Hippie Delayed Stress

Hippie Delayed Stress is a very real commodity. Long hair in the sixties meant you were not going along with the party line. It got ugly. Fear of recrimination from the vengeful faction of the society created a delayed stress syndrome not unlike the combat veterans from the war that the longhairs were protesting against. We are alive so we have stress, delayed stress. It comes up at inappropriate times. Or is it just being truthfully blunt. Anger, frustration, inferred insults, the list of infractions goes on. But the reaction gets to be pretty predictable. “Don’t tell him that! He’ll hit the ceiling!” In drumming we see this delayed stress in how the person hits the drum. There are rhythmic indicators. There are ways to rhythmically alter the reaction. I’ve seen it in myself and others. I still feel fear when I see a black and white police car. That is an imprint from nineteen sixtynine, when I was a long haired member of several extremely high profile bands, in the deep south. My intellect knows better but it allows the survival/belief system to react with adrenaline, based on a habituated event; namely getting harassed by southern police officers. Now, the mounted Santa Monica police bring their horses by to hear our sidewalk meditation drumming during the street fairs. Horses like slower, quieter grooves. They get used to hearing drums up close. They then go down and ride herd over the strange wild anarchy drumming on Venice beach. By drumming through the recollection of my original experience, I have come a long way in reacting not from fear but from just being present. Hitting a laid back downbeat groove; in the center of the djembe head, lightly, relaxed, getting it to sing, is the method that worked to heal me back into the present.

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