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What I Am Not: A Drummer

April 26, 2010

[If you need context, please see the intro post to this series.]

I am just not a drummer.

I once would have thought that to be a non-major confession, but that was before I stopped a discussion cold by murmuring it sotto voce to my companion at a monthly meeting of 40 or so Pagan folks of varied paths that I used to attend.

Well, I thought it was under my breath, anyhow. That may be the most archetypal record-scratch-then-silence moment I’ve ever induced.

“Have you ever tried it?” “Was the circle just not any good?” “What was it you didn’t like?”

The horror and pity aroused was at about the same level as if I had said chocolate was once my favorite food but I had suddenly developed a terrible incurable life-threatening allergy to it.

“Yes, I’ve tried it, yes, the circle was fine. I’m just no good at it, and I’m really okay with that.”

These answers did not truly satisfy the crowd, but I’d apparently shown enough sincerity that my comment was read as not intentionally disruptive, so the conversation proper resumed.

I’ve always been terrible at rhythm. I have a hard time keeping on track when I’m just supposed to be clapping the beat at a concert. It is not a fun crowd-involving activity for me.

Singing, now, I have no issues whatsoever with timing. Rhythm is a like a trapeze – it can be quite helpful (though not strictly necessary) to have for melodic and harmonic acrobatics, which are what I do love and from which I do derive deep spiritual satisfaction.

Also, I trance-dance quite seriously when I get the opportunity.

Drumming is great, I encourage other people to drum, I enjoy attending a good drum circle because it provides a context and support for arts which I do find entrancing and pleasurable and at which I am much more skilled. . . and which are not drumming.

Really, I’m happier this way and so are the drummers. Trust me.

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