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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Finer Things Challenge: Carolyn

Last month I posted a piece about the “finer things in life”, suggesting that such things are not necessarily expensive items, but rather “unassuming moments when you are caught by surprise and taken on a spirit-soar”.

I asked readers to free-fall back into memory to find their own “finer things” and to share them with me.

Friend Carolyn Shobe sent me the following piece 
in response to this prompt:


           As I read your entry on the finer things of life, I was taken back to the Pow-wows I sponsored at Hoke High School in the 1980s.  Many of the Lumbee students were disinterested in school academic subjects, but they came alive when I was granted permission to have a Pow-wow for the whole school.  Connie, a gorgeous, petite, young lady of 14 dressed in plain brown garb and performed the Lord’s Prayer in sign language.  Never had those 1400 students been so quiet.  We all sensed the presence of the Lord.  Male students donned their fancy dancing garb and re-created out of their lost past dances and drumming which touched the soles of our feet.  There is truly something special about the rumble of drums and the flash of dancing feet. The feathers floated gracefully as they bowed their heads imitating buffalo hunts long forgotten.
        I think this affinity for drumbeats started when I was young and went to high school football games.  I have never understood football nor have I wanted to.  I went to feel the stadium bleachers shudder when the band started.  Drums speak to something primal in each of us; those who are too shy to dance or drum reach out for the beat and live vicariously through the drummers. 

          Only once have I drummed in public.  At Storer, the elementary home where I spent 9 years, we were visited by dancing, drumming African members of a troop.  I was so mesmerized that I forgot about my size or my age and went forward with the young and old volunteers to pour my soul into the stretched rawhide and the hollow wood.  The song and rhythm transcended my lack of talent and pulled me into the mystery of the moment.

          These drums are truly part of the finer things you’ve touched on in Japan.

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