Learnin’ to soften my soul

I have long appreciated Nahko and Medicine for the People. I like the idea of music as medicine.

The only time I’ve seen Nahko in person, I didn’t know who he was. The photo below was taken during one of our Dakota Access pipeline gatherings in Indianapolis. I was there with my friends Joshua Taflinger and Brandi Herron (2016). You might be able to make out Nahko & Medicine for the People on the marquee.

As we were standing there, shivering, several members of the band walked past us and gave us big smiles and fist bumps. The person I later discovered was Nahko Bear opened the theater door then went back inside. I have regretted that I didn’t attend the performance that evening.

I enjoy his spiritual musings as much as his music. I’ve often written of those things on this blog: https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/?s=nahko

P A R T   P R O B L E M

“Part Problem” reflects on the fact that no matter our circumstances or origins, we’re each ultimately responsible for our own path in life. 

Admitting you’re part of the problem can be difficult, but raising your hand and asking for help when you need it is essential. It’s the only way you can learn to love yourself and forgive yourself.

The song is released in tandem with the New Moon, as per our tradition of releasing singles with thoughtful intention, coinciding with the lunar calendar throughout the album campaign for Take Your Power Back. During this time of great sacrifice and uncertainty, we may naturally get drawn into the harsh edges of fear, chaos, and hysteria, but we have a unique opportunity to ground in and soften amongst it all.

What if during this isolation we broke bread with other fears we’ve been harboring? My intentions this New Moon are pretty straight forward: stay grounded, meditate on the manifestation of immediate global healing, and take responsibility for my part in creating a solution.

– Nahko

“Part Problem”
Nahko and Medicine for the People

What did you think this would be, easy love?
There ain’t no easy love, no, no
Oh, beloved, what did I do to us?
How could’ve I lost touch? I was

Fightin’ with my shadow
That is somethin’ I am good at
Givin’ me the power that is
Provin’ to have backlash
Good heart
Off to a bad start

How do I keep myself from fallin’ apart
When I ain’t never felt part of a whole?
Somewhere along the line I got disconnected
Started losin’ perspective, I know
I’ll admit that I am part of the problem
Part of the problem (part of the problem)
I’ll admit that I am part of the problem
Part of the problem

What about all that shit I did for love?
Maybe it wasn’t love, no, no
Who’s in charge here, is it really me?
A face you rarely see

I was lookin’ for connection
But is this just a mixed message?
Come a little closer
Maybe you can make some sense
Of my good heart
Off to a bad start
That is my good heart
Off to a bad start

How do I keep myself from fallin’ apart
When I ain’t never felt part of a whole?
Somewhere along the line I got disconnected
Started losin’ perspective, I know
I’ll admit that I am part of the problem
Part of the problem (part of the problem)
I’ll admit that I am part of the problem
Part of the problem

So I’ll learnin’ to soften my soul
(Part of the problem, part of the problem)
Soul
(Part of the problem, part of the problem)
Soul
(Part of the problem, part of the problem)
Soul
(Part of the problem, part of the problem)

How do I keep myself from fallin’ apart
When I ain’t never felt part of a whole?
Somewhere along the line I got disconnected
Started losin’ perspective, I know
I’ll admit that I am part of the problem
Part of the problem (part of the problem)
I’ll admit that I am part of the problem
So I’m learnin’ to soften my soul


One of Nahko’s most moving and disturbing videos is Love Letters to God

Standing Rock is a dream. The epicenter for our morality and dignity. A place where dark and light communicate and they work it out.

Standing Rock is a vision. The wildest manifestation of our ancestors. The heart of humanity and the blood of the Earth. Water.

An elder said a true warrior always guards the heart of the women and for so long now we’ve forgotten about our mother. Earth is us, we are it. The ones that can heal a relationship that is wounded. The ones that pray over and over. Protect.

Our oral history is vital for our survival and when we blend it with visual art it creates a bond, a prayer. This video is a sacred offering to those that are hurting. Because we must remember that love is the root of all good. Because by giving we open up to receiving. Healing

We offer this timepiece on a day that ushers in a new era for all protectors and people alike. An era that will need music to act as the thread between front lines and front doors.

Stay in the prayer.
We stand with you.
For all our relations.

Our support goes out to the independent media that has been on the ground at Standing Rock. Without them we would have been in a total black out. Their sacrifice allows us to see the truth.

Thank you Unicorn Riot Desiree Kane AdaMedia Med Mera Dr0ne2bwild Photography & Video Indigenous Rising Media Dylan McLaughlin Tomas Karmelo Amaya Josué Rivas Fotographer

Nahko

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