Well, it was four nights out in a row – the art gallery and then three concerts. Yesterday evening I listened to Nagata Shachu, seven performers from Toronto showing us the art and passion of Japanese drumming. Years ago, I’d heard a similar group blast the skies above the Sunfest music festival. This time, though, the beat would be within the confines of Aeolian Hall, renowned for its acoustics. Ear plugs or not? I decided no.
Most of the artists were young adults and one in particular drew me in. She had long black hair tied at the back, and a lovely face. She’d crouch behind her barrel drum, hold the sticks high and then smash them down on the horizontal skin in a flurry of strokes. One by one, her feet would lift off the floor. But the best was that face: it burst out in ecstasy. Shine on, my dear.
I was enthralled. The other drummers had their own excellent energy, and one guy even donned a cheek-revealing loincloth for one of the pieces, but all paled before my girl. (Hmm. Guess I shouldn’t be quite so possessive.)
What are you seeing, Bruce? Something that teaches. And not just about music. What if I lived my life that way, virtually all of the time? Gosh, that would be astonishing. To be so “out there” that I would:
Say whatever I felt like saying, knowing that I wouldn’t hurt people
Joke around if I sensed the person was happy to play
Wear a silly costume for Halloween
Sing “Do Wa Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Doo” at the drop of a hat
Dance down the sidewalk with my loved one
Paint my kitchen red
To be thoroughly me
To be thoroughly happy