When you join me, you join the fun.
So...remember our recent KS event? Not only was it a great Friday night out, but it so happens that a fun evening evolved into a life-changing moment. Read about how drumming with the sisterhood moved the ever-cool Kari Strutt, top left. (The only person we know who has NEVER screamed!)
Karma Queen Janet Shostak urges me to attend a drum circle with Judy Atkinson. I'm not much of a "do things in groups" person, but it's Janet after all, and it's drums. I like drums.
I was a drummer in bands. I was also a military drummer. I could play marching rhythms, 120 beats per minute, for half an hour at a time, not lose more than a second or two. It was my job to keep perfect time.
But drum circle isn't about keeping perfect time.
There are 200 people in the room. You pick an instrument, wait for a series of brief instructions from Judy, then go. Everyone helps everyone. There are players behind the beat, players ahead of it...they balance against each other...without realizing it, they join the ones in the middle, keeping perfect time almost by accident.
You know how you have to convince a child they ought to learn to 'play' the piano or the dr ums or the guitar...and 'play' is a euphemism for "work and discipline and doing this thing that you're not all that fond of because WE think it will be good for you in the long run".
Drum circle isn't that.
It's actual play.
Pick an instrument. Make noise with it.
Hit it until you giggle.
Plus there's this wacky moment in a night of drum circle when you get permission, nay, endorsement, to do what you haven't done since you were a toddler. You get to smack the stuffing out of a whatever you happen to be holding, and scream and shout as loud as you can. You get to throw a tantrum.
I screamed so loud my throat was sore for three days. I have never, in all my adult life, screamed. I didn't scream as an adolescent either. I reclaimed a lost voice that night. I can hear it in my head now. I screamed for all the times I've been hurt and didn't let it show. I screamed because my Dad was taken from me before he got to meet my daughter. I screamed for all the crappy news I read about in the paper, atrocities I feel powerless to change. I screamed because I'm not the woman I want to become yet, and I feel like I'm running out of time.
But after the screaming, came the biggest surprise of the evening. Judy tells you it will happen, but until you experience it, there's no way to anticipate the moment.
Everyone in the room says 'ahh'.
Not a nose ahh...but a deep ahh, from the chest - like you just saw your very first shooting star. Then everyone says ahh again, and again, and again. Stars falling everywhere.
The sighs turn into waves, and the waves lap against the walls of the circular building, they create currents. It's the sound of resolution, the noise of knowing. It's the sound of peace.
I didn't want it to end.
There's something magnificent about a drum. In the fullness of human history, the drum is the first voice we used to replace our own. It was a voice that could reach greater distances. The drum called people together. Sometimes it called them to war.
The drum will always call.
We choose its purpose.
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