Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beat me up, baby.

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It has been said that many writers are just lazy, happy to spend hours each day gazing into nothingness and letting their rear ends take on the shape of a chair. This is true. But is all that lazying around looking louche a good way to relax?

I would disagree. When I write my brain is in overdrive, as sharp and as honed (mostly) as if I were at work. My job eats about 35 - 38 hours a week and can also be extremely physical (think small, awkward people running around at 50 miles an hour). Couple this with running a home and a national average family and it is probably a good thing that I need very little sleep.

I have always been aware that it is very important to feed yourself as much as you feed others and for twenty years I played sport. I also introduced 'fend for yourself Friday' (no cooking for me) and made sure that I spent some time on my own.
A very nasty dislocated jaw put pay to my sporting life and it soon became obvious that I needed something to fill the gap.

There followed a long career as an evening student at the local college, trying everything from singing to yet another tedious writing class. Nothing satisfied.

Okay, no laughing, here comes the solution and the best way to relax that I have ever found.

I joined a Samba band.

You may stop laughing now.

Every Tuesday I go and beat hell out of a rather large drum. The rhythms of this Brazilian batucada music get deep into your soul and the hypnotic beat of the surdu drum allows the head to escape and the muscles to relax.
For a hobby that requires a pair of earplugs during practice sessions, it is amazing that it is good for blood pressure and tension related ailments. I love it, and can you think of a better way to beat all those negative thoughts out of your head?

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24 comments:

Nothingman said...

drums! yum....i used to take it out on my bass but now the bass is gone and it's only pen and paper for me. Writing angry thoughts down can be a stress buster too!

:)

N

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Drumming is good - whether it's samba or something else. Mind you, you could always try gumboot dancing...

Saaleha said...

Wow Minx, I would never have guessed. and btw, you bum looks huge in that pic ;)

Minx said...

Oh, agree, Mr Spooky Eye. Stab, stab, stab with the pen!

Oh, Vanilli, that's bit like those Stomp boys. I likes it.

That's all the writing, Saaleha, it just grows and grows.....

Verilion said...

Apparently big bums is good Minx (in reference to previous comment) it's tums that is bad. And now can we hear a bit of this Samba? Hey hey.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Dancing the samba is better, especially if you've got a big bum to shake.

Minx said...

You will be telling me next that bingo wings are acceptable, V!
And no, I have no recordings but you can nip over to YouTube and typoe in 'samba band' - lots there. Or type in 'Samba Reggae' or 'Batucada'.

You have to be small chested to dance samba, GB. Otherwise you can do yourself some nasty damage. Best left to the privacy of your own bathroom really.

Taffiny said...

Well I will go to youtube, but really I think such a post as this requires sound.

I dance in my bathroom with my ipod, while brushing my teeth, et cetera, you must be careful though not to get too crazy (no Elaine from Seinfeld dancing), because I accidently kicked the toilet last week OMG did that hurt!

I am glad you have found a good relaxing hobby, usually I enjoy my gardening, but this year, it stressed and wore me out plenty.

John said...

Another keyboard down the drain...

I'd love to see a pic of you in a gold-sequined samba outfit with a giant fruitsalad hat. Please? Oh, please?

Jon M said...

Ace fun Minx! Drumming is so therap...therpeu...so much fun!

mutleythedog said...

I am sure I have seen you - do you parades and street things?

Jan said...

There's a brilliant samba band locally and I love hearing them.
I can well imagine how relaxing it is being part of one, the rythym, the beat, the sense of belonging to both the people AND music...

Kat said...

Drums! I can so see that being a superb way to relax. Gardening works for me. Plucking, digging, bugs humming, birds sqawking...heaven.

Minx said...

Beware the toilet, Taff.

John, I can assure you that Carmen Miranda did NOT have a weighty surdu drum strapped around her waist, but I do shake me tail feathers if I am playing the agogo bells.

Bit larger that a diddly drum, Jon, but yes, great therapathetic.

Yes, that was me, Muts (raises eyebrow and shakes head).

Jan and Kat - it is whatever gives you pleasure, takes you away from the grind, and releases you to freedom's fields.

leslie said...

I thought of Stomp, too, when I saw the gumboot link!
I am surprised, and not, simultaneously, that you samba drum. What great fun! Another brilliant facet of the gem!
I find refreshment in doing things physical after spending many hours in tense stillness over an art piece. Seems to be required to regain a balance. I walk miles.

Minx said...

We all have facets, Leslie. I also like pole dancing and crochet - what can I say?

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Are you serious? That's so COOL!!!
I'm so excited for you!
Wish I could swing by on Tuesdays and dance to it.


Minx, something has to be done about Nothingman's creepy eye.
I've made subtle comments but apparantly that's not going to do any good. Ideas?

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Minx said...

Deadly, unfortunately. One of my stranger hobbies.

Nothingman's eye. I would suggest a sharp implement but that might be a bit cruel and I like his stories.
Maybe we should start a campaign.

NO PULSATING ORBS, NOTHINGMAN

..it is sort of hypnotic though. Do you think he is trying for world domination through eyeballing?
Scarlett. SCARLETT. Answer me.

Poetess said...

Brilliant.

Fend for your self Friday could be extended to "Work it out for your self Week".

I think I will try that one.

leslie said...

Simultaneously? :)

basest said...

rock on...or is that "samba-on!"

thanks again for using great words that I have to look up. I was unfamiliar with "louche" but will now have to find ways to incorporate it.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

...eye've gone too far towards the eye... can't seem to get away now...


Scarlett (...V left, I'm all on my own for this one)

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