Friday, December 24, 2010

Artist Collaborations

Ann & Giant
Ann Sloper, producer of Ice Queens, the crowd-pleasingly gorgeous paper dresses at the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade 2009 and 2010, met up with "Giant" (aka Matthew Barrett), a serious and prolific poet suffering from genetic and other forms of cancer. Giant writes about being homeless and exposes our commonalities. Giant talked of his work and health and of the stresses of this time of year. Ann asked about the possibilities of working with the camp to do something collaborative for next year's parade. Giant doesn't look farther out than than February. The doctor's are uncertain if he will be around next summer. Ann called her friend Toby, to see if he was around and if he might do some healing work for Giant. Toby responded immediately that he would and they set up an appointment for the morning. Quick work!
Ann Sloper and Toby Christensen and Giant and I met at Lighthouse Coffee in Fremont. I steered us to my friend's house and got some blankets out, then Dan gave Giant some instructions. "Lie down, relax, stay open to the rhythms. I am going to do some healing drumming over you. It sounds like reiki on steroids. It will last about an hour. I will be facing away from you. If you need to get my attention, you can tap my leg."
And then Toby, The Healing Drummer, stood over Giant, straddled him with a djembe between his legs, and began to play fast and sharp. Toby is an innovator in the field of healing music. The rhythms were forceful.

I sat in the same room, in a rocking chair, listening and trying to keep my own pathways open. I saw a village. I was one of the villagers. I was an African woman. Everything was possible in the music, through the music, with the music. The rhythms vibrated around me and, I supposed, through me. There was nothing violent happening, but the beats were correcting and killing what needed to be killed and feeding what needed to be fed and there was life and death all around and arguments and resolution.

"Breathe deeply," he said when he was done. "Sit up when you're ready. Drink plenty of water. Your chakras are now aligned. You may feel a lightness in your upper body and a heaviness in your legs. This is normal and will pass as the negative energy is released through your feet."

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