Saturday, July 14, 2012

still-sound 84. Drum

I bought this drum several years ago after participating in a a ceremony in Wiltshire, England led by a pagan named Peter.  I like how the translucent, stretched skin resembles the surface of the moon.  I strung a leather cord from the holes bored into the drum's rim so that I could hang it up when not in use.

I made the drumstick soft by covering the head with felt.  In an effort to attune to a sense of time set by natural cycles rather than by a calendar, I diligently drummed to celebrate the full and new moon.  I lived in Long Beach and sometimes walked to the ocean's edge at dusk and drummed while sitting on the towel I set on sand.

When I moved to the small apartment in Echo Park two years ago, I hung the drum up on a bookshelf and didn't touch it.  I was worried that I'd disturb my neighbors if I played, although the walls are pretty thick and it's unlikely they'd hear anything.  I thinkly mostly I just didn't feel like playing the drum.  To pick it up again would feel like 'a thing'.  It takes a mental commitment to start up 'a thing' again after retiring it and I suppose I wasn't prepared.

Earlier this week I took it up again.  I've drummed every day while meditating, holding it in my lap while sitting cross-legged on the floor.  I bathe in vibration.  The sound seems different to me every time - sometimes soft and sonorous, sometimes full and dissonant.  Today its voice was deep and forboding, like a warning. 

When I finish drumming, my hands, arms and legs tingle for a little while.

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