Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is it rhythm?

I seem to like rhythm, in my life, in my religion, in my week and in my drum. I like the cycles of the church year. I like the predictable nature of my week, with Sunday at church, Monday drum class, Tuesday bible study, Wednesday noon mass (this is a new addition I am trying to do regularly.) The structure creates space in which I can be


or productive

or lazy.

Drumming class was just me again last night. The first time I was alone with Sidy, I was scared to death of messing up because I knew I couldn't hide behind someone else's drumming. Which meant, of course, that I got nervous and messed up a lot.

Last night was different. Something shifted. How this works is that I am playing the recurring rhythms while he solos. It is part of the learning process to get stable enough in the rhythm to allow a soloist to work off of you. Last time, I was too tentative... quiet, unsteady. I didn't feel like I was able to hold up my end of the conversation, so to speak.

But last night, I played powerfully. I recovered faster when I screwed up. I played loud enough and fast enough that Sidy could play inside and around my rhythm.

At some point, people came in to the bar through the back door. My teacher is a performer. When there is an audience, you can sense that he kicks it up. I was able to keep the rhythm going. I created the structure that gave him the space to break loose. I think we sounded good.

I had a big blister on my palm last night. When I got home, I excitedly showed Nguyen. Look, I said. I got this from playing.

My shoulders hurt today. I couldn't be more thrilled.

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