Last year, my friend Micha made her own drum.
It was painted blue, with a large wooden frame, and I’d seen the social media snaps she’d taken throughout the day as she’d crafted it with her hands. She began bringing her drum to circles where we’d sit in song and in prayer, and I watched over the months as her entire musical repertoire began to expand. Her voice opened and her beats shifted. Each time she played that drum and found the rhythms that worked for her, her soul came out in new ways.
Witnessing this made me want a drum, oh so desperately. Although I stopped at music stores and admired the beautiful specimens there, I knew I needed to undertake the work of building it myself.
So a month ago, when my friend Alex came to town and announced she’d be leading a drum making workshop, I jumped at the chance. I ordered the skin (elk) and the size (14 inch) I wanted, but deliberately did no research on how to build a drum. I knew it would be a learning curve for me. I’m a champion of embodied action but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy for me. On the contrary, hands on mechanics can be a struggle for the girl who fights her body and lives in her mind. But that’s why I work so damn hard at it.