respect and appreciation I have for the activist/musician/revolutionary heart of Nahko Bear.

I’ve been acquainted with his music for many years, but as my own spiritual path deepens, so too does my embodied understanding for the wisdom woven into his music.

I have many favorite songs, but his classic “Manifesto” stands the test of time. Not only is there constructive, good advice (“there is no medicine on the television so turn it off and turn yourself around”) but also empowering truth (“you can do this, you’ve got purpose”).

In the case that any of you sweet souls out there may need a pep talk or a wake-up call, this one’s for you.

||

“Manifesto”
by Nahko & the Medicine for the People

Well this is real talk, this is non-stop
It is looped now tongue and mind
Played off the sidewalk, straight to your boombox
How it travels from ear to memory
Well this is medicine, there’s a message within
And each will find it in their own time

Well this is music, this is how I use it
It makes you move and move the movement
This is how I focus, knowing it’s not hopeless
But it sure starts with me and ends on a whole note
Musical medicine, this is my healing
For past and present future things to come

I see people stressin’ over space and possessions
Out of fear and a need for visual aids of our abundance
Give me examples or something tangible
Something I can get my hands on and find real meaning
Where is the medicine, well I’ve been searching
And I suppose each will find their own kind

Well everything’s at stake, it makes it hard to concentrate
And there are men who see a war and see a paycheck
Such different programming, to live so fearfully
Terror this and terror that, terrible reality
There is no medicine on the television
So turn it off and turn yourself around

And let’s just face it, the world’s fuckin’ racist
Even the most peaceful of us gets caught in the trend
To live cohesively is almost a fantasy
And we ought to know it starts with humbling our egos
What is the medicine for cultural woundin’?
Has its moments, has its melodies, has its time

Well I was listening to the outgoing seasons
About climate change and some of the reasons
When the sky opened, like I been hopin’
And there came horses by the thousands
And there was thunder on their tongues, and lightning on their minds
And they were singing this old melody from some other time

They sang don’t waste your hate
Rather gather and create
Be of service, be a sensible person
Use your words and don’t be nervous
You can do this, you’ve got purpose
Find your medicine and use it

They sang don’t waste your hate
Rather gather and create
Be of service, be a sensible person
Use your words and don’t be nervous
You can do this, you’ve got purpose
Find your medicine and use it

||

In Soul, Danielle

Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s Wish

I stumbled upon this post by the fantastic author, Neil Gaiman, at a time when I needed to hear it most. I was about to graduate from college and his words inspired me to take a chance on leaving behind my comfy life in Chicago for a new one in California. “Make glorious, amazing mistakes.” continues to be one of my personal mantras.

||

My New Years Wish” by Neil Gaiman, c. 2011.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
||
In Soul, Danielle