The Drummer’s Gate

The blue thing in the background, that’s not Pandora’s box, but Van Morrison’s, as seen from the front row parquet in a tall building called the Falcon. I give the steward the look – you can see for yourselves – when he threatens to take my phone away. ‘No pictures’, he bellows. This is the first time I ever get to sit so close to the man. Van the Man is right under my nose. The crew gets hot on stage, as the drummer opens the vortex for spirit to kick the show. My eyes are on the drummer. He is on at least four planes at the same time. He doesn’t drop his sticks. The drummer is the gatekeeper. Without the mastery of the drummer, no vortex, no opened gates, no spirit. He doesn’t need Van’s voice to front him. Van’s voice fronts me. But the drummer, he doesn’t drop his sticks. I feel the beat, the call, and walk through. Without the drummer, there’s no walking through. I see the wall the drummer creates, the vertigo wall. Without the drummer there’s no unity. The harmonium floats somewhere up the vortex. The continuum is here, but without the drummer, we have a sort of a Bach figure trying to figure out an Escher drawing. Without the drummer, the harmonium gets lost in paradox. The guitars are twinkling to the stars, but without the drummer, there’s no pulling down of power. No talismans. By the time Van the Man gets to his Hallelujah, which he calls Gloria, the drummer has killed me and resurrected me several times already. Every time the drummer gets on all four planes at the same time, he teaches us to count. I lose my sense of gender. When the drummer gets you down the rabbit hole, you learn the meaning of A, E, I, O, U. You learn how to spell, especially backwards. The drummer is God, and I’m IT, on the beat, myself. Whatever Van is doing there, getting spiritual, and all that, I have no idea. But I hope he pays his gatekeeper well.

Cheers to Bobby Ruggiero and Van Morrison for the death and for the breath.

© Camelia Elias

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