and the Beat Goes On

I forced myself outside of my comfort zone today.  I have spent two days stressing about this day.  My mind a twirling mass of ‘what ifs?’. What great giant leap of faith did I take today, you might ask?  What astounding feat have you mastered?  How bloody uncomfortable could you have possibly been?   What the hell could be so traumatic that I spent two sleepless nights over?

A community drumming circle.

That was my terror tempted, today.

Fifteen to twenty years ago, hand drumming was one of my passions.  It was new and a different way of looking at rhythm as music.  The notes were different.  And I loved to dance.  Dance like no-one is watching, as they say.  There have been patches of my life where my spirit was free enough from the darkness to allow me to fly free.  Fly with the music and the dance. 

For several years now, I just don’t go anywhere.  Don’t do anything.  My creative, free spirit was torn into shreds with being Bipolar.  Again.  Another cycle.  The only dance I have had in me in the last 7 years is the death spiral of a broken spirit.  What if years ago, decades ago, someone had noticed the patterns?  Would there be a difference today in the way I face the music?  The way I face a crowd?

So today, I tried to step out of my zone.  I took a deep breath, and my pesudo-eX, Lou, took me by the hand and went to the park for the community drum circle. We had a nice fast food lunch and practiced our chops under the shady oaks and waited for folks to begin showing up.  When people started coming and we walked across the street to join the amassing people, I near fell out.  I was weak kneed, and tight chested.  I felt suddenly so out of place and lost. I was scared.  Flat simple scared.  I don’t even know what made me feel so afraid. I just was afraid.

Lots of drums, half dozen girls with hoops, some more with batons.  All sorts of noise makers for small and tall, alike. Children scampering bogeying to the beat being pounded out of the mass. And the music.  Not complex but, a heartbeat.  One that rose and fell as the energy shifted around the circles. 

I opened my stool, sat myself down, got out my drum and played. And I watched dozens of people with enough free spirit to lift themselves to movement and music as a common denominator. It was good. 

A beautiful evening.  Good energy.  And me among forty or so total strangers trying my best not to run away, or crumple.  I did not turn away.  I did it.  I even spoke with one or two people…briefly.  🙂  It was good to try to release through the music again.  Just to let go enough to free my mind from the endless cycle of doubt and self criticism.  And Lou, the sort of Ex, knew just when to say it was time to go.  Now I am safely back in my nest of a room.  It is still a beautiful evening.   Music is playing behind me, I am safe.  I just listen to the pulse of the music and try to keep that place set deep in me.  

So I stepped outside my box today and tried to change my dance. I made it through. Only small bits of tears or terrors.  I done good, by golly.  I survived. I can do this. I can change the dance.  I can change my beat.