Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Drummer, a Card from the Joe Tarot

I first met the the drummer at a CVPP presenters meeting in preparation for the event. Although at first glance he may have seemed out of place for some indiscernible reason, he was confident and comfortable. The great ones always are. He sat quietly, calm and relaxed.The first thing I recognized was the smile.

It was a good productive meeting which served as a precursor to the event. The meeting concluded as Pagan events often do, with many introductions after the fact. Someone asked me what I did for a living and I said, "...I live..." The Drummer over heard my response and joined the conversation. As it turns out, he works in the same field.

Our Coven had the honor of conducted the opening ceremony for Pagan Pride Day. Moments before we were to begin I was informed that the Drummer had offered to begin the ceremony with ritual drumming to the four directions. It was an offer which I enthusiastically accepted without a moments hesitation.

The Drummer opened up with a drum beat I interpreted as an "announcement," and it worked well in getting everyone's attention and drawing all those present towards the circle. (so if you run community rituals, take note.) After a brief solemn pause he spent time drumming to each of the cardinal directions. To each direction he offered a transmission, each completely different in speed, rhythm, tempo and spirit. It served as a personal confirmation in my beliefs that we're all doing the same things for the same reasons, it's mostly the culture that is different. Barely.

Later that day I took a break from cooking hot dogs long enough to listen to his presentation. He spoke with a passion and energy that few speakers have and all speakers envy. He spoke of simple, profound truths that made sense and made you laugh at the same time, another rare talent. He is someone you want to know so I made sure to reconnect with him, we spoke for a while, talking shop about our related field and exchanging contact information.

The other night just before bed that classic default setting tone notified me of a text message. It was from a number neither I or my smart phone recognized. The message gave the time day and location of a meeting called the "Communication Circle." Although the name was meant to clarify, it only confused me more. I sat staring at the phone trying to figure out who was on the other end when it went off again. (I spooks me every time.) The second message added that the sender would be at COS (Collage of the Sequoias) the next day for a Multicultural Day event. Signed the Drummer.

Suddenly "Communication Circle" made sense, I have been attending drum circles for many years and have come to learn about the magic communication of percussion. The next day at the event we sat, watched and listen to his performance. He told a story about Africa while he drummed. Then without warning he began inviting people from the audience to join him. My Wife and I were among the first, hoping to sway others to join in we took to the stage and selected instruments from the large selection that was made available. Soon we had a crowd, and the Drummer began giving simple impromptu instructions to the participants and before you know it we were rocking out like a folk symphony orchestra.

The Drummer broke off the session for a moment and acquired more reluctant volunteers, again he gave them a quick impromptu lesson in African dance and told them to listen to his drum for their queue. We seemed to resuming the music without any difficulty, and we were rocking out again when the Drummer pounded out a distinctive beat which set off the men tribal dance. I don't know who was cheering louder, the audience, the volunteers or me. I'm sure no one in the audience that day had come prepared to perform on stage, but they did. The Drummer took nearly twenty random people, threw them together without warning and got them all to play instruments, together in successful unity. Now that's Magic!

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