What could possibly take me to go to a drumming circle? The Buoy Blog, I guess.
Talking about getting out of my comfort zone is one thing, playing music in front of people who I don’t know is another. I love music and in my wildest dream, I am playing piano in front of a hysterical crowd that chants my name like their life depends on it. It is just a dream. The last time I played the piano, I gave an interpretation of “Jingle Bells” so dull that my husband fell asleep, and the kids thought someone had died.
However, a circle of drummers is not a quartet. Nobody cares about who you are, or how good you play. The principle of joining a drumming circle is to enjoy your time, and make some noise. Express those feelings you keep hidden within your secret places and let them out!
Therefore, we went, Kathleen and I, on a retreat organized by the YMCA. It was on a nice spot outside, in a park. The sun shone, people were friendly. I started to relax. We joined the group in the shade where Chris, our drum leader, had already set up a large number of different drums. We sat in a circle on rocks.
My first impression was: “I should have brought a chair, this rock is killing my fundament!” I knew already that when I left my comfort zone, I always had to be prepared. I am glad I am a far-sighted Buoy Blogger and I ‘ve got a blanket.
Comfortably installed now, I could listen to Chris who explained the drumming circle, and showed us some of the instruments we could use. We could pick any drums we wanted. I picked a djembe –that is not a bongo; I know that now. Chris showed us how to warm up our drums by stroking them gently, and get to know our instruments. Then, we learned some notes to hear the difference between hitting with our full hand, or with just our fingers. It makes a completely different sound.
We had to play one person at a time and show our skills –or at least our enthusiasm– and then we played together. Chris started a beat, and we followed, improvising according to our will. It was a nice experience to share this moment of joyful hullabaloo noise. Even without any knowledge beforehand, we made music, and it was as if we had a lively conversation all together.
Okay, at first it might sound as lovely as the sound of cows going on their transhumance in the Pyrenees, but you can tell that the cows are going happily to their free summer range!
For me, it was a great feeling of forgetting everything else with so much fun. Listening to this repetitive beat, I felt like travelling in time and space. I could picture the fire in the middle of the circle, the dark night full of bright stars over our heads, and a wolf on the hill howling to the Moon. Drums can definitively help us to meditate.
When Chris started his meditation story, I was up playing a large set of drums, bouncing from left to right. I could not think about anything else other than “my thighs hurt. I should have started with Pilates;” but I eventually got it. We can travel far away with the bewitching music of a circle of drums.
When I came back home, I was thrilled with my new experience. When my days start to turn wild, I grab anything that can be a drum and hit it my worries out. And, it works, as if by magic.