Drum Circle

My cousin recently moved to Elko, NV, and had the idea to start a drum circle. She asked me to help, so I brushed up on a few basic rhythms, packed my extensive collection of noise-makers, and drove west.

First, I detoured north, to visit family in Twin Falls, ID. This was an epic winter for the Rocky Mountain desert plateau, and Shoshone Falls is higher than it’s been in decades.
shoshone

Farmers have already diverted massive amounts of water to river-wide irrigation ditches all across Magic Valley, and it’s still roaring!

Impressive as Shoshone was, I liked Cauldron Linn even better. You can walk right to the edge and dangle your feet over the river, which seems to boil as it crashes over rocks, and narrows into steep igneous canyon walls downstream. It’s deafening!
cauldron linn 3cauldron linn 4

The drum circle was small, but it went about as well as it could have, I think. I left feeling festy-buzzed, and the drive home was familiar and sweet. It’s the road that took me to and from Burning Man a lifetime ago. I’m going back this summer, for the first time in 7 years! It’s the 10-year anniversary of my virgin burn, and I can’t begin to quantify how different a person I am today, largely because of that strange thing that happens every year in the desert. It’ll be interesting to go back after so long away.
drumsOnly 5 people joined us at the Peace Park in Elko, but I was thrilled. My biggest fear was that someONE would show up. (That would be worse than none!) They all arrived within 15 minutes of each other, and we banged around for an hour-and-a-half straight. We got one groove going that was pretty darn meditative. Each drum’s voice met my ear like a conversation. It was joyful and trancey, and that, my friends, is a drum circle!

Best part? I realized I’d never seen my drums in the sunlight! I started this project last fall and my drums, like me, spent winter indoors. They are so beautiful!

I’m so lucky. Blessed, I think. I got to play at something risk-free that’s given me pleasure, respite, laughter, music, and a sense of accomplishment. I wouldn’t have done it if it cost me anything; the risk of failure is more frightening when you put money on it, in the view of a Taurus and a girl with a frail ego. A loving universe put me in the path of this wonderful, wild, generous artist. Marko and I met at Burning Man in 2007. We camped together the next year, and have been inseparable ever since.

Those drums are the thing I’m most proud of. Even without the positive feedback, they give me so much. They make my heart sing. Thank you, Marko!

brc '08

Black Rock City, 2008

(I can tell you one thing that’s changed in 10 years. People ask me now, “What’s your relationship with Marko?” These are the same people we’ve partied with for a decade, and now I seem age-appropriate for a man who’s older than my father?

Oy! The 40s are for humility.)

drumming-on-the-wall

Oh, I lie. I did see my drum in the sun at last year’s March for Love in November, after the thing happened. It was a different experience to see them in the hands of others, with a little distance and perspective and, as I mentioned, drenched in all that delicious light.

My Drums Went To Their First Show!

grateful-goddess markos-and-my-drums

my-first-showNone of mine sold this time, but they will!!!

Even better, here’s my latest and greatest. It’s 13″ on a wood frame – huge difference in sound integrity and just… overall goodness. Plastic/petroleum sucks – and I really nailed the color relationships this time. I love it so much, Marko told me it should be mine. Secretly, I think he just loves me and wants to watch me play and laugh and be happy. It’s something we can share and love together. For 8 years, he’s been begging me to involve myself somehow in his art, by giving me chance after chance to create my place in his studio. I’ve dabbled, but I’m lazy and it didn’t connect until I finally decided to hand-paint mandalas on his drums. Marko advised me not to part with this for less than $200, but I don’t think I’ll let it go at all. It has such beautiful tone and color!latest-and-greatest

Speaking of stepping into my creativity and honoring the opportunities in my life, I’m recommitting here and now to sticking with the didgeridoo until and after I master circular breathing already! (Marko has also given me hundreds of dollars worth of didgeridoos and didge-boxes. Hell, he even paid me for awhile just to ship them, but I didn’t check my emails enough to keep the job!)

The Original Didjbox original-didgeFollow the link to Marko’s online shop, to see his original patented design. He’s the first in 400,000 years to alter the aboriginal instrument, and once he invented the didgebox it was immediately incorporated into designs all over the world, by individual craftsmen and artists, as well as by companies that make a killing off of his design. (A U.S. patent means nothing in the global community, but it still proves Marko’s place in the world of music and innovation.) You can make the most amazing works of art now that are functioning didgeridoos, because of Marko’s invention at their core. If you’re into didge, you know his name.

Here we are at Burning Man in 2008, with one of his hand-crafted leather didgeridoos. marko-and-me

Utah’s Didgeridoo Maker Here’s a link to the online article about Marko that appeared in Utah Stories. Ironically, I’d been pitching the idea for months to the owner of the urban rag mag before he stole my [unrelated] article, printed it verbatim, and didn’t pay me. Our relationship had begun to erode, because as much as I loved the content and angle he presented of my beloved city, the man can’t edit for shit. With his permission, and a pittance of pay, I was doing it. His ego is so big, however, that he continually corrected my corrections, incorrectly. After about 3 months of this, he realized he’d never given me credit in the staff bio as editor. I begged him not to, and finally had to confess why. I tried to be tactful, congratulating him on what he’d created, but reminding him to stick to his strengths and delegate to others what their talents can serve. He was offended and took back the article I was currently writing, then published it completely, unaltered, with one paragraph added, crediting (and presumably paying) the author of that paragraph.

He sent another writer to feature Marko in the very next issue. What a baby! He showed me! But it’s a great article. I like Al Sachrov, who wrote it, and I’m very proud of My Man Marko, Utah’s Didgeridoo Maker.
marko

Hurts So Good

Phew!

Yoga hurt today (I took a week off), but it hurt like it’s s’posed to. My feet cramped, but only a little. I’m on the upswing. I imagine I’ll hit roadblocks again, but I will face them with more confidence that I’m gaining strength and giving my body the love it deserves!

I was so nervous driving to class, like real anxiety. I kept reminding myself that I’d already got confirmation that it was the right thing to do, but I never trust my intuition. So I pep-talk mantra’d myself – gratitude, courage, blah blah blah – and I did it!

Even my shoulders felt better. They’ve been giving me grief since November (serious enough to disrupt my sleep – a first for Fibro and me). They still hurt and I had to modify some of the poses, as usual, to give myself the gentle introduction I need, but not as often as I’ve done in previous classes.

I’m making progress that I can feel!

The backstory on confirmation that yoga is the right thing for me, and to continue through the pain, has to do with the possibility that I might go to Burning Man this year. I’d accepted that I may never return to the land of my personal awakening. I have limited funds and the rest of the planet to see with it, but a friend from high school wants to go and offered to pay for my ticket if I’ll let him join my crew. Hell yes, I will!

I knew that I wanted to make this a special burn. I’m so much more grounded and myself than I was when I joined this crazy community 8-and-a-half years ago. I decided that I would offer Tarot readings. I’ve got to study.

To that end, I’d been reading up on chakras and Astrology, when it occurs to me to get expert on Numerology. I almost laughed that I hadn’t thought of it myself. (I began to correct that – to “sooner” – but I think I got it right, as is.) It’s so obvious, my obsession with numbers. Of course I should include that knowledge in my toolkit! So I start pinning Numerology sites and perusing those. Turns out, my life path number is 33, which is apparently very rare. That was fun.

The next day, this pin was suggested: 22222222Not any of the other number combinations I see all the time (which I also love), but my favorite number, the one that started this all for me. I smiled and said hello to the angels.

(I saw a giant, glowing 222 – like, 30 ft. tall – in the middle of the desert at my first burn. Seriously. I ran to it and danced.)

Later in the day, I was considering how to continue my yoga practice after the new-student intro concludes. I can pay for classes as I go or get a membership, which is a little rich for my blood. Some things are worth it, of course, so I set about doing some comparison math. I divided the membership fee by 4, to see if it would be cheaper than paying for 2 walk-in sessions each week. It was. In fact, it came out to 22.2. 🙂

I learned a long time ago that 222 means, “You’re on the right path. Keep going.”

Now I just have to memorize all the other numbers’ meanings, and all mystical things, and then trust my intuition when I finally share it for the first time at Burning Man 2016. It’s a loving place to learn and practice, and no one will mind that I’m reading them with a Bloody Mary in my hand for breakfast.

I’m going home!!!

****

No weight loss for a second week in a row, but no weight gain either. I’m building muscle and retaining lactic acid, yet. I can see a difference in my waist. It was never tiny, but I was square as a brick there for a minute! I’d like to see the number drop eventually, of course, but I’m just not panicked about it. It will.

I’m 6 days cigarette-free.

The Last Time I Fell In Love

… was three years ago. I remember, because it was the weekend of Burning Man but I’d gone to a different festival, a grape stomp, in southern Utah. I met Galen, and spent Autumn falling in love. We were together on and off until last October. I still love that man, but we were not a fit. We knew it early, we just couldn’t stay apart. I was happy to finally date one of the good ones, and that was one hell of a magnet between us! Galen’s earthy, active, sweet, fun, weird and wonderful. Just not mine.

There was Rhode Island in March. I mention him because that was the best crush I’d had in a while, and even though I got the dreaded phone call this summer (“I met someone”), he has, in fact, proven true. (“I want to stay friends.”) I didn’t think I’d ever hear from him again – It’s just something people say – but I was wrong. We continue to call back and forth and I’m just so glad we met. He was only here a week, but I was surprised at how much he came to mean to me. It feels good to know that I meant something to him, too.

I think I may have found another one. He loves his kids, served his country, sings beautifully, laughs hard, and thinks I’m so pretty there aren’t words.

As for me, my heart’s a’flippin.’ I feel like a teenager. We met on burn night, Saturday before Labor Day. Dalai-Mama is his mama, and I’d heard there was a party at her place. He noticed me, but… I’m loud.

I couldn’t tell if he found me obnoxious or was just doing his own thing because it was his mom’s house. Finally, we were standing side by side when Jordan announced, “The first thing I thought when I saw you was, ‘Now there’s Christie’s type!'”

She was right. I thought it, too, and said so. Jordan soon followed a laugh or a song, and it was just him and me. “I’ve always liked redheads,” he confessed.

I looked at him close to suss out the truth. A gal my color hears a lot of that. Doesn’t take long before she can tell if he’s a real red chaser or just saying the most obvious thing to the nearest girl. Sure enough, his ears turned red under a scrutinizing gaze. We were inseparable all weekend.

(Some can’t even make eye contact when they confess their preference, and I never get tired of that blush.)

So far, we’re both enjoying simply adoring one another, going on walks, snuggling during a DVD, eating in, and kissing kissing kissing. I cannot get enough of him! I can’t stop thinking about him. I love falling in love.