We went to a drumming circle because an old friend told us we should. I did not know how to drum. I was really quite nervous. There were children and old folks, all ages in between. All levels of expertise, or not. There were rattles to shake, plastic tubes with the magical pentatonic scale, and of course a van full of drums. Big drums, little drums. Colourful drums, brown drums. Drums to bang with hands or sticks.
I tried to watch the hands of the woman beside me, tried to copy and learn. She was too fast and sure. I tried to watch my child, in front of me, with a big bass drum, beating happily to the lug-dub of her own heart. I tried to mimic the skilled ones. I couldn’t. I had to listen. Had to feel it in my feet, my hands, my body. Had to allow the letting go of brain and thinking it.
It came when the fear of it left. Like everything. I found my rhythm. I let go and just beat that drum.
We drummed and sang. I saw all the wee fears of life lift from the faces of the people there.
Tightness of eyes became smiles. Big wide smiles circled.
A wee girl came and stood just outside the circle. She was oh so shy. Paul Dear saw that shyness and did some magic. She came in, to the centre of the circle and by the end of the session was the conductor of our very noisy orchestra. This image will warm my heart for quite some years to come.
Paul Dear is travelling with a van filled with drums and bang shaky things. He is raising money for the charities underfunded in the latest cutbacks. Please donate anything you can. Please go – and drum your cares away!
The route and project –
Donate here –