Monday, August 12, 2013. I woke this morning from a clear and wonderful dream that I know was inspired by a combination of inputs. One came from pictures a dear blogging friend sent me yesterday of her flat in Africa that showed a low table between the couch and chairs of her light-filled spacious room. Another came for the 25 years I was blessed to spend among Native Americans in the northern area of the United States and southern Canada and the sacred living heartbeats of their drums.
Another most important inspiration comes from my own soul who knows clearly I have loved rhythm from the time I was 10 years old and was able to experience the most amazing classroom event of my childhood school career. As I prepare to move to an entirely different culture I am keeping myself upright through the stress of all this change by letting myself think as I work on my sewing projects about what would make me happy!
Drumming would make me happy. Percussion fun among all kinds of people of all ages done without ego, drugs, alcohol or ill-will would make me happy.
In my dream I was around a collection of young men ages, I suppose, 13-22. They were experts at rhythm. When they took a pause from their “play” I tipped their main instrument that seemed to be created out of a form very similar to the low table in the pictures my friend sent to me. Most any kind of long coffee table would probably due – especially the kind with the spaces cut out for large plate glass sections. The open space in this instrument was covered by some kind of a resonating material.
I could stand and tip this instrument against my body lengthwise, or sit and play it as it sat on the ground. Funny thing was I was having such a good time playing fantastic beats that I broke the darn thing! Uh-Oh! I awoke knowing I had a lot to share toward improving the percussion experience of LOTS of different people – which would include the improvement (and creation) of the instruments used to play upon.
I tried to find a group to play percussion with here in the area where I currently live and was extremely disappointed to find the 3 things present in the gathering of 20 adults that I must drum without: Ego, drugs and booze. This disappointment is definitely one of the important reasons to leave here – to search for my musical percussion flock elsewhere.
Yet I also worry that given the very low state of my financial situation that I will end up living in an apartment within which drumming silently – well – isn’t going to be possible!
My thoughts as I sew lead me to think about possible options to find community people – of all ages – and a gathering spot where we can play our hearts and souls out and be welcomed while doing so.
I did a quick online search this morning for “make percussion instruments” and the possibilities are endless! It fascinated me! Over the past months of listening to internet radio (Pandora and now Jango) I have a collection of hundreds of appropriate drum-along song titles that I can use to pull up songs on YouTube to drum with. I have had in mind a “learning” group that can play together without the added weight of an ego-driven lead drummer. This will be an independent group free of any direction that takes us down a road I personally do not choose to go.
The summer I was 12 my grandmother came to visit us on our Alaskan homestead. She received her master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in career counseling in 1918. Testing for vocational placement and for academic rankings along with tutoring and career counseling formed her business that she practiced for over 40 years. On this summer she administered to me and to my older brother the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory. Some months later she sent the very detailed typed report she so sweetly and seriously created for me.
Of course my mother used everything about this intersection of interest by her mother with her hated daughter against me. “So you think you are going to be a DOCTOR? You are the stupidest child any mother could ever have! You don’t even have a lick of common sense and would forget your head if it wasn’t screwed on! So you think you are so smart! You think you are smarter than the rest of us put together?”
On an on her verbal abuse went (of course). But I kept that report safe in the envelope it was sent to me in. After working at it for 10 years I achieved my BA degree in psychology in 1980. Afterwards (all before computers) I went to the college library and researched art therapy master’s programs around the nation and sent for corresponding catalogs.
Like my dimly remembered career direction report from my grandmother I stored all these catalogs in a box and hauled it through my moves until one New Year’s Eve eight years later a bell went off inside my soul. Out from under my bed the box of art therapy information was dragged. Sitting alone that night as a new year began I opened and read them one by one and made my decision. Even though I was “a welfare mom” I was going to find a way to get that master’s degree.
It also fascinated me that after I had spent many months getting myself and my children moved from northern Minnesota to Albuquerque, New Mexico to begin my program of study I found and read my grandmother’s report. In it she had put together what she had discovered about me at age 12 into the suggestion that I pursue a profession which in 1963 did not even exist in the United States yet. Grandmother told me my best profession would be ART THERAPY! This was a combination she found of my medical, scientific and artistic interests.
All these years later after I realized that my traumatic childhood has destroyed my own ability to practice my profession I have still paid the $100 per year fee to keep my Nationally Registered Art Therapist credentials intact. It strikes me today that my drum-making, drum-playing ideas fall right along these lines. There is hope I can do this! Not for money – but for the soul of it.
I can PICTURE my future with the percussion and The Percussion People in it.
My thinking, my heart’s desires and my dream were all further confirmed by the automatic email I received today of the Baha’i Quote for the Day. Today it read in part:
“Exert your utmost endeavour that ye may develop such crafts and undertakings that everyone, whether young or old, may benefit therefrom.” –
From – Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Author: Bahá’u’lláh, Source: US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988 pocket-size edition Pages: 269, Excerpt from LAWḤ-I-HIKMAT (Tablet of Wisdom)
We can MAKE whatever instruments we want and need, we can play, practice and perform! What possibilities!
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