June 15, 2015

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.