i hope this message finds you well.
it’s turned windy and cold here in my neck of the woods. the shade cloth above my trailer is flapping all around, making quite a ruckus. my cat sits on my desk, looking out the only window that’s accessible to him, meowing and flipping his tail about, head darting this way and that. his ears twitch and he longs to go outside. nature is his happy place.
he’s an excellent companion, because nature is my happy place too.
lately i’ve been trying to spend more time in nature, truly looking. (sometimes i share pics on instagram). and more time with actual humans, truly listening.
really, what i’m attempting to do is step away from the noise machine, and focus instead on the tender beauty of the moment.
less memes, more tangible life.
less reaction, more presence.
i deactivated my fb account. it felt like a revolutionary move when i did it, but it turns out that it means precisely nothing. my page is still visible, and i can be found, friended, tagged, and so on, just as if i were active. i might as well have just logged out, as there’s apparently no difference between the two. (so freaking lame, fb.) anyway, at least i’m not on there, participating and get caught up in the frenzy. (not to say i won’t be back, because i have a lot of friends and contacts there that i value and appreciate. but fuck it feels good to realize that it’s just a thing that someone created, and it can be cut out at any moment.)
for the past month i’ve been meditating every day, with the supportive guidance of a program called Mindfulness Daily. it’s been so helpful, i’m already missing it. (it ends in ten days! ha. oh attachment.) i think i’m worried that i won’t be able to keep the practice going on my own.
…but at least i’m becoming more aware of my incessant thinking and worrying. on a good day i even have a laugh about it 🙂
i’ve been taking a break from teaching drum classes too. it feels like my last class was forever ago, even though it’s only been a couple of months. winter is a nice time to pause and reflect on things, and for me i’ve been wondering what it is that i truly want to create and offer with drumming.
in the mean time, i’ve been taking weekly classes from two wonderful teachers – Daniel Brevil (Haitian Vodou drum master, my first drum teacher), and Elizabeth Sayer (Afro-Cuban Batá player, whom i met last year at Born to Drum.)
my head is so full of complicated polyrhythms i think it could burst! and it makes me incredibly happy 🙂
there are other things about drumming that i’m finding thoroughly necessary right now.
…it’s bodily – earthy and grounding. it’s visceral, yet also requires a lot of brain muscle. it’s inherently community-oriented. (you can drum by yourself, of course. i do it all the time, but i have to say it’s not nearly as juicy.) it’s a form of communication – arguably one of the first languages we humans thought up. and, it’s cathartic, transformative, playful, and creative.
most of all, drumming is teaching me to listen.
and with all the shit happening in the world/country right now, i need these things more than ever. i think we all must need them, even if we don’t realize it.
grounding, experiencing, coming together, listening.
i hope you’re making time for these things in your life, however you come about them.
i hope you’re having many moments of peace and joy, despite the constant barrage of tragedies and upsetting events.
i hope you’re staying awake and aware of the challenges we face as a society, and i hope you’re gathering with the ones you love and respect, to exchange ideas and seek out real solutions. (yes, even gathering with nature too. she has so much to teach us.)
some ideas are beginning to bubble around my future drum offerings. they haven’t solidified in my head just yet, but i will share them with you when i’m ready 🙂
lots of love,
Featured photo taken by Marjorie Langdon, Born To Drum 2017