It's only fitting that it's just before 1 am, and I'm just starting this post -- my inspiration often comes at the times when I really need to be doing something else. Like this afternoon, on this beautiful bike ride around the Peninsula, listening to Nahko as I sped down the path past Smith and Bybee lakes. To stop and capture my ideas would have interrupted my flow, the rush of the wind and energy, pulsing through my blood. But here I am now, listening to the clanking of the trains, reminded of my afternoon excitement, and I can't let another second go by without sharing it here, raw as it may be.
As I listened to song after song on his newest album, Dark as Night, I would continually hear a stanza or two in each song that had me pedal harder and faster, feeling ever deeper inspiration on my path towards mitigating climate change. It's interesting, I find, that nearly every song grabs me somehow. And with this thought, I began to feel inspired to do some writing on this inspiration, highlighting aspects of each song as they speak to me, specifically in regards to working together to secure a livable world for us and the seven (plus) generations that follow.
So, with that, I share the following excerpt from Manifesto:
Well, I was listenin',
To the outgoing seasons
About climate change and some of the reasons,
When the sky opened, like I'd been hope'n
And there came horses by the thousands
And there was thunder on their tongues
And lightning on their minds
And they were singin' this old melody
From some other time
They sang don't waste your h - at - e.
Rather gather and cr - ea - te
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.
It felt fitting to start with this excerpt, with 'climate change' directly mentioned towards the end of the song. For me, hearing Nahko sing about climate change gives me hope. It leaves me feeling like we're in this together, like he is singing for the same earth and people that I yearn to support. And with his skill, and our passion together (his and yours and mine), I have confidence that the message can be shared far and wide, and that all of us can come together and make this happen as it. And, like Nahko, I can dream big, dream of things like horses coming out of the sky in a manner that can send a message to those who won't otherwise listen, who can't otherwise hear because they are overwhelmed, or too busy, or too afraid, or too confused about what's real and what isn't.
And so, I do my best to take his advice: to set aside my hate, my anger, to set aside those the issues that hold me back in my everyday life--especially those that seem to have nothing to do with the earth and with climate change -- so that I can reserve and put my energies into bringing people together, to breaking down walls, to leading, to facilitating, to 'making easier' that which can feel so hard to so many. I volunteer with CCL, hours and hours (to 'be of service') because I love it, because it does feel sensible, and brings out my passion. And I write, to 'use my words', and communicate with my daughter, and my husband, and my mother-in-law to do the same, despite my nervousness.
You can do this, Tamara. You can do this.
And this, too.
This is my purpose. He's right. I do have purpose.
And between him, and his band, and CCL and coaching and big, old growth cedar trees on the Salmon river, I HAVE found my medicine.
Thank you, Nahko. And thank YOU, for being here with me, in community...