All posts by Running Water

Memories from the Post-Lockdown-Bandstand-Drum-Circle

Sunday 5th July 2020

By Sexual

The Faeries came to play by the river. The people came out to enjoy the open space, walking, riding and picnicking. 

Warm illegal hugs exchanged on arrival at the bandstand full of drums, percussion and drag!

An invocation and welcome to the directions, animal spirits and wonderful qualities of human nature – once we had not quite all agreed in which direction lay North!

Busy mind, furtive eyes and a cautious beat as we find ourselves in the unfamiliar surroundings.

The wind shakes the trees and bristles the leaves adding another soundscape.

A long section of sheer golden fabric is held aloft over the gathered tribe and ripples and dances and touches the faerie folk drawn into its aesthetic call like moths to a flame. 

Joyous smiles emerge and bubbles appear. More dresses and colour, more fabric and twirling bodies. The drumming finding its voice.

We are witnessed. 

By the old man sitting with palms up to the sky experiencing the chi. 

By the curious joggers bending their necks as they pass to take in this scene.

By the van of police patrolling the riverside. Who stop to consider and observe. 

The drums continue without missing a beat, communicating a message of vitality and strength. Dare you interrupt this expression of family, of presence and bold determination to express freely in a not quite one metre plus way? A beaming smile from the circle announces our loving intent and allows them to move on.

The children hear the music and dance with smiles as they pass with their parents. We model the beauty of free expression and play as they model the delight of unencumbered youth. 

(A memory of childlike play with a balloon amongst the sleepy shoppers in a street in Cologne. Dancing with street musicians, being met by children as they see the balloon their parents choose not to see. Eager to pat it back up into the sky.)

Swallows from Africa catch the London insects and fly over the bandstand that emits the call from its current band.

Young African Londoners congregate nearby on the railings, drawn by music.

Others stop to take pictures and to soak in the scene.

More material, more dresses and headwear. Pipes are played,  tambourines and a cowbell build the momentum. More dancing, more twirling, some sage knitting the spaces between the flowing  bodies. Hands hitting the skins of the drums, eyes closed and feeling the mounting excitement in the air. Shrill ululation, howls and screams, release, bind, honour, acknowledge and affirm our gifts, our rage, our passion and love and need to gather. To hear the call, make the call and dare to embrace the moment. Shake it, stroke it, breath it and allow it to find its form. 

Lovers of beauty, creativity and life. Filled, topped up and nourished. 

Ready to return to the other world of stories, concerns, plans and  judgements. Of roles and obligations, expectations and responsibilities.

Returning with seeds of possibility, knowing and courageous determination to enter and embrace the ever unfolding, expanding and unknowable complexity  of this paradoxical flight into the cosmos and beyond.

Boundless gratitude, love, peace, health and abundance!