Tomato cage

Driving rules keep us from crashing into each other. When we are at a four way stop, driving rules let us know who gets to go first. If we didn’t have that we would all enter the intersection and crash into each other. Social rules let us know the same thing. When we crash into each other we all get into a big mess.

I know a lady who didn’t like the Reno Healthrhythms protocol. She felt it wasn’t organic. She wanted people to just flow around and enjoy making noise together.

Consider a map. If you are going to go to a new city you need a map to tell you how to get there. You don’t just get in your car and drive around following your feelings until you happen to end up where you need to be. You are very likely to get very lost doing it that way.

With this protocol we have a specific place we are trying to get to. We are trying to get to disclosure and honesty. We are trying to get real. It isn’t about drumming at all. It is about getting people to use drums as a way to communicate and connect. Not only do they learn how connect with each other, but they also learn how to connect with themselves.

It is like a tomato cage. The tomato cage doesn’t force the tomatoes to grow into an unnatural shape. It actually gives them a structure upon which to grow and get strong. Tomatoes that don’t have a tomato cage end up sprawling all over the ground and getting eaten by bugs. Slugs will grow fat feeding on them. The tomatoes will get mushy and gross from being on the ground. So you have to have a tomato cage to keep the tomatoes standing upright. The protocol does the same thing. It provides a skeleton or a form to shape the desired result.

It doesn’t constrict. It actually strengthens. It is the map. It is the driving instructions. It is the thing that gets us from here to there. Otherwise we are likely to end up nowhere.

Sometimes nowhere is a good place. Sometimes we think too much and we have too much structure. Sometimes it is important to do things that don’t involve thinking. Mindlessness is sometimes useful. But sometimes it just becomes an absence of anything and we end up nowhere.