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The drum session – the beat goes on

The workshop I and my recent released from cancer treatment friend attended was absolutely awesome. There was a sacred circle, we were smudged upon entry, and we call the 7 directions which I gather is of the NA tradition. There was grounding, centering, and listening for personal intent as to why we were there and then sharing what we heard to empower the drum making with it. My friend is liberal Christian (really liberal), but this was all new for her. She enjoyed all of it.

Her strength was off – she had just finished her radiation earlier in the week. She’d had the surgery for the lump in her breast in the early fall, her arm still gives her trouble. Then she had the full course of chemotherapy, then 15 weeks of radiation. through it all she was strong and open-hearted, which is her nature. This was a small gift I could give her compared to the enormity of what she has been through, but everyone needs a major landmark like the end of treatment to be celebrated. Drums are for celebration! She got extra help from the teacher. I called her a teacher’s pet for it, but she said she learned how to get that extra help from the kids she teaches, which are special ed kids. lol.

I had no idea it took every muscle in one’s body to stretch that hide. We used elk pelts and had to cut it into the piece used to lace the drum. Forty feet! Then 2 more 5 foot pieces. I was sore for 2 days and I imagined she was exhausted. I sadly had a crap pair of scissors for the pelt and had a blister formed and broken before I got to 18 feet. Sheesh!

But it was good. The drum sits on top of the fridge, drying, and there will be an awakening ceremony in mid-June where we all go back and charge our drums! we were sternly warned not to beat the things before then so we don’t ruin them by stretching before they are thoroughly dried. When it is all dry I will post a pic! My friend is tres excited about going back for the ceremony. 🙂

It seems little doing something like this for her, but it is big for a woman who as a single mom worked multiple jobs for more years than I can count because the dad is not only deadbeat, but mentally ill these past 10-15 years. She made certain her kids had clothes, food, a roof, and extracurricular activities. In many ways she did much more than me as a mom. So it felt good to give to a chronic giver. And we both got drums!!! Wheee!!!!

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2 comments on “The drum session – the beat goes on

  1. That sounds neat. I’ve never made a drum before.

    What is the NA tradition, btw? And what were the seven directions?

    • This was my first drum making session, but it was awesome.

      Sorry for the abbreviation, NA = Native American. Directions: East, South, West and North (and there was the spirit of an animal petitioned for help at each), Father Sky, Mother Earth, Spirit of Self. After each direction was called we turned one full circle plus a quarter turn so you ended up facing the next direction, but East was faced for Father, Mother, and Self with just a full circle for each of those.

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