Mayday Mayday! Camp Merveilles!
Quickly… WOW! To learn from these master dancers and drummers! It was so intimidating. Still is. I have to get up and face fear again tomorrow, but I broke barriers today. I was brave. I drummed with a dude from Guinea today, haha! He assigned a part to me that I had to maintain by myself. Nothing’s more terrifying than being the only one charged with keeping that rhythm. All alone. That instrument’s entire voice, beat, and pace rely on you. AND it was kenkeni, the drum I fear/fight most!
I did okay. Really! I held my own. Soriba taught exactly like I learn. He teased me with laughter, with play, with, “Hey! Yeah! We’re all here to learn.” It was so fun, my favorite class today. I almost didn’t go. I was so scared. In Quinn’s classes, I avoid dunun (which includes kenkeni). Like hell I’m gonna drum with some guy from Africa!
As for dancing, oy! hahaha! Thank god I’ve been dancing with Rosie for a couple of years, so sometimes I could keep up! I’ve never been strong, even in our community. I don’t perform. I do it because I love it. It was hard to put myself out there like this. I feel like I don’t have a right to be there – in most cases, really – but especially at a camp like this, as a white girl, in America, where black and white is the most hideous relationship in the world. Who am I to try on African rhythms and traditions? Maybe if I were a serious dancer. Maybe if I were doing important work in the world… Maybe if… Maybe if…
Ever felt that way?
Right now? I feel good. I’m going to bed. It’s six o’clock.