This is a mere collection of thoughts. A few words. First, to talk about my new drums. When my brother was here he took me to a nearby town (I can’t get to on my own given my old car and cost of gas). There was a small music store there. I was waiting when the door opened and bought these:
I couldn’t afford them. I couldn’t afford not to afford them. I have flour and yeast and a bread maker. Lots of peanut butter and jelly. So I turned my food budget + into drums.
My new friends. Their heads are loosened waiting 24 hours, resting, becoming accustomed to this altitude (about 4500 feet) and this climate. This afternoon I will tighten them again and begin to play.
I have a Latin station on Pandora radio. I can play that music.
Rhythm. Sound. Bringing the apex of heaven and the center of the earth together with those drums through my hands. Through this body of mine. I need this.
Trauma survivors. We all have gifts. We all have pure joy inside of us somewhere.
Permission. Granting permission to let our talents and our joy come together no matter what we’ve been through. It’s not easy, I don’t think. With the weight of the world not far from us how do we find our own freedom?
I still have my keyboard. I am still teaching myself to read music and to play. But I cannot deny the damage done and the healing needed as I work rather than gamble around freely with music that way.
My mother’s raging abuse began before my ears could tell voices apart from overwhelming sound. When I hit a note on the keyboard I do not hear that sound in ordinary ways. Much sound actually hurts me, according to its pitch. My brain shuts down listening to any note above middle C when I hit those keys. Damage done to my developing brain by verbal abuse, by screaming by my mother.
Drums. A different matter. I finally understand that. I know rhythm. Mother did not damage that about me. So at 62 I finally granted myself permission to gather into my home and into my life the tools I need to express myself this way.
I walk through my front room now and there stands these two drums. They feel like sentinels of freedom to me. Friends. I lay my hands upon their heads and feel peace. Gateway to FUN! All by myself.
I so often feel like an exile in this world. I need time to fly, and I found instantly that playing these drums gives me the closest feeling to flying I can probably ever have in my lifetime.
It’s never too late to fly. Forget the world, Linda! At least some of the time, forget the world. All the complications, all the difficulties of this journey. Forget it. Go for the rhythm. That which joins all the world together, every tiny part of it. Heartbeats. Top to bottom. Inside out. Outside in. All combined rather than taking it all apart into little bitty pieces.
Giving up the struggle. Letting go. Flying.
I began having dreams about flying when I was 9 in the 4th grade. I flew in my dreams sometimes until I was 30. So many years since I have flown. Life has been WORK for me! Work, from the time I took my first breath. I am getting tired. Tired of the struggle, of the battle, of this work of life.
Tired of thinking. Tired of feeling.
Tired of asking and seeking. Tired even of the finding.
The drums seem to be alive. I lay my hands on them and rest them there as the drum heads are resting. For a few more hours. They feel like a part of my body. Mine. Claiming a space. Claiming a right to pure joy. Nothing else to it. Just joy.
Joy without a name. Joy of the smell of the still desert air as the crescent moon above me slides soon into the light of day. Joy of birds waking up. Joy of spring coming. All joys combined together. So big there is no room for sadness.
A sound. Once made. Does it live forever?
Being a part of sound, not apart FROM the world, a part of me with a part of sound sent into the cosmos — out and up and through.
I’m OK with that. By this afternoon I can tighten the drum heads again and they will come alive and an ancient part of me will awaken with them. One single simple word: JOY!
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