Sunday, July 27, 2014. I write so seldom any more. I miss it. I have no idea what I am going to say here today. I decided that fact is exactly why I need to write SOMETHING.
There is no judge here. No jury. No executioner? Wow. I did not see THAT word coming! Yes, my insane, psychotic abusive mother WOULD have been my executioner if she could have done so not once but many, many times. That was her insanity. There was no end to how much she needed to abuse me. That meant that she could not kill me. She needed me.
But I survived in spite of both her madness and her violence. Somehow I kept getting up. I kept going on. As the experts say about abused infants. They live the unsolvable paradox of how to keep on being when doing so is impossible.
We survive. We endure.
Frankly. I feel tired. How tired am I? Actually? I don’t know. How I feel and how I am may well not exactly BE the same thing. I have kept on going many, many times in my life when I was too tired to do so. When things seemed too hard.
That is what survivors do.
I don’t want to complain. I don’t MEAN to complain. I ask myself, “Is that what I am doing?” I don’t even know the answer to that question let alone the answers to the thousands of questions I ask myself.
Yet some part of me senses that I am REALLY not THAT much “in trouble.” Trouble will be when my questions stop. That’s my bet.
Right now I am feeling a softness to life that doesn’t come to me very often. The feeling is a tender one. It is tied to a certain knowledge that all humans at some time or another get up and keep on going when doing so is, really, all but impossible.
That’s what we humans do.
That’s why we are still here.
That’s why we are likely to stay here.
We learn things. It might not seem like we do. But we do learn. We are always learning. The softness in our soul keeps us learning just like it keeps us alive.
Drumming. Well, I am learning as I drum. Without a drum. Just on my nearly silent practice pad. As I wrote in my recent post
I continue to discover my identities without identity. I wrote down some more of them today to add to the list:
- The one who STOPS and FREEZES
- The one with an altered sense of time
- The one formed in and needing silence and quiet (the still one?)
- The one who does not (cannot?) breath
- The one who does not (need to?) eat
In my lesson yesterday “the one who stops” showed up. Of course. Trying to drum along with my teacher. I reached that point without warning. As always. STOP. Arms and hands akimbo in the air. Poised as if in a photograph snapped in a nanosecond of time. “Get moving again, Linda!”
Not going to happen.
Sometimes, with the patience, humor, persistence, encouragement of my teacher who keeps his sticks going right along I can move past those moments and resume. Right along with him. There is ALWAYS a point where the freezing stays frozen.
In some ways that’s to be expected. My prof can drum so much faster than I can at this point he will always be ahead of me. The trick each week is to see if I can get just a little faster, stay with him just a little longer as he gradually speeds up. But I HATE that freezing and the inability to START again once that happens where the STOP has no GO after it.
“The one with the altered sense of time” learned something very intriguing yesterday. I don’t understand the complexity of this learning process for prof’s other students who at some point must “perform” something. But he spoke of the fact that adrenaline powerfully effects how a drummer perceives the speed of their drumming. What MOSTLY happens is that when stressed the drummer speeds up. They need to be told to “step it down a notch or two.”
All fine and good. “Humans do not have an internal metronome within them. Nobody does.”
All fine and good but I need to eventually ask teach about the “keeping the beat steady” part — no matter the SPEED of the drumming.
For the future….
MY part of the story? I told teach that sometimes at the faster metronome speeds I can be listening to the steady clicking beat and IT CHANGES ITSELF. Or so it seems. Becoming unsteady. Un-rhythmic.
I always logically know this is impossible. I invested some bucks in an excellent digital quartz metronome. It goes nowhere but where I set it. But to ME – it does sometimes change it’s beat — impossible or not.
Nope. Very interesting. That is the OPPOSITE of what happens for “ordinary” people learning to drum. For me, then, it must be a consequence of the unsettled and unsettling nature of both my “PSTD” and “depression” that my inner adrenaline speed can send me off somewhere — at some speed — where time is not a static fixed-interval kind of “thing.” Of course time IS a non-thing. A NO-THING. A nothing?
I also asked teach about having him teach me some keyboard exercises. The brain training, the coordination, the increasing muscle memory, increasing speed — all of that will transfer to drumming. However. I am a SILENCE lover, really, who even now lives in a city surrounded, enmeshed, entrapped within noise pollution. I don’t want to LISTEN to the “noise” of a keyboard.
But perhaps I MUST increase my tolerance for sound! How am I ever going to play a “real” drumset if I cannot tolerate the NOISE of it?
Go ahead. Chuckling allowed.
I told teach I am a musician on the other side of silence. Music HAS to include sound and silence. I think to most people music is on the side of the SOUND part of it. Like numbers going up on the positive side on a number line from zero – that’s the noisy part of music. Going down into the negative numbers below zero. That’s the silent part. I like the silence.
Teach assured me that to learn the techniques on keyboard he would give me to practice I have to at least hear SOMETHING of the notes being played because I need to differentiate the notes completely, one from the other, as I train to move VERY FAST up and down and around those keys.
Lately, in the tender places where I feel being human with others being human, I think that the drumming is solely FOR ME. IF I learn keyboard, and learn to read that music, I might be able to share with OTHER people what they like about music.
Once a person can move very fast and accurately, precisely, no matter upon what instrument being played, the SOUND would seem to wash out the silence.
Is that true?
I am to find out. Even on the days when I have to force myself to practice. When I have to remind myself that I WANT to do this. Because I have to battle for my own life through this depression that sends me somewhere else more and more often in order to get my practicing done lately. (I think to a large extent because winter is not far from now – and that challenge will again be nearly more than I can bear. And I know it.)
An important reason to let whatever side of music I claim as mine take place in this little apartment. Let it grow. Bring it to life within me.
Past this? I do not know.
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