Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Playing in the Symphony

I’ve been reading a book called “The Great Work” by Thomas Berry. It is quite an interesting read about nature, and history, and life as it is today and could be tomorrow.

The author speaks about (and I am definitely paraphrasing) becoming part of the "universal symphony." Basically, instead of taking the arrogant-human, intellectual position that we must “think about” and “create” a new way of living, he suggests that we listen to the symphony of life around us and find our place in it. He implies that, when we are part of the symphony, the world will be as it should be.

Makes me think about my drumming experiences around the Fire.

It would be quite a stretch for me to call myself a drummer…. A “thumper” maybe – but certainly not a drummer. While I feel the rhythm around me, I lack the skill so prevalent in our community. Still, one can only dance and chant for so long before the urge to sit and play for a while becomes compelling.

I frequently find myself sitting on a bench listening for a beat to follow. My hands fumble as I search for a very basic and simple pattern I can duplicate without too much concentration. The fact is, the more I concentrate, the more difficult it becomes to “play.”

I love that word…”play”….

If I stop thinking and let my hands rest on the drum head, a steady and simple beat i can follow will emerge. Its almost as if the drum plays me. I can “play” as long as I refrain from thinking about it.

Hmmm – seems like Mother Nature plays me too – when I stop thinking about how to fix what we have done to Her and just let myself feel Her rhythms! Perhaps finding the “symphony” is just that easy. I love the idea that, to make the world what we want it to be, we begin by finding our own rhythm within Nature. I love the fact that being around the Fire together teaches me how to do that. I love the idea that the key to creating the changes we want is to think less and play more!

The challenge, of course, is to actually make the time to play....

Blessed be,



Lyra said...

Wait, what? You're suggesting that I think less and, um, do...something else?! Hmft. HMFT. (slouches into corner to think about this one...)

Ahriana said...

Kinda hard when you are "thesis-ing", I know.... Perhaps a different kind of thinking - more kinesthetic than analytical..

Josselyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josselyne said...

Ahriana, I definitely love the "Play More" portion of that mantra! Drumming is no different than writing, or doing math, or driving a manual transmission (or dancing, or singing, for that matter); at first, it's all clumsy, the brain gets in the way, and nothing feels right. If we only were to do any of these things once a year, it would never get to a point where we felt comfortable. But more direct experience leads to more comfort, and more comfort means being able to both "let go" and operate in a more relaxed mode - AND be able to produce helpful, harmonious sounds that contribute to the whole.

Ahriana said...

Thanks, Jossie - Sounds like a "neuro-pathways" kind a thing... I just need to be consistent about "playing" - and finding time to "play" ( in all the applications of that word) is a challenge for me. I am a "type A-" (The minus indicates the little bit of progress I've made over the past few years in slowing my life down a bit!)

Lisa B said...

It's so funny that you said that - I am a "type B+" personality (or so I've been told) and much toned down from my own kind of type A-ness. I, too, need to find - no, MAKE - time to play...and play, and play. It's something we can choose to prioritize.

And yes, playing more is like any other kind of practice. Once that elusive comfort zone increases, so follows the openness to receiving the flow of creativity and the organic interplay between ourselves and others. Presto, Magic!