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2018-02-25 - 9:06 a.m.

What if the drummer I met just got it wrong?

What if I also got it wrong?

I was so excited he referred me to the best teacher in Washington DC, but am thinking perhaps the guy I met is lacking truly just one thing to actualize HIS Goals and Dreams:


He is a trained , educated musician and YES TEACHER. He has taught! He had students! He LOVES doing that. He however could not live on that (understandable as it is damn hard to build a brand and a business).

But just because someone is not good at building a brand or business, it does not mean he is not meant to be a teacher of what he loves.

Likewise some who DO build a brand and business I think are STILL NOT MEANT To be the ones running the business and doing all the labor necessarily... if there is no time for ANYTHING ELSE IN LIFE there is no balance.

I think to be successful and have true balance and room for other things in life one has to identify their gift and do what they love or are really good at and then GET HELP And support and outsource what they can.

so after hearing the dreams of the drummer I met, who was so kind to help get me directions so I could figure out how to drive to DC and go experience the joy of drumming.

OH YES it was fantastic drum circle and YES more like the kind of teaching I had which I have been looking for... BUT. Before I structure my time to fit in going to DC to study with this drummer. WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY WHAT A GIFT!!

The drummer right here in VA who lives near where I work Is REALLY The teacher who was meant to come into my life? WHAT IF All he lacks is Confidence? and What if had he that he said when he heard me say "I play djembe, but I need to find a teacher again someday"
He then responded " I will teach you" .

I actually recommended this drummer look up another drum teacher in this area. One I chose NOT to study with (well... I also met him socially more and this guy at first was kinda interested I think in personally hanging out and it was years ago and he is younger and was clearly well... into some recreational thing not my cup of tea. But at the time I got a strong vibe my lady friend that introduced me to him was just no digging he was into me.. I got the vibe there was some interest of hers and a very clear unspoken message from her to not compete....LOL THEN of course the guy heard I had six kids and *poof* interest waned expected! LOL She is married now to another guy who is a PERFECT MATCH so it makes me even laugh why she would EVER have been drawn to that guy... but I digress. THEY Were good business partners for a time. They DID Have a kickin good show together for kids. I guess that was her interest in him and I think had it been solely professional they might still be working together. (Isn't that the truth too! Some who are great business partners just MESS IT UP by wanting MORE!!! I guess the understandable natural attachment and love that grows... but as a artist/musician that HAS To collaborate and be vulnerable and just expose your emotion in your work I think it super essential to be able to do so while being careful about keeping a boundary then of involvement. That is SUPER HARD I imagine for true artists- be it actors, musicians or visual . I mean creating good art is truly ALL ABOUT that raw expression of vulnerability and emotion. IT is also this immensely intimate shared experience with the connection with audience!

SO some have trouble then after that intensity of experience with boundaries I think. Its an understandable problem.
But when one has responsibilities and commitments they need to learn to do both- be vulnerable enough as an artist to actually be GOOD and then keep that boundary the moment they are not in the performance.
Main point, that other drum teacher has the MARKETING and a BRAND just down solid! He has built a business and a life doing what he loves but with a lot of hard work and dedication. I drove to a few drum circles but again it was an hour from home and just not something I have TIME For- as I have other priorities.

I mean I say I play djembe and as some have said "OH djembe players smoke a lot of pot" to which I raised an eyebrow and perhaps said something like ' NO more than lawyers and teachers...' TRUTH or Bankers... they all just HIDE that better!!
or something flippant like that...then 'hmm.... maybe in those hippy drum circles where it is all about feeling the love'.... LOL And YES I love to VISIT those drum circles once in a while..I know in response I kinda make it clear pot is not my thing.

Truly there is a huge difference between the actual MUSIC And traditional rhythmn and playing with trained musicians who are playing for DANCERS than the hippy drum circle. I have been looking for that kind of teacher, because I know the difference and I get more out of drumming with one who can teach me something.

So this is on my mind as I did enjoy getting lost in pursuit of the teacher, finding the teacher and joining the class as he was very welcoming.

I was struck by the beauty of a necklace the drummer I met made and wears, and how for him it is a reminder of his priority in life. He has an absolutely georgeous gold djembe he wore on a chain the night I met him. He has its photo as his image on FB as it is a core of who he identifies as his SELF. It is what he LOVES. It was a defining epiphany moment when he discovered djeme and for me one of the most wonderful stories to hear was HIS.

It his story so as always don't share it here- not mine to tell.

But it resonated with me and his story is still unfolding.

And the thing it brought to mind was the African necklace I HAVE . The one I bought when I was looking at a table at my college where there was a vendor that came in one day when they had a celebration of African culture. The jewelry maker there had a table full of beautiful African jewelery. (I forget where he was from in particular.) The vendor watched me look at all the items on display.

He then thoughtfully said to me with intent seriousness.

" I have the piece for you. It is calling out to be yours"
and he went into a bin he had under the table and took out a necklace.

Now I was a college student at the time. This was at my actual college where I was hearing the African Drums played and experiencing watching the dance for the first time (amazing to me as it was much later I took up both dance and drumming). It was some group on campus I had no involvement in. It was a moment.

It was when I presumed I was going to finish school and then go onto law school so sure of my path in life. I WAS at the time working with Senagale refugees; I was at the time volunteering at Vive. I was at the time SO SURE I would be an immigration lawyer devoted to a career working with refugees, and other business immigration work to pay the bills and support my avocation in life!

So I wasn't disconnected to that community completely, therefore the beautiful jewelry really did appeal.

But the man pulled out a piece unlike the gems and braided items I was looking at and said

"This is the fertility goddess"

You are to have this one
as You Are going to have many children.

I asked increduloulsy "Really?" and with skepticism took the necklace.

I think I thought he was a bit dotty perhaps.. as he did go on and to be honest I don't think I was paying attention with belief as he kept talking with conviction about how I was going to mother children... I think he may have said something like "African Children" which at the time made me sure he was just a bit crazy. He was rather insistant that was the necklace for me.

I dug up the necklace and wore it on Thursday. Just as a reminder NOT to go to DC to dance.

You see the drummer goes to drum with the dance classes on Thursdays.

Truth be told I love drumming , and I have been seeking a drum teacher for years.

Yet I came to drumming REALLY as a way to connect with my husband at the time. I wanted to be able to sit in and PLAY during those jam sessions. I wanted to be able to collaborate creatively WITH HIM at the time.

I wanted to sing with him
I wanted to play music with him

and of course, at the root of it all , my first love even before music and even before the love of drumming was the love of DANCE.

I ALWAYS will dance.

I danced when he first played and I heard him.

I first came to discover the African drumming in the African Dance class I took which pre-dated my study of drumming with my teacher. I took that particular class when my firstborn was an infant. I later took up drumming as it was easy to dance with an infant but harder to dance with toddler and infant in tow however my husband at the time was happy to watch the kids every Saturday for those early years of marriage when I went to study with Papa.

I spent Saturday mornings in Papa's home with a handful of students. Three or four of us max. I still know their names Marcy who played tennis first and came to drum in her tennis outfit who was at that time the older woman (LOL She is about the same age I am now); and the Psychiatrist by profession full time , musician part time who continued to play and because a good drummer in his own right over the years. I can find him and see what he has worked on since. Those were the other two regulars. On ocassion someone else might join us.) Then there were the drum circles...
Unitaritan Chuch on Elmwood Ave.

But that was my past. I am so happy in my future this might still be alive in my life.

But I had to remind myself of my priorities and not overdo it. I need my sleep first and foremost.

The drummer who said he would happy to bring me on Thu nights when he goes I think envisions I would watch.

I know better.

If I go I know I will dance. I know that I will be welcomed (I got that sense when visiting and being welcomed to jump right in and play).

I also know I am a better dancer frankly than drummer. It is my first love.

But now my primary love is for my kids.

So NOW my resources of TIME and ENERGY and YES MONEY need to go to their needs.

Its only a few short precious years before they are not here with me! Before they go out into the world!

More to be done to prepare them for their journeys.

So now my priority truly is MUSIC THERAPY for two of them.

I am so proud of my one daughter who just killed her vocal audition for something yesterday morn. She was given a 30 sec warm up to look at the sight reading, and she sang it in the warm up and reports the judges said
"WOW You got it. Thank you!" " That was the quickest , with accuracy we have heard!"

Judges are not supposed to comment so ..

kind of excited utterance she also got when she auditioned acapella for another arts program last year she was gifted with acceptance to.

She has a gift.


about that ability to sing.

Something I hope to instill in my other kids as well, and hope to help her with in other aspects of life.

She needs that success as there is so much self doubt inherent in her that I understand and see.

So I am trying to figure out finances, and whether I am meant to take one evening a week to drum OR to dance?

Is now the time?

OR Was not just the time to meet the right teacher??

IS it not the one in DC but the one right here in VA who has not yet grown into himself?

Maybe now is the time for the connection but not yet ripe for the time of the teacher student relationship?

I am open to possibilities.

But the choice if I have means and it IS TIME
between DRUM and DANCE

as there is NO WAY I have energy to go to DC for BOTH

seems really clear to me.

If I were to drum I would have to first go on Thurdays for the formal class for AT LEAST eight weeks to improve skills. MAybe more, maybe ALOT MORE and the goal truly is to be able to be good enough to be invited to drum for the dancers.

THEN and only then would I be even ready to consider going on Thu nights as a drummer to support the dancers.

Oh that is so very appealing..

opportunity to grow and learn and do that which I love.

BUT THE EASIER would be go and dance.

That is of course also so very attractive for a number of reason of course.

Obvious ones.

Such a hard, hard choice as one can not do BOTH at the SAME TIME!!!

It like they are so interconnected- the rhythms the feeling of it, the listening, and executing that if one can dance one can drum; and perhaps vice versa. I somehow feel like they are so naturally interconnected it makes sense to love both.

They are both physical in different ways. They both provide a work out and stress relief and leave me in a place of peace.

Well, I will figure it out.

The house is finally waking up. Time to spend with girls, and the dog and go take my walk in town (or drive if too rainy) to plaster it with posters for the art org. I so love.

The exciting thing for me is that TWO of my girls now live with me. If they WANT to be involved they can be.

They might just perfer other things however... and if so... so be it.

Its my thing.
Not necessarily theirs. I always THOUGHT They would love being involved but none have been. Will see...

They all said at times They WANTED TO BE but thought it was not supported due to living in two different houses. They felt they could not commit. Too complicated...
Will see if the two with me now have any interest.

If not, I need to focus energy on what their interests are. I can guide but won't PUSH my children into being involved in MY INTERESTS.

Rather I try to listen and support that which they love and offer opportunity for them to discover what that is.

And most of all

SPACE and TIME to explore.

I think that is the hardest part as a parent:

Just getting out of our kids way to let them grow into themselves.

Its so damn hard.

In particular it gets very lonely at times during teen years.

But that is NORMAL and part of healthy growing up! They just don't find it cool to hang with mom. So my emotional well being can NOT be dependent on my children! See some parents (really single parents) who I think struggle with that and who don't develop enough healthy adult relationships and expect their children to meet their emotional needs.

So I am mindful not to do that. The hard part is because of the priority of the teens- I need to just BE PRESENT.

So it leaves little time for other relationship development.

But I recognize it is just for these few more years...

Just these few more years where my separate personal life mandates my interaction with others is the kind that I read recently describing a maladaptive and portrayed as selfish dating behavior of dropping mere breadcrumbs! LOL


I haven't time for otherwise

Doesn't mean I don't VALUE YOU And doesn't mean I don't really have interest in you as a man to get to know you more.

Doesn't mean I don't VALUE you as one of my dear, dear women friends who I so apprechiate and love

even though I call you once every six months!
I drop a mere breadcrumb....

we talk about possibility of meeting for a yoga class the day I work from home if I can take lunch hour at 11 that day ... but work calls for otherwise! (EVEN THOUGHT Working at home!)

SO I feel like I come across as a self absorbed friend, or possible date to be avoided...

And I feel like I have this relationship with a man in NY whom sends me mere breadcrumbs... then we connect in a real meaningful conversation on occasion IF I CALL HIM

as I wonder sometimes if due to my lifestyle I am only able to actually connect with MEN WHO ARE Self absorbed! LOL who ARE a bit narcissistic...
who can only give me breadcrumbs

and I don't worry too much why as I am too damn busy and can't seek or give otherwise.

But MAYBE just MAYBE that is why over time then I have found myself in relationship with the LIAR or the CHEATER or the disingenious dishonest man, the NON COMMITTAL.

Its not that I am at heart non committal.

I just am committed to my kids at this point in time... and haven't found anyone I both TRUST and AM ATTRACTED TO that I could let into my world to a greater extend. Letting someone in to a lesser extent always means in the end I have to let them go (if I can't offer more and they deserve more OR VICE VERSA!)


So off to loving my kids.

They are my commitment and priority.

So this week I dug up my necklace and wore it under my shirt. The one of the African Fertility Goddess.

To remind me NOT to feel this great urge to go off and dance in DC on Thu night... as much as I wanted to.

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