Under the Full Moon

Nikita Dolin - Ecuador


October 28, 2013

I went to a Native South American drum circle two days before I left for my main homestay which is now a month ago. I knew I had no rhythm but eventually I let myself go and joined in on the music, letting it envelope me in it’s strong yet warm embrace. Something felt wrong deep inside me though, something I just noticed for the first time. I didn’t let it bother me and “kept on” with the beat. A man later walked up to me and bluntly stated “you have no rhythm, here, follow my beat.” Ah, I said to myself, that explains a lot, especially the feeling and the looks. So he then proceeded to help me by first getting me to copy his banging of the big drum in front, which I did well enough but once he stopped, I fell apart. He then loosened me up by shaking my arms and asked me why I was so stressed and stiff. I couldn’t give him an answer because I had none. “Why am I so stiff? And why do I feel like I’ve been like this for quite some time.” We then tried again and I still fell apart so he then proceeded to beat the rhythm that the group was going to on my back, my arms and my neck. When we tried one last time, I did it. By myself I found, held and evolved the soul of the drum circle. The full moon was peeking out between the few clouds that were in the sky. The great fire in the middle crackled and shined against the wall of a portrait of a woman holding a crow, painted in beautiful rusty reds, yellows, oranges, blacks and browns: The colors of the earth. All around me was the sound of the drums, the sound of the group, the sound of the heart. Beside me I could see the man praying and thanking someone in the sky; it seems that I have been gifted or blessed. Let my heart beat to the rhythm of life and let life beat to the rhythm of my heart.

Ever since then I’ve wondered what rhythm had to do with life in a deeper sense. Yes we all know that it helps to have rhythm if you want to dance and sing but what more does it do? I’ve noticed in myself that I controlled my breathing more then what seemed usual for most others and have been thinking about if that affects anything. Lately I’ve been trying to inhale for four beats then exhale for the same amount then see how I felt. Does having a rhythm sync you with others better? We all know that if you work on yourself and grow/change you’ll be automatically changing your life in some way so does having a rhythm make your life more fluid? Less all over the place and more straightforward? Or does it do none of these and is just something for music? It’s part of our being, our soul, who we are so I can’t really believe that it does nothing then help with sound. I could be over thinking  but still isn’t it interesting to figure out the iceberg below the water? To see what is not obvious? Either way, I think it’s nice to have it. Let’s dance 🙂

Nikita Dolin