Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fusion Lunch with Mark

It was good to see Mark again.  He was young, healthy and handsome as ever.  An entertaining conversationalist, he was a delight to share a meal with and catch up on years gone by.  I'll never forget his help raising money to keep my office open at one time while he also worked tirelessly with charity foundations to rainse money for underpriviledged youth.  He was in town for the Rhinestone Phoenix Charity Foundation fund raiser pageant, the annual crowning of Mr. and Ms. Gay Vancouver.
I was sorry I missed this as it's been an annual occasion for me.  I'd have so enjoyed mingling again with MLA's, the Mayor and all the paparazzi that are drawn to this community dress up event. One west coast wit called it the prime celebrity event for gowns and tails 'with emphasis on tails', he chuckled.
Mark caught me up on the activities of Lighthouse of Hope, now meeting at St. Margarets  as well as having hospital services.  Mark and my friendship began in our church affiliation and love of Christ.  Mark was closely involved with Pastor Dylan's inspirational mission when we met and he came to work with me. Since he returned to Alberta where his family is, he's continued his Christian ministry.  He's also studying for social work and had just had lunch with our mutual phd friend, Barbara, both of us encouraging his natural healing talents.  He's continued connected with the Haven, hoping to complete their counselling training as well.
A talented writer, he was researching male sexual abuse , especially in the church and family, as a book project   I encouraged him to contact Ben Nuttall Smith whose new book "Secrets Kept, Secrets Told"  was about this very issue.  He remembered Ben from scheduling my attendances at  the Canadian Author's Association.
Still single, he said, "I don't have time." Yet, he and friends had made  time to spend half the night of Halloween a couple of years back helping me move my apartment to storage and my expeditionary gear onto the sailboat.  How many times have people told Mark he must make time for himself rather than burning the candle at both ends helping others.
I told him about Ballet BC's bringing the Alberta Ballet here to do Love Lies Bleeding, the extravaganza production based on Elton John's life and music.
Talking with Mark I remembered the CBC interview of Alberta's new premier Alison Redford who had mocked an Ontario newspaper heralding her election as evidence of Alberta finally joining civilization.  Premier Alison Redford went onto say that Ontario had a long way to go to catch up with the Alberta whose citizens had long been at the cutting edge of culture, society and change.  As an Albertan, Mark certainly was his own man.  I couldn't help but think that given his diversity of interest but ever guiding Christian influence he represented the new life that Redford spoke of comparing the vitality of the west with the oftimes stifling stodginess of the east.
Shaking hands we parted, he to a plane flying east, and me back to my eastside Vancouver clinic.

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