Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little Drummer Girl

"If it's not fun, you're not doing it right."
Bob Basso

A few years ago I was a member of a professional drumming group out of Vancouver called, SWARM.  The director, Bill Wallace, is an artistic genius and he creates all of the instruments out of recycled materials.  The SWARM show is exciting; drums spin and move, band members jump and dance in intricate patterns around the drums; it's very athletic, musical and unique.  

I miss playing with SWARM.  I miss drumming, rehearsing in Bill's funky studio, creating music with other talented artists, but mostly I just miss 'playing.'  I was thinking about SWARM while I was hanging out with Crazybaby in the backyard the other day.  She was happily crawling around on the lawn and I was following behind her.  I had some music playing and I just started drumming to it.  I used my hands to drum on my thighs, my hips, my stomach and my chest.  It felt good.  I was aware of Crazybaby's location on the ground, but I must admit that I was sort of zoned out.  I let myself get lost in the rhythm.  

So there I was, drumming and day-dreaming in the sunshine, when I realized that Crazybaby had stopped crawling.  She was sitting up,  smiling, looking straight at me and drumming!  She was drumming on her legs and her belly, then she mixed it up and started clapping for awhile.  At one point she even started hitting her squeaky shoes on the grass to make squeaking sounds.  It was so cool!  My baby and I were having a jam session!  She stayed connected with me like that for an entire song before she lost interest.  I was flabbergasted!  It was as though she was saying to me, "You do your thing Mama, and I'll just play along."

Was it as fulfilling as playing with SWARM?  Not even close, but it did inspire me to find new ways to enjoy drumming instead of focusing on the past.  Who knows, perhaps I'll start a Grateful Mama drum circle...