"Sometimes music is the only thing that makes sense, play it loud enough, it keeps the demons at bay."
I think we forget how important life is, how sometimes all we have to do is just sit back and take it all in and stop pummeling through it like we can't wait to get it over with. It's sad, because most of the time we only do this when we've reached our lowest points or we're really frustrated or tired or disappointed with how our lives are going.
What does this have to do with a drum corp of Guatemalans?
The past week was rough, composed of the kind of "My So Called Life" moments that make you just want to curl up in bed and shut out the world (let's just say there's been a lot of "journaling" lately) but this morning I heard this band outside my window and realized I hadn't taken any photos of the drum corps who walk through Antigua. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, grabbed my camera and ran down the street, and then I shot for about an hour, the drumming vibrating in my chest, the complete energy of everything hitting me straight on, the kids in the street stunned silent, proud mothers taking pictures of their kids and bringing them water in between sets. I watched a man take his abuelita by the hand and lead her across the street after the band passed by, both waiting to cross out of respect for the music, and then it struck me how happy I was to be alone, because I was so choked up I just sat there and stared, so grateful I got to see it.
I send photos home and I imagine what people see, what it's like to view Guatemala like I once did, as a poverty-stricken, war torn country with little to offer the people who live there.
I find myself wanting to use images to explain just how wrong I was, that these people are some of the richest people I have ever met, the love of life they carry is profound, something you couldn't buy even if you wanted to. I find myself wanting to soak up as much from them as I possibly can. What I saw today was the same drum corp that goes through the streets of Antigua every single week, and in the crowd I saw the same people I see everyday in the market, in bookstores, in cafes, but I took more away from just siiting their watching them through my camera lense then they will ever know or understand. The drum corp jam is like most things in life, at first it looks really hard, complicated, like something you could never do in a million years.
But then one day you pick up a snare drum, or one afternoon you rock out to a Stevie Wonder album, everyday gets easier and you learn a little bit more with each step, and pretty soon you're jamming right along with them.
What I saw today is going to stay with me for a while. It reminded me that what I'm going through or experiencing isn't all that important in the grand scheme, there are more important things in this world, there is life going on all around you, even when you don't take the time to stop and notice it.