The Morning After Firedance 2000
by Ann Froughton
I awoke having slept long
and, yet, not having slept long enough.
It was past dawn,
too late to greet first sun
and too soon to rise restored.
My groggy ears listened for drums in the clearing
and heard only early morning sprinkler water
running through the pipes.
I used the bathroom and flushed the toilet,
longing for the uphill climb to the pungent outhouse.
I want the drums.
I want the dancing.
I want sore muscles loosening with the building rhythms.
I finally found paradise and drank its nectar.
Firedance became home to heart and spirit.
Firedance, one day over, calls for my return
with a drumbeat as constant as that of my heart
and just as vital.
I also abandoned armor at the door-
my masks and my layers.
In the darkness, my feet pounded wounds
into the ground for transmuting and healing.
The young and the old, sacrificing lies to the fire,
revealing authentic self to self.
The weaving enchantment swirled across
the clearing and enveloped everyone.
I breathed it in, and magic as all there was.
It leapt from the trees, from the fire, from the earth
and sparked its way into each one’s core.
With the morning’s breaking light,
freed from our shadows,
we honored the arriving sun.
Lying in the bedroom now, I see a T.V.
seducing me to the morning news.
My A.M. bulletin is not war and crime
but drum beat, the fire, and connection with you and me.
Where are the drums now?
This longing will compel me briefly to the Internet
mousing for CD drumming to release me again.
It won’t be the same, but it will help evoke
the life of community and fire
and renew what was lost before I came
and can now see mirrored in my world.
My mind returns and walks the outside perimeter.
Waving prayer flags caress my head as I pass.
The drums draw me in and draw me out.
I walk patiently, cooling the inner fire.
I want to present myself quieted of desire.
As I pass through the smudge gate,
I am drawn into the circle,
and rhythm beats through me
and moves my body in astonishing ways.
Letting go, I experience what will be.
The drummers drum.
The dancers dance.
The fire builds.
There is no other place or time,
only this brief season
and the peace that kindles here.
I am a floating island in a moving sea.
At times, I knock on the doors of the eyes.
Some invite me in.
Others are not receiving callers.
Magnus enters the circle again
to stir our slowing pace.
“We are the people, and this is the hour…….”
We sing, and the momentum builds.
The drums beat without and within,
and Magnus withdraws.
He is bigger than life-
the bliss of it spills from him.
And it is contagious, like laugher and love.
He is a gigantic spoon, stirring and mixing
us into a succulent soup.
“We are the people and this is the hour…………..”
Our power incubates and births as we dance.
The mysteries are revealed.
Even when we withdraw and rest, we dance inside.
“We are the people, and this is the hour…………”
The chants build.
The fire blazes.
We flow like lava round and round.
I am freed by this fire.
And your circling lava
merges with mine-currents connecting
and taking the same path from there.
That is Magnus and Spinner
inviting us to flow with them.
Sing and dance and twirl.
Put more wood on the fire.
Get it hotter and higher.
Let the drum beat build.
Work from the inside.
Rhythms create harmonious internal patterns.
Just let it happen.
“We are the people, and this is the hour……………..”
Greeting the sun, our spectacle vanishes
like a Shakespearian play ending too soon.
Once, by moonlight,
in the dim desert predawn heat,
I discerned a blossoming flower,
velvet layers of white upon white.
As with Firedance, by daylight it was no more,
and I cannot with words
make you understand its beauty.
I did not pick up my armor as I left.
I won’t need it now.
Firedancing remedies the fear
that drives the body to sickness
and enlivens the breast that heals it.
What was burned away was pointless;
what was kept is limitless.
I no longer need a sword for my defense.
What needs defending is not worth having.
What needs protecting is already secure.
I am all that is, and if compromised,
what I was can no longer exist.
So that the taking is the undoing,
and the keeping is the perpetuating.
If you take what I am, then it is gone,
and you are the looser.
There is nothing here to conquer,
and I will not surrender.
At night, in sleep, I will return to the hearth,
to dream, and to awaken renewed.
I will remember this halcyon existence
and the feel of mother’s wooded bosom.
The clothes I wore are perfumed
with scents and sounds of dance.
The fire has projected
flickering pictures into my memory
and will never let me
completely leave this sanctuary.
How do I fit into the crowded places
now that I am enlarged?