Monday, April 5, 2010

Lotus flowers and lanterns

Well it seems like just yesterday, but it is nearly a month since I last posted.

And it has been a time of more lotuses, new year lanterns and drumming. In late Feb, on a cycling weekend in Wollongong, we visited the Nan Tien budhist temple.  They were celebrating the Chinese New Year, with lanterns and color, Chinese dragons and drumming.

Echoing my trip to the botanic gardens in January, the pond at the temple was also filled with lotus flowers.

This weekend I was at the National Folk Festival, which is held every Easter here in Canberra.  A lively music and camping scene emerges magically on the local show grounds.  As I usually do, I volunteered in the instrument lockup, which is a good way to see another side to the festival.

And when I wasn't helping out there I was free to enjoy the different shows.  Sometimes new acts are found by studying the program, but often they are discovered moving about the venue, while looking for something to eat, or waiting to meet up with a friend.  Most of the time time my feet are tapping.

Once again I saw lots of good acts, fiddle and bass and singing along with plenty of silliness.  Another feature of the festival is the many workshops - dance and singing and playing.  After seeing Taikoz play at the opening concert I did their drumming workshop yesterday, then stumbled across their evening concert as well.  When I looked up their website last night I just loved their motto - 'to beat with every muscle, bone and sinew in our bodies, with an open and joyous spirit'.

It is the joy in each of the performances at the folk festival that keeps me going back year after year, and which inspires me to keep practicing some music at home.  Slowly, learning to read the notes from the page, and then practicing again and again until the tunes come alive.  There is much to uplift the soul in striving for perfection and synergy and then settling into each moment before it passes - perfect or less so.

And once the show ground has resurfaced, and I find myself in my office humming fiddle tunes, for a few days at least I feel just a little more grounded, and connected to the rhythms that run through time.