Monday, June 18, 2012

On Of Brides and Bridegrooms: As the beating of the drum announced the hour of departure

A guest post by someone I know quit well --  my wife. It appeared originally here on her blog, the venerable Flitzy Phoebie. -gw 

Well, I'm shocked at how full my weekend was - lots of conversations with really nice people, most of whom have learned to bring their hobby to an art form! People who make sauerkraut, raise goats and make cheese, grow amaranth, and sell fresh garlic at the Farmer's Market.

I had spiritual conversations with visitors at the community garden - the sudden loss of a wife, a diabetic crisis, a divorce that shredded a woman's life; and moments with friends and family who came to the house for a meal or a study class. My son Rahmat and his friend appreciated my Egyptian food and George's friends noticed the beauty of my garden, which is at its peak right now.

On Sunday, George and I drove up to Rattlesnake Lake to canoe and hike, but the wind and rain caused us to detour into the Cedar River Watershed educational center instead, where a volunteer was eager to answer all our questions. We dinked around (George's term) for part of the afternoon, just relaxing in the woods, listening to the birds, the drops of rain. The educational center is in the forest, surrounded by a little stream. Drums are placed throughout the garden and a simulated pattern of rain drops causes them to vibrate in unison, creating a pattern of music! Simply beautiful! So relaxing!

We went to a Thai restaurant afterwards, for a hot curry. The owner, who 'works iron' at another job during the week, was greeting customers and helping his wife, who is the cook. Her cooking was phenomenal, all fresh, and properly done - traditional, from scratch. He sat down for awhile with us and we discussed Thai cooking - much to my satisfaction, since I'd just gone to the library to learn more about this cuisine. He, rightly so, was so proud of his wife's cooking!

While at the library getting my cookbooks I also enjoyed a performance of Kodo drums. They were the most powerful drums I've ever heard! Initially, I thought I better leave, before the vibrations trigger my heart palpitations, arrhythmia. But my curiosity got the best of me, I didn't care if it killed me! I wanted to enjoy this type of artistry!

"Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant living art-form. In Japanese the word "Kodo" conveys two meanings: Firstly, "heartbeat" the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko is said to resemble a mother's heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations. Secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean "children of the drum," a reflection of Kodo's desire to play the drums simply, with the heart of a child."

Initially I stood by the doorway, wondering if my heart could absorb the intensity. All seemed well, so I stood and watched, just loving the deep sounds, the warrior stances, the tai-chi type postures. It was simply stunning! Everyone in the audience was smiling, the joy of the drummers/dancers spread throughout the room, and everyone clapped to the rhythm.

At the end people from the audience were brought up to participate in a song, and shown how to stand, twist and bend, and pound the drum - hard and loud, so the entire body is engaged and flowing. I was invited to try it, and I did, and it was addictive, like running - once you start you want to pound that sound into the core of the earth and out into every direction! It creates a connection and pulse, very powerful and joyous.

When we finished two songs one of the drummers told me I really used my core muscles, which is so necessary for delivering the power behind the sound. I told her Kodo drumming demands the same kind of discipline as running - one becomes attuned to every muscle working in harmony to get results.

Most poignant memory of the weekend: Visiting with Betty, who has succumbed to anger and sadness. As we visited, I mentioned to her that one must have a tool box for that, cognitive strategies to overcome the force of it, or it will keep her down. As she left my garden I encouraged her to 'be the joy you want to feel', you cannot wait for it to happen.

With what tenderness would the bride entreat the bridegroom to tarry awhile longer beside her ere he rushed forth to win the crown of martyrdom! “I can spare no time,” he would reply. “I must hasten to obtain the crown of glory. We shall surely meet again on the shores of the great Beyond, the home of a blissful and eternal reunion.”  
No less than two hundred youths were joined in wedlock during those tumultuous days. Some a month, others a few days, and still others for but a brief moment, were able to tarry undisturbed in the company of their brides; no one among them failed, as the beating of the drum announced the hour of his departure, to respond joyously to the call. Each and every one ungrudgingly offered himself as a sacrifice for his true Beloved; all drank, eventually, the cup of martyrdom.  

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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