I went to Tanqueray's downtown thinking I might sketch Bad Santa and the Dirty Elves. When I got to the bar there was no Santa and no Elves. I decided to order a beer and sketch the bar so the night wasn't a total waste. The woman across from me had on a Santa hat and she was boxing her partner with Rockum Sockum Pez dispensers. Besides myself there were only four patrons in the bar. I thought I recognized one of the women to my left but I couldn't place her. As she got up to leave she stopped by to say hello. Turns out she is a Facebook friend named Jessica Pawli. She informed me that there was to be a full Lunar eclipse that night. Dandelion Communitea Cafe was having a Rhythm Circle to celebrate the eclipse. How is it I didn't know about this? I downed the last sip of my beer and immediately headed over to Dandelion.
It was a cold crisp night and the full moon was bright. The hum from several Buddhist bowls resonated right down to my bones as I approached Dandelion. Christmas lights were strung up in the trees. A hot fire pit warmed the people who sat close. Some people kept their eyes closed as they rocked and swayed to the beat. I sat near a flood light which allowed me to see my sketchbook. Everyone had an instrument of some kind. There were flutes, guitars, tablas , didgeridoos, maracas, and a wide assortment of drums. I hummed along to the entrancing sound and rhythms. A drummer sat next to me and said, "Hey Thor." I didn't recognize him at first but then he told me I had sketched his band called "The Manteis Project." He informed me that I had sketched him in two locations in the same sketch. We laughed. His son crawled into his lap and he enfolded him inside his coat. The boy, tough snug, lost patience and he ran off to play with friends. "Thanks for the quick visit." he said as his son disappeared. It was obvious that he wished he could have held his son longer.
A beautiful woman stood by the fire playing a large flat moon of a drum. With her flowing robe and cloth headdress she very much looked like a romantic shaman as she celebrated the Yule festivities. I was told the last time there was a Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice was 300 years ago. This was a once in a lifetime happening and I was celebrating the best way I knew how, with a sketch. The eclipse started well after midnight and the moon slowly turned a mysterious blood red. Slips of paper were available to write down thoughts and feelings that you might want to purge from your life. I filled out a slip and placed it in the fire. I watched as it withered and turned to glowing orange embers. I warmed my hands in the open flames and then started another sketch. I was shocked when my cell phone vibrated in my pocket calling me away from the festival of light. My sketchbook thankfully still smells of burnt wood and incense.