Thursday, July 19, 2007


I remember the sound she made as the first piece of her core, of her heart, was finally chopped out of her. She took the chainsaws, the axes and the sweat of two strong men. It was peculiar. I asked myself was she resisting or simply a powerful force?

That morning, I was antsy to go and help get this wood for our drum on the ground. I knew Rick needed help. What help I could be, who knew? The "big cut" was to be around noon, with a neighbours help and use of his backhoe, a convincing earth ripper gripper machine. I wolfed down another yummy brunch, jumped into a kayak and off I went ... weaver caught sight of me as I was underway and called out her good-byes. "Sorry weaver !!! see you soon, love to Joan, I'm not good with good byes" Twenty minutes later, I landed on Wallin's beach and followed the sound of a chain saw to a sight that almost broke my heart. It was not unlike watching the gutting and cleaning of something large. Then my focus shifted back to the tree from which Windwalker came to us. I went back to her to pray, send my gratitude and offer more tobacco. It was she who then comforted me. I was more than a little wowed and humbled by this. I walked back in time to see the separation of two chunks of wood. Could it really be we could get two drums? Wow, more Wow!!! Now the chainsaws are smoking, axes and log splitters flying. Windwalker is holding fast. Then she delivered her first piece of core to us. To me it was a declaration. From now on she would teach us how make her. She was shape-shifting before our eyes. YIPEEEE!!!! Love Pamela

My prayers are with you...

Hello Everyone! Carol invited me to contribute to "Our Ayllu Sacred Drum Project blog" and I am honored to do so. By way of introduction, I am a Musician, drummaker (maker of carol's qilaut Laughing Wolf) and dreamer whose hands have repeatedly demonstrated more intelligence than my head (or the other centers of wanting for that matter). Nevertheless I'm going to plunge in here and hope that my words are in some small way informed by the spirit of the drum.

This business of making a drum as ceremony brings tears to my eyes every time. Each of us who does this work stands before the great spirit in our own private way, in our own time and asks, "Will you help me? Will you join me in bringing this drum into being? And the Great Spirit invariably answers,"Who is it who is asking? Who is it who wants to know?

And with that, all sense of certainty, all sense of identity in me dissolves. And when the Great Spirit says, who is it who is listening???? I thought I knew a little while ago, but I'm not so sure now....... This is how it begins for me. "And for what purpose?" is the next question that throws me into a tailspin. "Well, Great Spirit, you know, service and healing. .....?....."

It is an ageless and endless conversation I'm afraid. And ones knowledge of the process is small coin indeed. But however imperfect and unprepared we are for this co-drummaking with spirit, we forge ahead because we must.

And rest assured, the power of the drum will be bought as much by your anxiety, self questioning, fear and uncertainty as by your courage and open heartedness. It will be a marvelous and powerful drum! I salute you all and send you my prayers and good wishes.

Mitakuye Oyasin, John Millen