Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Organizing the Gabe LBGTQ Community

Issa is gone. I am heartbroken. Leo and Merrill came over for coffee and to warm up while the movers emptied their home and loaded up their truck. I shall miss this warm welcoming wonderful family. As they were leaving, it started snowing again. Damnation! By 2:00 pm, there was a raging blizzard of snow. And it’s supposed to snow some more today. Just fuck!

In the evening, the snow slowed to a trickle, thank God. But more snow fell overnight. (See the last two words of the previous paragraph.) However, I was warm and cozy all day in the house, perched by the fire. In the evening, I got some lovely insight into the Silk Road Ensemble (SRE; headed by the incredibly delightful Yo-Yo Ma) watching a film on Kanopy called The Music of Strangers. And no sooner had it started, than he was playing Cello Suite #1; G Major; Prélude; Bach. I started crying.

Is there anything more beautiful than cello music played by a master? And Bach’s prelude is a favourite piece of music, so I was hooked. Plus, I have an SRE album. So, once the film was done, I listened to it with new ears because now I know what the instruments are and who the musicians are as well. I adore the SRE. I love the music of most every culture that I’ve heard, and it all comes together in the SRE. Geez, it felt good to wash my soul in that music.

The film follows a fiery gaita guitar player (gaita is a Spanish bagpipe), an Iranian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor (a kamancheh is a stringed instrument, played with a bow), and a charismatic and passionate clarinetist named Kinan Azmeh, who plays like the angels. He can put emotion into music like no-one else. And then there’s the pipa player, Wu Man. (The pipa resembles an autoharp.) Wu Man is a whirlwind. We meet her playing a Black Sabbath song. I loved every one of them, regardless of their being astounding musicians.

The film is uncomfortable early on. The edits and the flow of the script jar. But the music and the personalities involved made it thoroughly enjoyable. I felt uplifted by their music and their charm. You go, Yo-Yo! And the personal stories of the ensemble members covered in the film,  is touching and revealing.

I’ve yet to do a run through of my script without a block. I shall persevere.  I’ve all day to day to work on it (and read), because there’s been another dump of snow and I ain’t going anywhere today. But tonight I have a clinic meeting.

I’ve written for information from the Nanaimo Foundation about their Neighbourhood Small Grant Program. They provide up to $500 to underwrite projects good for community cohesion and advancement. I’m applying for money to have a LGBTQ community party for all of us on Gabriola. I want to create an LGBTQ email mailing list that will enable us to become an informal social organization that has annual or bi-annual parties. Plus, I want the parties (and associated auction perhaps), to create a worthwhile donation for the Gabriola Health Care Foundation.

There are 1,000 people on the waiting list for a doctor. If we are going to get more doctors, we need more space in our clinic. We must create rooms in which they can work. We must expand the clinic. It’s down the line, but we can donate the money and bind it to the construction of a new facility. By the time the Foundation makes the decision to expand, they’ll have a decent donation in hand from the LGBTQ community (that I now call the Alphabet Community).

My cabal consists of Jay, Eoin, François, Steve, Dan, Bryce, Trevor, Clarence, Alex and me. Plus, I know some local lesbians who have a well-connected community here. I’m certain that they’ll all help me with the initial meeting and with party management. 

Rhodotus palmatus, the Wrinkled Peach Mushroom 

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