Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Drum Circle

I came to the drum circle not knowing what to expect.

As I moved timidly toward the lot I could hear the steady pace of the drums grow louder. They were calling me out of the dark and pulling me closer to common ground.

Light from the flames flashed across the faces and rhythmic hands of the drummers closest to the center. Belly dancers moved hypnotically; they struck lightning to the rolling thunder of the drums. The fire rose, a hungry demon to lick the night.

For a moment I sit back and watch; breathe deeply and take it all in. I wonder how many times throughout history have small groups gathered around a fires. How much of our humanity is tied to moments like this?

I've seen anthropology exhibits before. I've walked through the hushed rooms and I have gazed upon the skulls. But history is not quiet. We are so much more than bones.

Before cities, before agriculture, before written language; what did we share? Lost in darkness surrounded by beasts we huddled together. We used our hands to pound out noise that would become our identity. This scene, so prevalent throughout our history, is something most of us do not experience today.

I sit on the edge of the Drum Circle. The dancers feed off the steady pulse that fills the air. I remember the tattoo on my back. Six hands representing my family resembling the hand prints left on cave walls by our ancestors. Another reminder of how small gaps in time can be. Now those hands seem to push me forward. I can't stand still anymore. I move into the circle and begin to dance. I want to be part of history.

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