The Venice Drumming Circle is my church. There's no sermon, but plenty of folks finding their own God to worship. I have long avoided taking pictures there because I didn't want to be one of the many gawkers who arrive every week. Still, the individuals there are colorful and have taken on a sort of fictional life of their own in my mind.
As such, I will be sharing with you the stories I've written about them based solely on what I've observed at the Venice drumming circle. My interaction with these folks is somewhat limited, but after hanging there for 15 years, I consider many of them to be my friends even if I barely know their names. The stories that I present are not necessarily accurate, they are only my imagination's projections. Still, I hope that these vignettes provide a little grin for the reader as they have for me.
Below is a little clip of a typical few seconds at the drumming circle. I'm the tall guy in the back with the sunglasses and an open blue shirt with a whitish t-shirt beneath. I can tell that the circle wasn't harmonized when this clip was taken. When people are just sort of swaying back and forth, it usually means that while the rhythm in the foreground that you can hear is distinct, and the dancers near that are grooving, it is very possible that the drummers nearer to me were not listening to those near the camera. This gives rise to a very unpleasant clash of two rhythms that kind of prevents anybody from really hitting a groove. But it usually passes fortunately and the circle can coalesce into a really neat experience.