Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Drumming

Two doors down a group of women sit around in long peasant skirts on a hot Sunday afternoon, drumming. I’ve been sitting in my house, out of the sun, and working on all the things I should have done but didn’t. Trying to figure out where that rhythm is coming from. Sitting at my table, staring out the window through the new leaves of the maple, I finally see them, the women in their long skirts, hair pulled up. The pounding stops, only briefly, and picks up pace. It’s much quicker now. I think their hands must hurt. They’ ve been beating on those drums for hours. What motivates these white women to devote an entire afternoon to pounding on drums? They are not a part of a tribe – not that I can tell. No headdress. No dancing with the rhythm – just the bada-bada-bada-bada-bada, over and over and over again on the drum. Multiple drummers all playing the same beat. Before I see them, I think the noise is a figment of my imagination. And then it stops again. No singing. No chanting. Just the drums and the circle of women, playing in the sun. The beat annoys me. I wish I could be angry with noisy neighbors, but I can’t. There’s something intriguing about these women and drumming in a small Oregon town on a Sunday afternoon. The beat is seared into my brain. I can’ think. Only the pounding of drums in my ears persists. And a wonder at how these women came to drum, two doors down.

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