Archive | January, 2013

A Grand Gong Adventure in Alabama

1 Jan

So, not a fiasco. However, out of five adults, one of whom was born and grew up in Alabama, and all of whom go to that fair state occasionally, not one remembered that the time changes at the state line. We arrived for the 11:00 AM gong concert at 10:30 AM – good timing. However, as our gracious hostess pointed out, it was only 9:30 in Mentone. For an hour and a half, we relaxed in the lobby of the Mentone Inn, drinking coffee and hot chocolate, anticipating the gonging ahead, contemplating the vagaries of growing older.

Faye with the 38" gong.  Her mallets are still vibrating!

Faye with the 38″ gong. Her mallets are still vibrating!


Outside the rain came down and the temperature hovered in the mid forties. At 11:00, that’s noon in Georgia, we proceeded to the pavilion, where gonger (gongette? gonginator? gong meister?) Faye Henry had three gongs set up, a big old (that’s a technical term) 38 incher and two planetary gongs – one for Venus and one for Chiron (a planet with which I was not familiar.) There were also three crystal bowls of different sizes and what looked like two black woks, one on top of the other. Faye called this one a UFO.
After a brief introduction about how gongs produce cellular vibrations that make you and your cells relax so healing can commence, the gonging began.
Kathy is vibrating to the sounds of the gongs.

Kathy is vibrating to the sounds of the gongs.

(I have to admit that I bought into the relax-yourself part but would like to see the studies on cellular relaxation. We were heading off a little too far into that New New Age for me.) Anyway, the gonging was mighty fine, and the bowls produced a nice contrasting sound. Even the woks were OK.

UFO woks and crystal bowls.

UFO woks and crystal bowls.

The sounds and vibrations were unusual, unexpected and quite appealing. I could tell that Wichita was reaching his Zen state. Janice, Kathy and Lee were grooving to the sounds. I was too, but my feet were cold and growing colder by the minute. When Faye’s performance was complete, I have to admit I was impressed. I had braved rain, cold, sleep deprivation and icy feet to come to Mentone on New Year’s Day and had really enjoyed the new experience.

The after talk was interesting, but I could not keep my mind off my cold feet. I needed to get up and walk around. For a minute though, Faye’s description of the “Gong Chamber” in Memphis made me want to see and experience it. I forgot my feet for a while.

Eventually we went into the Mentone Inn for lunch: ham, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, collard greens and cornbread, followed by banana pudding for dessert. I began to reach a Zen state. (If they had offered him seconds, Wichita might have achieved Nirvana.)

All in all this was another Grand Adventure – a good time with good friends listening to good vibrations (that could be a song title), all that making a good beginning to what, I hope, will be a good year.