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A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.

Rhythm, Rhythm, Who Got Da Rhythm?

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: reflect , record , life , lessons

I’m thinking a lot lately about rhythm. Not the direct kind (though it’s been awhile since I picked up a drum, and I miss that too), but the more metaphorical kind--the rhythm of my days, the rhythm of my life. I’m definitely in the midst of a rhythmic change right now, and the beat is shifting, transforming from something familiar to something not-quite-clear.

Perhaps a metaphor will help. (In my world, metaphors always help. Heck, they’re the only way I ever understand anything in the first place.) Let’s talk about rhythm in the context of a drum circle. (Which, if you’ve never experienced, you should. All teasing aside, there’s a reason why all those new-agey types love ‘em--there is a tremendous fun and power there, and much to be learned from participating with others in that way. But I digress.)

There’s always a time, in a drum circle, where everything is a little confusing--the previous jam is starting to break apart, or there’s been a break and everyone is just starting up again. There’s noise, but no direction: people are noodling with different things, often with great enthusiasm, but a central beat hasn’t emerged or been agreed to. Things might still sound ok, but the energy, the rhythm, is more scattered than aligned. The way this moves forward is that people start paying closer attention to each other, to the various beats going on, and something always emerges that catches everyone’s attention. People acquiesce to that  foundational rhythm, and start participating in it, and the jam coalesces, the energy settles (or jumps up, depending). It’s only after that that individuals in the circle can start taking turns improvising around the foundational rhythm, and playing with the shape and nuance of the jam itself.

Might as well start blogging again with a bang, rather than a dribble. I’ve just had a couple of really interesting, deep experiences that need to be processed for posterity; they’re too important to just let float away down the river of memory.

What happened? Well, twice over the last couple weeks, I stood guard over a dead body.


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