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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...


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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