Let's see if Peter can post a blog.
I was invited to spend the Friday after the Institute with Community Living Cambridge for a day of thinking, learning, music and stories. After meeting and being wowed by Gerima Harvey in Toronto - and learning that he lived in the Waterloo area - I asked him if he would be interested in joining me for part of the day, if he happened to be available. He slowly nodded his head and smiled (you can picture it) and said, "Sure, if I can get there."
I said that if it was going to be hard to get a ride, I would be glad to pick him up. Of course, not only do I not know my way around the area, but a keen sense of direction is not one of my gifts. In fact, despite having passed Cambridge on my way to Toronto for the Institute, I managed to head EAST on the 401 leaving Toronto for Cambridge on Friday morning, was relieved when I got away from rush hour traffic, drove about 20 minutes, and then realized my mistake and began pounding my steering wheel yelling obscenities while looking for a way to turn around. I would blame this on having my head messed with by all the ideas at the Institute, but unfortunately I manage to do this kind of thing even here in Wisconsin.
Thanks to Jon T, Barb K, and Lourdes T (and others, for all I know) Gerima made it to the church in Cambridge where the training event was held. And did he rock the joint! You all know how he can play, and now about 80 other people do too. We had several other instruments, including the washboard tie and some drums a CLC staff person brought, and jammed to songs like "This is Your Last Day," "Person Centered Plan", "The Bowel Song" (we waited until after lunch for that one), and of course "Stand By Me."
I asked those present who had been at the Institute if they would share with the group some of what they are bringing back from it, and was reminded again of how rich the experience had been.
Music happened throughout the afternoon, and I think I can speak for Gerima in saying we both had a great time. We "passed the hat" so folks had a chance to show their appreciation for his talent monetarily. The guy is GOOD (but then you all know that.) I encourage anyone in the area: Invite Gerima to your event!
I look forward to more musical (and other) happenings at next year's Institute. I am now going to try to post a couple photos from Friday. Thank you all for contributing to a week that was ... where are the right adjectives... mmm, mmm, good. And thanks Lourdes and Community Living Cambridge for Friday. -- Peter