Now that the drums have retired and the songs have left out mouths, what shall we do? We prepared our dance for the arena. But the drums would not let us. They beat a different tune. And we could not dance to it. We opened our mouths to sing but the ...
Now that the drums have retired and the songs have left out mouths, what shall we do? We prepared our dance for the arena. But the drums would not let us. They beat a different tune. And we could not dance to it. We opened our mouths to sing but the songs we prepared left us and came out as they pleased: in starts, stops and dissociated rhythms.
Franctically, we tried to make the songs come out right and hoped the drums would follow suit. But try as we might they refused. The drums continued their tune and the songs their dissociated rhythms. Then we tried to follow the songs and dance to the tune of the drums. But the song started changing song and the drums kept changing beat and tempo. We found that when our mouths opened to sing the next line the songsong would cease the singing and our legs would still be going up when the drums would abruptly cease. Our struggle to adapt became more awkward than our initial confusion.
And while we were still struggling to dance the dance of the drums and sing to the music of the song, the song and drum ceased. Then they left us standing naked before the gaping crowd and walked away into the bend of the sky. The mother drum led them from behind. While the song and drums were walking away the dance also left us and joined them.
We looked, tearful and fearful, at the teeming crowd who were yet to find out where the music they came to see had gone. We knew they would all leave and we would be left totally alone.
When the music fades, make your own songs. This my friend has the belly of an antelope- the best of drum skins. The other has hands as long and limber as cane from the iroko. We will have his hand for drumsticks and my friend the antelope belly for the mother drum. With some of our mouths drawn into O's we will have ogenes. And although song has left us, we will sing to the melodies of our hearts. And while we have our friends for drum, ogene and song, those of us left will take our stand in the middle of the arena and dance the dance that we carry within.
Now that the drum and song that should have been melody for the dance have all left you, you can either stand and weep or do as my friends and I did. And don't think we were fortunate. You also have friends with the antelope bellies, drumstick hands and canoe heads.
Sing your song, hit your tune, create your dance. When nothing is left and everything is lost, create something out of nothing. What you've lost can never be greater than what you have. When you lose a lot you have a lot of opportunities to succeed a lot. When nobody is cheering you can cheer yourself the loudest. After all, you have friends with the hands of a cymbal.