The first ever online Billy Gathering was a fabulous success, with over 135 Billys attending from all over the world. We welcomed new Billys and veterans alike, from the Pacific Coast to London. Heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to Tair and Rio for manifesting their creative vision for Limitless Possibilities, with the help and hard work of Fred Cummins, Kris Shanks and all the volunteers from our Billy community. From the opening circle on Thursday through the closing circle on Monday, we experienced the riches of a real Billy Gathering, complete with heart circles, workshops, talent show, fashion show, cooking classes and shared meals, art gallery and even a love lounge, all from the comfort of home. BearHug invoked a mantra throughout the weekend of “I welcome you into my home and I open my heart to you”.
Each nightly ritual helped us explore all of our senses (thanks in part to the goodies envelope we were mailed). We laughed and cried and flirted and visited and saw each other’s homes and gardens. We shared heart circles with Billys from across the ages and miles. And the Board hosted a Billy 101 workshop for the many new Billys, and a Community Circle. We shared meals and sometimes even were seated at smaller tables by a handsome maitre-d. Twenty seven artists shared over a hundred works of art including paintings, photography, fiber art, and sculptures. So much talent was on display! The artists spoke about their art during the special Gala and Artist reception on Sunday.
So many commented on how real the connections felt. This online gathering experience was certainly less intimate physically but in many other ways, surprisingly more intimate. We could look closely into each other’s faces, and into each other’s homes. A delightful surprise indeed. I was personally uplifted to a new level of hopefulness and excitement about the future of our Billy Community.
We seemed to truly open the door to “Limitless Possibilities”. Labor Day online was a big step forward in recreating ourselves as a community. Again, big thanks to all who brought their Billy magic forward to weave our shared experience.
There were about 30 dedicated volunteers supporting the gathering in a myriad of ways. It’s now time to step up and be part of our next gathering creation. The physical gathering at Saratoga has been canceled, but Halloween Gathering Online is in the planning stages and is in need of visionaries and support.
With Billy hugs and much love,
Robert ’Zheart’ Zarren