A vacation in the woods leads to a lot of thinking. And drinking, sometimes. I may or may not have greeted the day with a morning swig of Jameson straight from the bottle.
Let’s spend a few minutes together, and I’ll tell you what I think, OK?
1) I think I adore my son. I know that’s a no brainer, but bear with me on this one.
During Saturday night’s furious drumming, Wifefish brought Little Danger and his little drum down to the Dome to hang out with Daddy. She sat him next to me in the sand, surrounded by some of the best drummers I know.
He beamed. He gazed at the fire and slapped that little drum one-handed, his eyes alight. I beamed. I gazed at him and played little fills for him, little auditory “I Love Yous” that he did not recognize as such, but one day likely will. (I can make Wifefish grin by playing a particular little “solo” in the drum circle we frequent, even in a sea of 40 drummers). I grinned like the Cheshire Cat, and grooved on.
The moment didn’t last, of course. The drums picked up speed and intensity, and as his head was only inches from the bottom of my drum, where all the decibels live, it got too loud for him toot sweet. (OK, OK, tout de suite for you purists.) But brief as it was, it was a moment we enjoyed, each for different reason, but each completely.
I was worried that the trip might look like this, but he really enjoyed himself.
2) I think that nights spent with a drum under my hands, dancers moving with their whole spirit, and woodsmoke scenting the air are some damn good nights indeed. There’s a moment in a drum circle that may not come in other musical venues, a time where as a drummer you realize that a dancer has latched on to your specific contribution to the rhythmic tapestry being played; this is especially cool when the drum jam is free-form, and not specific polyrhythm.
I had some moments thus this weekend, one in particular with an awesome free spirited chic, who just happens to be a god friend, who allowed her movement to expand into the space in a fashion best described as “awesome.”
Suffice to say, it was anything but humbling to hear her describe it, this new experience to her that I’d been on both sides of before.
We are all dancers, in our own way.
3) I think it’s wonderful to enjoy life’s rituals together. Two dear friends got engaged this weekend, a joyful event indeed. Seeing the subtle way their demeanor changed as they stood together was awesome as well, a subtle “something different”, a leaning into each other that was just a tiny bit more, well, profound of a sudden. It will blend back into normalcy, but for a day or two, it was glaringly obvious…and perfectly right.
4) I think I’m blessed to have more than a small number of friendships that just exist in a timeless state: no matter how much time goes by, we pick up as if we saw each other yesterday. There’s no awkwardness, just gladness in each other’s company. I can think of six of these right off the top of my head. These are friends that do not live close by, but with whom I remain close anyway, even given my horrible status as a poor correspondent.
I’ve never analyzed what it is about these relationships that hold them in near perfect stasis. Perhaps they exist in some quantum state where observation destroys the observed, and so I will remain willfully ignorant.
5) I think I abhor cold nights while camping. It got down to 40ish degrees both nights, and damp the second. It was fucking frigid. Granted, it wasn’t Hoth in January, but it sure as hell didn’t feel like a Midwest May, either.
We wrapped Little Danger up like a burrito between us, rather than relegating him to his own cocoon. Given that his head stays at pillow level, this meant periodic crotch stomps were received by yours truly as he would stretch and flip. That I did not eat his face is testimony to my devotion the child.
We made the choice not to use our tent heater, given that red hot metal at floor level of a fabric domicile with a toddler in residence makes just about as much sense as strapping a raving badger to your bare genitals while juggling flaming chainsaws. And so we suffered slightly, by which I mean that I cramped up like a shock therapy patient who has pissed off his physician.
Still, the overall experience was in fact positive, and left me with the firm feeling that my own bed, when returned to, was a little slice of heaven.
So how was YOUR weekend? Let me know what you think here in the comments…