And those who know and those who seek. Amidst the chaos, find your peace

Yesterday I wrote of the anger I’ve been feeling about the severe flooding in the Midwest and in Mozambique. Anger because these are just the latest environmental disasters, and won’t be the last. I’m angry because I have tried all my life to get people to change, to stop burning so much fossil fuel, to stop driving cars. And knowing that is nothing compared what indigenous people across the world must have been feeling by seeing environmental destruction evolve for centuries despite their efforts to protect Mother Earth.

Below is a clip from Nahko Bear’s performance at the Black Hills Unity Concert, September, 2017, for the Black Hills, the Earth, and all her people.Honoring the sacred. I often listen to Nahko’s songs at times like these.

Where my warriors at? And so I feel like what has been said many times tonight and I appreciate the sentiment that we can say this now in this time and this generation is that prayer is the most G thing you can do, homey. And I can say that for my life, in the things that have happened in my life, the anger, for the pain, for the hate, that I’ve carried, that forgiveness, and therefore remembering to pray for those that oppressed us, is the most powerful testament to mankind.

For the West
For the North
For the East
For the South
 
Grandfather, I’m calling on you
Need your guidance now
Grandmother, I’m calling on you
Need your guidance now

Directions – Nahko Bear

This is the place for all my relations
To bring celebration through meditation
Giving thanks for all of creation
We are so provided for
We are so provided for
We are so provided for
We are so provided for
All of the blessings I have received
How could they have been bestowed upon me?
So I’ll put it all back in the ground
Back in the soil where I am found
It all started
Wakan Tankunl Skan Skan
Something holy moves here on the land
It is my brothers’ and my sisters’ hands
It is the way we make our plans
We don’t make them
Well this is it, what is this?
This is Eden, Eden is
Where I live and where I give
My whole being to the Great Spirit
We are waiting and we’re on our way
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin
This is the place for all my relations
To bring celebration through meditation
Giving thanks for all of creation
We are so provided for

Mitakuye Oyasin – Nahko Bear

We feel that racism and sexism and class separation
That these are desecrations
And we feel that the American flag does not represent
Integrity, honor, justice or truth
 
My country ’tis of thee
Sweet land of poverty
For thee I weep
Land where my mother cried
Land where my father died
Sweet land of genocide
Pride of my heart
 
My country ’tis of thee
Sweet land of industry
We’ll break your back
Clean out your minerals
Fill you with chemicals
We kill for what is profitable
Oh concrete world
 
Our climate’s suffering
All nature feels the sting
Poisoned progress
All of these mouths to feed
All of this land to seed
From sea to shining sea
Gold underground
Our people left to die
Battlefield country-side
Paved-over graves
Suburban privileges make desolate villages
Broken treaties, Broken promises
Conquer, repeat
 
All warriors represent
Remind those who forget
The time is now
To walk in humble pride
Prepare and fortify
Resist comforts of compromise
Pray for guidance
Pray for guidance
Pray for guidance

My Country – Nahko Bear

Maybe I’m not here to be a superstar after all
Maybe I’m here to pray for all those who have lost hope along the way

I’m on the verge of everything
Been lookin’ to be surrendering so honestly
Tiptoe to the edge of my destiny
Free fall backwards, great mystery
Speakin’ to me, the pain of the youth
The confusion of the people and their struggle for truth
Yeah, regroup and renew
Time to regroup, renew the ambition of a nation
Zombies treadin’ on decaying foundation
Wasting, creating hostility among us
Turning our back on our mother
We’re turning our back on our mother

Look at what we’ve done
I remember
I remember
I forgive
I remember
I remember
I remember
I forgive

These people are relentless, senseless, violent and racist
Providing installation in my day-to-day, endless
Positivity can definitely be contagious
Persuasive, cause I’m speaking my truth
I got pennies in my pockets, but I’m picking fresh fruits
Yeah, picking fresh fruits
Got pennies in my pockets, but I’m picking fresh fruits
Yeah, whoa
Cause I live in a land of abundance
Where the rain off my roof is sacred and precious
And (now we get to work and be found[?]) riding horses
And normally with the courage that we like to front
Bringin’ it back to the land when there was food to hunt
And yeah, when there was food to hunt
And yeah, oh

I got one last thing on my mind
I remember
I remember
I forgive
I remember
I remember
I remember
I forgive

I’m learning the language of the planet
We inhabit and stab it with
The chemicals that we practice
And I’ve had it with habits, it’s tragic
This trajectory course that we’re on
Separated from the dirt, from ourselves, from the song
Every robot sings, with his hand to his heart:
“I will kill for God, and I will hit my mark
And I will stand, like a fool, for the cause, the treason”
Nobody’s bombing me, but other countries are weeping
Choppin’ the mountains in half
Can’t you hear the earth screamin’?
Whoaoh, can’t you hear the Earth screamin’?
Oh
Blood oil for dinner, better have an appetite, yeah
Cause we rape, pillage and plunder

So you can heat your house tonight
I remember
I remember
I forgive
I remember
I remember
I remember
I forgive

All my empowered people, put your ones up!
Recognize our tribes are independent and restless
Searching for purpose beneath the rubble and wreckage
The message: Forgiveness starts with me!
Yeah! With me!
Stop blaming other people, take on the responsibility
Of generations to come
May they live in a world without governments and guns
Without governments and guns
Hey, whoaoh
Your people who killed my people
My people kill your people
But our people are all one people
United by compassion for humanity’s sake
We wake and meditate on the light of a new day
New chapter in the book of a thousand tongues
Yeah, a thousand tongues

We shall overcome
I remember
I remember
I forgive

Yeah, we shall overcome
(We shall overcome)

We Shall Overcome – Nahko Bear

So which wolf will you feed
One makes you strong, one makes you weak
And those who know and those who seek
Amidst the chaos, find your peace (yeah)
I know which wolf I’ll feed
I know which wolf I’ll feed
 
Great spirit, I’ve had it
Bring me back to the nomadic
Way of weaving through the damage
Mindful, stay mindful
Great spirit, for my sisters
Let me be a flowing river
Flood the banks, the rocks that bind her
Carry, I’ll carry
 
Great, Great Spirit
Oh oo oh
Great, Great Spirit
Oh oo oh
 
Great spirit, for my brothers
Let me be a mountain under
Which he climbs to discover
His process, now that’s progress
Great Spirit, all that hinders
Tie reminders to my fingers
I must speak to you more often
 
Great, Great Spirit
Oh oo oh
Great, Great Spirit
Oh oo oh
 
Great Spirit, for my relations
Give them strength to face racism
In every single situation
Easy now, go on, speak loud
Great Spirit, take me instead
Guide me down the road of red
Tunkashila, I am shamed, Great
 
Oh Tunkashila, yeah
Tunkashila, yeah
Tunkashila, yeah
Tunkashila, oh yeah
 
Great Spirit, system collapsed
Nothing but the Earth will last
And I will be singing sweetly until the darkness
And how life is
Great Spirit, on my tongue
Be still, be still, the time will come
When everyone will sing “All Life is Sacred”
Well, I’m waiting
Great Spirit, my fist is up bringing the power to the people
You’re a reflection of us
Some of you’re people can’t hear it
The cries of the Earth
Some of you’re people can’t feel it
The way that it hurts
And it hurts, Great Spirit
Oh, and it moves, Great Spirit
Interconnected in the wreckage of a paradigm on
Its way out, its way out
Speaking of spiritual lyrical testimonies
A spirited lyricist weaving around false prophecies
A spirit directed and selected with the message I bring
While the ship slowly sinks, I’ve been directed to sing
I’m like a wrecking ball breaking down the walls of the past
I made up a list, living off bliss with the last of my cash
You’re gonna be justified with how you treated the land
You’re gonna be by my side, when I stand and demand a change
Change
 
They know not what they do
They know not what they do
Can we forgive them for that too?

Great Spirit – Nahko Bear

We’re a part of something special
We’re a part of something special
We’re a part of something special
It’s a crack in time, a wrinkle
Fallen from the nest, young eagle
I will pull my feathers out
Stay humble
Stay humble
Stay humble
Stay humble
Stay humble

Uncle Mana taught us like an elder
Took us under, older brother
He said
This is powerful country
This is powerful country
And we felt like we were returning
To our land rebels
And the shepherds of the sea
Takers are taking what the leavers will leave
So grieve me the black prince cicada
Such a loud voice for a tiny creature, oh
Teach me to let go of all of my pain
I do forgive, I don’t forget these things
I do forgive, I don’t forget these things
We burn the blue gum for a safe passageway
Drink of the earth, smoke of the dirt
And my warpaint was red ochre clay
Hoka hey
My warpaint was red ochre clay
Hoka hey
Red ochre clay
Our prayers igniting, cast out into the shire
And the song of our struggle
Came straight from the fire
It goes:

Holy, holy grandmother, we sing
Wash us clean of our pain and suffering
Give us strength for our new beginnings
In my best thanks I sing

It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
Ooh lift ’em up (yeah)
Ooh lift ’em up (yeah)
Ooh lift ’em up (yeah)
Ooh lift ’em up

In my dreams you were an aboriginal man
Gave me your hat
And your past in one hand
You said
You’ve come to be with the rainbow serpent
Red hands, red land, red worship
Red hands, red land, red worship
Just then I heard bush mama crying in the chasms
For a stolen generation
And the children that haven’t
Come home, come home, stay home
Come home, come home, stay home
My bullets are my words
And my words are my weapons
Chain me to the pipeline
For our rivers and mountains, we scream
Today’s a good day for my ego to die
Today’s a good day for my ego to die
Spirit, live on in my heart
In my body, my mind
In my body, my mind
Then sister crow came with the murder that day
So we tattooed the bird nation onto our faces
She said, “we sing to let go of all of our pain
We dance the story
To remember when things changed”
Remember when things changed
Remember when things changed

Holy, holy grandmother, we sing
Wash us clean of our pain and suffering
Give us strength for our new beginnings
In my best thanks I sing

It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
It’ll wash away, it will wash away
Lift ’em up
Ooh lift ’em up (yeah)
Ooh lift ’em up (yeah)
Ooh lift ’em up (yeah)
Ooh lift ’em up

We danced the ghost dance in two separate countries
To this old song
So familiar to memory
The road will teach you how to love and let go
It can be lonely but it’s the only thing
That we’ve ever known
It can be lonely but it’s the only thing
That we’ve ever known
Our mommas told us
Let go of jealousy
And for vagabonds and vagrants, that won’t come so easy
We’ve come from nothing
Nothing
We have come from nothing
Nothing
So teach me to love you in a different way
Same cuts, same guts, same crazy
Same cuts, same guts, same crazy
I traveled halfway across the country and back
Only to find love undefined
And I’m okay with that
‘Cause I’m gonna be a guardian
Be a man among men
Be a guardian
Be a man among men
Or be a woman
Among women
Be a guardian
Be my friend
Be my friend

We’re a part of something special
We’re a part of something special
We’re a part of something special
It’s a crack in time, a wrinkle
Fallen from the nest, young eagle
I will pull my feathers out
Stay humble
Stay humble
Stay humble
Stay humble
Stay humble

Wash it Away – Nahko Bear
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