Friday Night at 8: Gathering Together

Ben E. King – Stand By Me

Got the idea for this essay from my all time favorite diary by buhdydharma, written on November 20, 2006, which begins.

Gather ye round my Brothers and Sisters, come sit by the fire with the children and the ancestors and the listening spirits and I shall tell to you a tale. Spun by a madman from whole cloth and cast upon the seas of reality to drift where it may through the warps and wefts of space and time. A tale of stunning hope and hope denied, a tale of great victories….and and the same sad tale of tragic defeat. A tale of the impossible realized and the possible left undone, the tale of us and we. All the same story all the same story all the same story. and so, and so, and so,… and here we are. Still and again. Always and now. Now and forever.

I think about the people I know and so many of them are just outstanding human beings.  I don’t have a lot of friends, but I do have a few, and I have many good acquaintances here in New York City.  So I am never lonely.  I also have a gathering of people who share my spiritual practice.  Yes, I am very fortunate.

But there is another kind of gathering together, and the folks I’ve spoken of above are not part of that.  When I invite them to this gathering, they are not interested and some of them think me quite mad to even suggest such a thing, they with their busy lives.

I’m talking about the blogosphere, of course.  It’s a gathering together that in my wildest science fiction fantasies I could … well, actually I did envision this very situation.  But envisioning something and then experiencing it, well that’s two different things.

Here we are, human beings not only from all over the United States, but all over the world.

Most of us have full lives, we work, have families, friends.  Yet we needed something more, and so we traveled through cyberspace and it seemed very natural to meet others of like mind and spirit when it actually happened.  We just dove in and found these other folks, who were also traveling through cyberspace.  And the circle grew and we ended up with a real gathering.

These are relationships unthinkable even so much as two decades ago.

In reading the essays here this week I’ve been tossed from glimmers of hope to dire warnings of battles ahead and great misfortunes.

If you look at the blogroll, each and every click of a link takes you to yet another gathering, some very small, some very large, but all people we would understand as blogosphere denizens.

I don’t have any grand point here, really.  Except maybe one’s childhood dreams can actually come true.  When I was a girl I devoured science fiction like popcorn.  I really believed we’d have hovercars and FTL spaceships and most of all, ways of communicating with each other that would change our very consciousness.

I also dreamed that by the time I grew up it wouldn’t be a big deal at all for women to work and have families — daycare would be safe and inexpensive, workplaces would be family friendly.

And I dreamed of men and women all safely unionized with labor laws protecting them and such, all those lovely dreams of progress and great achievements by humankind.

At this point, the fact that even one of those dreams actually came true is something to celebrate.

Ah, Friday!  Wageslave Nirvana!

Happy weekend to all the Dharmaniacs, and fortschreitend, hope you are doing ok in Iowa.  Keep us updated when you can.

Link is disabled, but if anyone is in the mood for summa Miss Ruth Brown, click here.


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  1. … on the East Coast of the USA.

  2. No I won’t be afraid,

    no I won’t be afraid,

    just as long

    as you stand

    stand by me.

    And I just cannot listen to it without snapping my fingers. LOL

    Valtin said something earlier this week about overcoming fear that I found very interesting:

    All fears are conquered, ultimately, by facing them, and by accepting the fear that is felt, and acting anyway.

    The trick is to face the fear. For that, one needs social support. This is how soldiers go into battle: solidarity with their comrades, and with leadership they believe in.

    The same will be true for the legions who must be mobilized to change things. Once people perceive that others are willing to take the risk, things can begin to move quickly.

    It is my assessment that the political elites, both Democratic and Republican, are sitting on a social volcano.

    And when it blows…

    emphasis mine

  3. I only dreamed of ponies and open meadows!

    • Robyn on June 14, 2008 at 02:33
    Art Link

    Bits and Bytes


    There is no sound but the clickety-clack of fingers on the keyboard

    There are no sights but the electronically formed letters on the screen

    But there are people in my computer

    Riding the crest of the technological future

    And I have joined them

    We have stripped ourselves down to the thoughts we express

    Mind meeting mind with no distractions

    The carefully chosen phrase can be undone

    By the carelessly tossed word

    A misplaced comma may cost a friendship

    We become our vocabulary and our usage of it

    Our emotions are expressed only through punctuation

    Yet we bare our souls to each other

    And form relationships deeper than those in the real world

    Because we must always trust each other

    Finland, Australia, South Africa and Canada

    Maine, Virginia, New Hampshire and Kansas

    Baltimore, Cleveland, San Francisco and Boston

    I have trod on your virtual streets today

    And visited with some of your most caring inhabitants

    We embrace each other thought to thought

    And love each other’s wisdom

    We share our joys and pain

    And support each other through our sorrows and triumphs

    This is life in e-space

    –Robyn Elaine Serven

    –June, 1993

    • kj on June 14, 2008 at 03:46

    and/or being destroyed by tornadoes!  cities destroyed! crops lost!  locusts are next!

    (whew, just had to get that out.)

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