Drumming Up an Urban Wilderness Experience

A dispatch from November

rhythms multiple permeated grass-tastic groupies who let it absorb laying, staring, points of negative dancing in the skies with unmoving whisps of clouds and softly swaying tree needles and then hoisting up, supporting behind the self gazing on the circle of spontaneous rhythm

A woman circles herself beneath within the central tree’s clearing made cooperative with its overhanging branches and makeshift seating rounds surrounding surrounded humans backwards. She fixtures, twining moving stilling, dancing in the dust made beautiful by her swirling feet bare, the easy confidence of her cloth hugged hips, the unstudied grace of the ever-altering lines of her lined arms. She is familiarly watched, fleeting between measures, up and down with the ease of someone who has been part of this for time numerous and long contained in this moment. We on the outside see her most of all; those creating the beats she stamps out lovingly take her movements for granted. We are all, old and new, grateful. We are one another made musical, made growing warmth and undulationally whole with ever flowing ecstasy externalized experienced internally eternally

“Hey, watch your cigarette.”

A non-random warning pierces our discordantly noisy quietude; emitted by the man chained to himself through orifices natural and once added, wearing a shirt of potential self-referential fractal infinity, fading yet more present than any. Realness embodied future past present personified. He embraces our senses by overwhelming them. Caretaking. Though the circle has no leaders, he is one of those with seniority. Experienced authority of autonomy collectivism rhythmic mayhem of togetherness. His sounds are listened to as other sounds surround. The bystander sitting next to two women one wheeled was lucky. Lucky to have heard this wisened warning through the rhythms changing ever to others but yet cacophonously magical in their unity with us. Though there were detractors to each set–participants with differing views–they all nevertheless joined as one sound of many sounds creating together a great harmonious dissonance.

And then the truck. The warning’s promise fulfilled. The white truck with red lights accusatory, parked upwind and menacing. Its occupant stalked us all–participants, groupies alike. We watched as he watched us. Watched him circle the beautiful circle, wary of any line-crossing any may have perpetrated as he dared to cross ours. The man’s cigarette had long been rubbed against blades damp–extinguished in expectation of this raid of harmonious dissonance. We watched. Watched as he, uniformed, circled with outsiderness. Circled suspiciously as some ignored his sunglass-veiled gaze of removal, as some glared back pretending to ignore, suspicious of his suspicion, watching for those who kept beating, unwilling to watch, watching for each other that we are not part of but are joined to more than joined to this suspicious outsider in sanctioned uniform. Unwelcome but welcomed nonchalantly as expected disturbance to the peace-making rhythms of dissonant unity. He was not done circling soon enough; we watched each other watching, hoping the other had not noticed the surveillance. He circled slowly our circle our outer circle our hipster picnics of bicycled ignorance. He in hegemonically uniformed out-of-place-ness in the place he had been made to patrol. Patrolling our invisible being he had made it visible. Had crossed our lines. But our lines will not remain broken.

And the cigarette remained out. The truck with white red lights atop left us to ourselves to our being. Left us to each other. We came back together having never been apart, repairing the invisibility of our harmony. Overwhelming the air with enormous sounds breathing in winding around the glorious rhythmically dissonant back again and ever


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Filed under Art of all Kinds, Contemporary

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