Bear Post, Bear Totem, And then the Baby Awoke

“Mama took me down to the river bed. Showed me something I never seen. Mama took me down to the river bed. Showed me something  I never seen. Oh Mama. What is that?”

She says she never had the patience to learn an instrument.  She says she is a singer. Has great rhythm. Works well with musicians and is attracted to them. She says she never had the patience to learn an instrument but she is a good singer.  She thinks the truth might be halfway between not having had the patience and also being afraid to fail.  She wanted to play drums, she tells people on the rare occasion it comes up.  In fifth grade, when the tall band director with his heavy silver medical bracelet and the skin hanging off his chin and arms gave her the coronet instead of drums, that’s when it all went wrong.  She had wanted the drums.

But it wasn’t the drums versus the coronet that did it.  It wasn’t the impatience.  It was the fear of failure.  It was the fear of putting her heart into something then failing at it.  She wasn’t good at being taught something she wasn’t good at.  She was quite good at being told things she already knew.  And if listening and learning something had led to a feeling of sexiness or approval she certainly was good then.  But if  listening meant she was admitting ignorance.  That was hard.

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