It’s time for me to make the Big change. In myself, in my life, in my drumming.
This year, I just turned 40. The Big 4-0. To celebrate, and to help invite that change into my life, I’m going to undergo 40 Days of Drumming. I will eat, sleep, and drum. That’s it. I will not be logging on to Facebook, I won’t be texting anyone, I won’t utter a word to another human being. I will be in isolation from the rest of the world, alone with me and my drums. My mom and dad have graciously offered up their home, and to help out with my food during this time. We still have to work out the details, but in a sense, they will be providing room and board. So I can simply go to the fridge and grab something to eat, then get back to drumming.
I want to re-invent myself as a drummer, re-invent HOW I approach the drums. I want to learn to play the drums in such a way that I can still play when I’m 80.
When this whole thing started, I kept thinking of it as Zombie Meditation Camp. Everyone wakes quietly at 4am, while it’s still basically night out, and gets ready in their own way. Some shower, some stay in bed till the last second, some brush teeth, but the wake up call is obviously not easy for most of us. Then the hooded zombies silently, and in single file, shuffle our way to the meditation hall. In this darkened hall, we all have 24″ square cloth-covered foam meditation cushions arranged neatly in about 12 rows front to back with 3 per row on the left for the men, and 4 on the right for the women. Our names are printed on pieces of paper where our assigned position will be for the next 10 days. We receive recorded instructions through a speaker system by the creator of this particular course, S.N. Goenka. Most meditation sessions begin with a recording of Goenka chanting the words of Buddha in the old language of India. He has a very low, resonant voice, and again, it’s more chanting than it is singing, so at times the sounds are unfamiliar, (“aaaaahhh, at the back of the throat”), and some of them almost very guttural. I begin to hear words that sound like english words pop out of the chanting…. “naked,” “Johnny say a hey hey,” some Japanese words, “manko (vagina),” “ato wa (next),” “anata (you)”, and a couple of things sound like Ewok speak: “Gu Du Gu Du,” “wally wally, jup jup”.
It’s as if I can feel all my fears coming to the surface…
I’m sitting in the Savannah, GA airport. The time is 5:11am. I haven’t slept. Stories of child murders, Boston bombings, and other stories in today’s horrific news resonate through the nearly empty terminal. Last night I sent one suitcase, and my trusty ‘tour’ bike home with Wes Day- one of the blue men here on tour, who was driving back to Orlando, and in fact is probably already there. I’m headed somewhere different…