Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum: Drumming the Divine

photo: A children's matachine group anxiously awaits their turn.

Yesterday, the feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe, was a big religious day on the Border. I awoke to the sound of drums wafting in my window at 5:45 AM from the Cathedral a few blocks away. The matachines did sacred dance to the rhythmic pounding drumbeat. This sound faded in and out all day. I love to watch the matachine dancing. Yet I must always remind myself not to burst into applause upon the completion of a segment of this dance. It is not a performance, it is a prayer.

If you have experienced a pow-wow, you have the idea. The Guadelupe matachine is a Christianized version. [Caution: I am not authority speaking. I've only been on the Border for a bit over a year all told. My impressions welcome clarification from those who actually know what is what here.]

A few weeks ago, just before I left the Midwest, I attended a drumming circle with two of my grandchildren. Here is cutie #1 enjoying the event:
videoCutie #2 is 2 1/2 at his first drumming circle. Hit "Play" to catch the rhythm of Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum. [I just learned that I can't rotate video files. Yikes! Sorry!]

At the end of the circle, our facilitator asked: "Did anyone think about their "to do" list during our circle?" No one had. Our individual concerns were completely absorbed in the community experience of creating. Perhaps the matachine experience is similar. The individual is similarly absorbed into a dance of the divine.

FranIAm had a lovely post yesterday explaining the meaning of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe. This story of Mary earns Border Explorer approval: Mary seeks out the marginalized, the nobodies, the poor and oppressed.

As Christmas approaches and seasonal music plays in the background of our lives, we recall that "The Little Drummer Boy," poor as he was, had a gift to bring too.

15 comments:

Dusty said...

Aw..the video was still cute. ;)

I am going to put this up on Sirens girlfriend.

Randal Graves said...

the marginalized, the nobodies, the poor and oppressed

About all they get this time of year is lip service instead of those with the power changing for the better what makes them marginalized, poor and oppressed nobodies in the first place.

Carol said...

You have beautiful grandkids! I'm glad that they got to have the experience of drumming circles at an early age. It's such a community-builder and very healing.

Drumming circles and the dance of the divine - where we only bring ourselves, not our status or how much we "own".

Libby said...

Yay matachines! I missed them so much yesterday...

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I love these kinds of ceremonies.

Ingrid said...

sorry BE..no time to read your post today, have a busy BUSY weekend..BUT..did what I promised you; posted on the oxfam congo report. signed the petition as well..
thanks for that hat tip..it was very apropos and timely..
hugs
Ingrid

Melissa B. said...

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Dianne said...

such sweet lovely children - my favorite part of any season, any holiday

Utah Savage said...

This is lovely. I'm so happy for you that you make the time to experience these things, your connection to the culture of whatever place you're in and the sweetness that you bring to what you experience.

Like Randal, I'm a bit of a pissed of bah humbugger. And unlike Randal I never had children to pass cultural traditions to, so I'm probably even more sour then he. Nice you're out there to balance the sour with a bit of sweet.

DCup said...

Your grandchildren are beautiful. And I learned something new today! Thank you.

Distributorcap said...

how nice.....

Tim said...

BE, I came back after reading yesterday's post about the feast because I've been haunted by its juxtaposition with the previous ones about the violence and lawlessness that the young kids in your pictures live with.

The community's devotion despite its tribulations is something that will stay with me for a long, long time. Of all the Advent and St. Guadalupe posts I've read, none has touched me so deeply.

Godspeed--and God's protection--as you do this tremendous work.

Maithri said...

Beautiful....

I LOVE hearing world music...

And the cuties were extremely cute... He drums so well ;)

Thank you for being a voice for the marginalised, the oppressed, the poor...

Your tender light shines brightly and reaches all the way to australia ;) and i'm sure far beyond too...

So glad to know you my friend,

Christmas joy,

Maithri

A

afeatheradrift said...

Oh BE thanks for sharing this. I have attended a few pow wows and I loved them. The costumes and dancing were so wonderful. I was also at one time a member of a Hispanic parish and truly adored it, the liturgy and the people. I would dearly love to figure out a ministry that would involve the Hispanic community. I don't know why I am so drawn, but I am.

Mariamariacuchita said...

How cute!! What an experience.