Happiness is a Drum


Every Thursday I lead a drum circle in the hospital where I work.  Participating in this form of guided spontaneous music-making is probably as theraputic for me as it is for my patients.  How often do you get to pound something for joy?  To take the tension of life and transform it into a dancable beat is a wonderful thing.

I think of drumming as the prelude to being quiet in the presence of God.  The silence seems so much more profound following a joyful sonic rumble.  It is only after this kind of full-body activity that I can hear the beating of my own internal drum.

So I found this symbol on the internet from the site “oracle bone characters” by artist Vikki Quill : oraclebonecharacters.com/detail.php?prod=GCHa…

The site read as follows:


Ancient Chinese character for Happiness, (Ch:Xi,Jap:yorokobu)showing a large drum on a stand with decorations reaching up. The lower element may represent either a singing/laughing mouth or a vessel for holding ritual prayers.

For me, this character captures my sentiments for drumming as a form of prayer exactly.