Wednesday, September 22

Asheville: Drum Circle


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Drupal Camp - Asheville was calling our name so our Techie-being-raised-to-graphic-artist, employee of the month and I jumped in the car to go get Broadstreet Consulting's CEO and go to Drupal Camp.
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As we were pulling out of town, however, this sunflower beckoned me to come out and play, that he could lead us to a field full of his buddies where the sun shines all day and the tree of life provides life-giving shade.
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What's a girl to do?
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While Tommy practiced with his new camera, I headed out to play.
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However, every sunflower had four or five bees hard at work.
I tip-toed away.
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We got back on the road, picked up said CEO and headed out I-26 West. We crossed the North and South Tyger and then the exquisite French Broad and found ourselves in the heart of Asheville where no man can decipher the freeway system. Even your GPS will back down, stutter, stammer, say things like "hmmmmm" and "maybe you should" and "try a U-turn" etc.
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It was nearly dark by the time we dropped our luggage off at the room and arrived in the ecclectic, happenin' part of town at Pritchard Park - somewhere around Patton and College Streets. The Drum Circle has been a part of Asheville's Friday night scene since 2001.
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I'm not a big drum circle fan. I was introduced to the concept in the granddaddy of all Drum Circles - Venice Beach, CA, so any others ARE going to be a let-down. But I do like exploring the artistic side of cities and towns, so we had to check out the Asheville Drum Circle.
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While there was a cool, southern breeze and the silhouette of Smoky Mtns in the backdrop, the crowd looked to be of California descent and the sound, that of African jungle. So it definitely put all of my senses on high alert. It was crowded with a lot of very spastic dancing featuring Bob Marley fashion -- colored knit caps, dreads, knee socks peeking out of high boots, that sort of thing. Tommy was atop a boulder, photographing, while Tom waded into the middle of the circle, his head bobbing to the drumbeat. And then came the glow sticks. All this to confirm something I've suspected since Venice Beach: the hippie movement is alive and well.
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The drumbeat was steady with an occasional burst of the cowbell, the gentle background of maracas. A child sways on daddy's shoulders; a mother kneels down to talk to a child, long hair hanging out her bandana. And then.... a princess arrives. A 7 year old dressed like one of Disney's cherished (and money-making) princesses. Suddenly, the drumbeat picks up speed relentlessly, louder, faster; body spasms ensue. Four college frat boys, white oxfords with pressed blue jeans, stand together, arm in arm, heads bowed, dancing. Much later, they stand up straight, arms drop to side, big sighs. And then.... a train begins. Starts with hippies, in line, hands on the shoulders before them, known as the Soul Train in the disco world of which I am more familiar. The train grows in length as yuppies shrug off their 9-5 attitudes and join, feeling a sense of such wild abandon. Of course clapping begins and the train dissipates as hands are redirected.
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Yet, despite it all, I stand back, atop a boulder, arms crossed, hopes up, with my eyes peeled for ... the Charlie Brown Dance.
Alas, I leave disappointed.

2 comments:

Amber said...

This is great...I was at that drumcircle, in fact, the bandanna-ed hippie in the right corner of the top image is my husband. :) That was one of the most KICKING nights of the summer, as I remember it...the conga line cracked me up!

Glad you enjoyed, and sorry you came the wrong night for the Charlie Brown dance, 'cause I've seen it there for sure.

Poof said...

That is so cool, I'm glad you responded! I love Asheville and can't wait to return.