Thursday, January 27, 2011
The Beating of Our Hearts
This symmetry pleases me.
This asymmetry pleases me. A trace of unrest shimmers just below the surface, but is harder to see when she begins to drum.
She talks of grandmothers, of the eggs we carry being passed down from our mothers, and their mothers’ mothers. My eyes spill water I didn’t know was there. She talks of how we already know how to drum, because we spent nine months listening to the drumbeat of our mothers’ hearts. I resist the urge to place my hand on the pregnant woman’s belly. I think about my mother and grandmothers, and of the many women that trace a line back from me to the beginning of humanity. I think of African women beating the dusty earth with their feet, and Celtic women leaping to the low tattoo of the bodhran. I see Anishnabe women shawl dancing and Arabic women belly dancing and Hawaiian women hula dancing; I see hips shaking, bodies undulating and shimmying, and feel the irresistible pull of the drum in all cultures.
stop thinking and my hands are drumming, vibrating with the impact, thrilling to the ancient sounds they are drawing from the drum. It is a concert; we are a community, we are playing a game of hide and seek, give and take, whisper and listen…I hear crickets and frogs, grass rustling, hoof beats on soil, claws on bark, wind chimes and wind. I hear the breaths and sighs and moans of the women present, and of those not present.
At first I am self-consciously aware only of the sounds from my drum; then they are blissfully lost, happy and mingling with the many other beats that spread out and fill this room. Each woman that wanders into the room for water or a snack can’t help herself; she bounces and thrusts and raises her arms in praise.
My eyes are closed, my mouth and heart open in a smile, and my hands?
My hands are drumming.