No Hard Feelings

Last night I went to my bata class not exactly into it. There were a number of things about what is currently going on that are bothering me. One is that the Iya that I am playing is a twice borrowed instrument, which means I cannot use it to practice and am dependent on someone else for access.

Two is that the newcomer who came and stirred things up is gone because she couldn’t handle the emotional undercurrents of the class. Considering that the emotions get fierce and heavy at times  and she was at the bottom of the pecking order, I’m not surprised but  feeling a little let down.  Three is that the other student, who has a hearing handicap  has gotten way too comfortable with her place in the pecking order since she no longer has to contend with a newcomer. She has taken to believing she knows what the teacher is telling me in relation to playing an instrument  she does not play and talking at me  during class.

She apparently has no idea how much this literally obstructs me and outrages me, which means I have to  battle my own fury while I am trying to learn how to play the Iya. This from a person who thinks it’s perfectly OK to  shush me from time to time  if I happen to be playing or talking when she doesn’t like it.

There is also a language barrier with our teacher which has developed around the word “FAT”. He uses this word, which in English is “Fast” to designate something that to me and the other student is overall speed and tempo, but which to him is something more specific entirely. An this clash of perception is beginning to be a problem that repeats itself in class and creates massive confusion.

Last night my left hand strikes were weak and not centered  from the start, and contrasted to my teacher’s powerful, clear sharp ones I had to resist the urge to feel inadequate. I reminded myself that I have had many a day where my hands simply do not seem to work and progress seems impossible. Besides the interference of the other student, my teacher seemed bent on driving me over the edge for a while doing things I am technically barely capable of without practice.

I started drifting into Triggerland, not a good thing. I started feeling  un-valued and incompetent, trapped in a situation where the other people are blindly in a rut that is a waste of my life and degrading. I then stepped into wanting to figure out how to solve everything, but I was able to recognize these kinds of ideas as the old mind traps that they are and not necessarily true.  I went from nearly triggered and riled up to realizing I could take the anger and turn it into focus…….to succeed, and by cracky, it sort of worked.  I went out of fight and flight mode and did better, though I did do a verbal bitch  to make sure that my teacher and the other student  didn’t think I was going to swallow their dishings out whole.

I find that my own distorted inner wounding around belonging can make me feel very screwed over and lead to me doing and saying things that don’t make things better and don’t fly with others, thereby separating me exactly the way I fear and creating contention I don’t need and can’t handle. There’s a chronic and destructive temptation to have impact by being forcefully righteous and contemptuous towards anyone, sort of the god-with-thunderbolt attitude. This usually results in me giving myself pompous lectures in the car but doesn’t work in real life. This does not mean other people’s bullshit is Ok with me. I don’t contain myself for other people, I do it for my own sake.




About Shirley

I started this blog to expand and explore my rhythm horizons as a hand drummer. That exploration includes touching on the rest of my life and inner world as authentically and truthfully as possible.
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