Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drumming for Athena

We've been getting into drums lately, my partner and I. We are excited about playing them, dancing to them, and making them. My partner is such a wonderful perfectionist that drum-making might be just right.

As part of the new obsession with drums, for the last few weeks we have gone to the Parthenon at Centennial Park and drummed on the steps with a friend or two. For those who didn't know, yes, there is a full-scale accurate replica of the Parthenon in the middle of Nashville. It is made of a sandy colored concrete, but there is a nicely tarted up Athena inside and it is intact, which is much more than I can say for the original (which I have also been to in person. I like Nashville's better, honestly.). 

We have been going in the late afternoon and staying until almost full dark (or after). Between my partner and I we have 5 drums from tiny to medium large, good for hauling in and easy to switch sounds back and forth. Our friends bring instruments, too, so the sound is always changing. Sometimes one person will play three or four drums at once, all cradled in one lap.

This past week I found myself just wanting to absorb the sound of the drums. I lay down on the giant outer step and stared up the columns to the night sky, the pink glow of the city limning the scattered clouds. There is something wonderful, something that speaks to my pagan soul, about drumming on the steps of the temple. At one point we chose a spot on the water nearby and played to the ducks (I love ducks, they wiggle their tail feathers and it makes me laugh every time), but I didn't feel that same satisfying charge as I do when we are in full physical contact with the temple itself. 

I know, I know, the city or whomever would love to say that the Parthenon is just a gimmick, left over from the World Fair, but Athena has been consecrated (I have heard the story from multiple bragging pagans around many campfires, each claiming to have been the One to do it), and there is Power there. I have gone and sat at her feet, just to have a chat. It feels right, it is right, to live in a city with a Goddess Temple at its center, and I am gratified to play drums on the stones of the Temple.

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