A Rhythm in the Green

I will never be a real drummer, or a musician of any kind. I am, at best, a mimic; at worst, a mess. I can repeat rhythms I here, given enough repeats of the same rhythm and enough time to practice the rhythm myself. I can't improvise at all, though, and I expect to have a great deal of trouble jamming in a drum circle. That's ok. I know my limitations. I wish to explore what I can do within them. I only know a few rhythms now. The frame drum instructional videos I've watched give the basic strokes, a couple of simple rhythms, and then move straight into the kind of improvisation I can't do. So I practice the simple rhythms and try to pick up others from the background of music I listen to, but it's very limited. But. Today, fighting a panic attack, I went down to my little patch of Green, with my dog and my drum, and I played a little. The rhythms I knew, first. Then I started fooling around, and finally settled into a simple rhythm that just felt like the heartbeat of the Green right there, of the cypress I leaned against, of the ivy around it, of the ferns by the fence. Doum doum pah doum doum pah. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll go see what kind of a beat the bramble at the other end of the lot has. Playing outside, and playing outside my ritual room in particular, was very different. I kept losing track of my fingers, still, but I cared less. I kept going instead of getting frustrated and stopping. It was better out there. It's probably still going to be nerve-wracking for me for a while, but it feels good, too. And hey. I managed to find a beat in a place. Maybe I'm not so hopeless after all....

Following the Piper

It's been a long while since I had an encounter like yesterday's. I was so busy for a long time, with the restaurant, with school before that. And then after the restaurant, I was so depressed that I turned away from things for a long time. I've been getting back to it in fits and starts, but it's been hard to really settle in. Yesterday tells me I'm making good progress. I'm seeing the things I ought to again. The guideposts are coming clear. There are encounters that anyone might have, and there are encounters that only those trained in spiritual and magical technologies can have. Yesterday was one of the former. Anybody could have gone and talked to that guy. Not just anybody would have recognized it, though. I did, which is good, because I damned well ought to be able to. But better, I chose to go and have it. After turning away from things for too long, I looked out the window and saw him. I hollered a compliment. And then, finally, I got dressed, and I actually left the house and went out there and spoke to him. Listened to him play. Petted his dog. Talked a while. I did something. I chose, actively, after being passive for too long. I reached up out of the morass of depression and caught hold of a big thing, and pulled myself up to take a deep breath of fresh air. I need to become more active, to start making choices again. Hekatean as well as Dionysian. Pick my own road, and walk it. Time to find something new, and start it. I did a tarot reading before bed, Beth Maiden's Begin now, with what you have spread, just to get a sense of where I was starting from. An important thing to know before setting out. I got some interesting results. The Sun as my goal. The Wheel and The World in my base. The Page of Pentacles, my favorite significator many years ago when I started reading, in my beginnings. Promising. I think my next reading should be with the Daughters of the Moon. It's always been a very dream-and-vision sort of deck, feeding me images to watch for, touchstones, signposts along the road, rather than concrete instructions, the way the Mythic or the Visconti-Sforza do. Possibly time to do some dreaming as well. Soon....

Piper in the Green

Behind my townhouse is an empty lot. When I moved in, oh, seven or eight years ago, there was a house that was falling in, but they demolished it, hoping to build yet more townhouses there. The real estate boom went bust, and nothing ever went in. Now it's full of ivy and blackberry and madrones and what I think are cypresses. It's a lovely pocket of green. My balcony overlooks it. I've been sick this past week. Sick enough that I went to the hospital to get checked out. Nothing too serious -- they gave me tests and a lot of fluids and sent me back home -- but it's really wiped me out. Just going to the store leaves me shaking and exhausted. I've been spending a lot of time slumped on the couch, not doing much more than reading comics and watching movies I've seen before. Today I had slightly more energy. And then, as I sat here, I heard the sound of piping. A wooden flute. Drifting in from that little pocket. I popped my head out and called a compliment to the aging hippie. After a bit, I went down there. He had a tiny fuzzy dog with him, truly adorable. Long gray hair under a cap. A hoodie turned backwards under a coat -- the dog rides in the hood when he's on his bike. A walking stick leaning on that same bike. He was in the neighborhood, and just decided to stop and play. He says he does it fairly often, though I haven't heard him before. A strangely dressed man, backwards and upside down, playing a wooden flute and accompanied by a little dog, in the nearest thing to wilderness we have. (The Fool from the Robin Wood deck.) And, of course, in the Mythic deck, the Fool is: none other than Dionysos himself. Nothing can be so firmly bound, neither by illness, nor by wrath or fortune, that cannot be released by Dionysos....