Saturday, May 23, 2020

Spring Awakens!



We've recently had a lot of rain here in the Twin Cities, which has ensured an incredible burst of spring green and spring blooms!

It's a beautiful sight, and one that fills me with hope. For despite all the upheaval and uncertainty in the world at this time, life goes on. And we see this every day in the “circling of nature,” which, as Thomas Moore reminds us, may be the best way to “find our substance” and thus our place and purpose in the world.

Following are some of my photographs of spring's return to Minnesota. Enjoy!















See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Photo of the Day – May 2, 2020
When Spring Returns
The Landscape Is a Mirror
Spring: “Truly the Season for Joy and Hope”
Let the Greening Begin
New Spring Green
Green Destiny
Following the Footprints of Spring
Spring Blooms
“Jubilation is My Name”: Spring in Minnesota
Full Bloom
Spring Garden
In the Footsteps of Spring
Thomas Moore on the Circling of Nature as the Best Way to Find Our Substance

Opening image: Spring awakens! . . . Actually, it's dancer Chalvar Monteiro (of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) in the 2019 production, Ode, which the New York Times describes as a "daring and delicate work" about gun violence.
All other images: Michael J. Bayly (March-May 2020).


Friday, May 22, 2020

Quote of the Day

The President said today that he will “override the governors” and force states to allow churches to open. Churches should not be opened (or closed) by order of a president, but because it is safe to do so. To open churches before it is safe would needlessly put more lives at risk. And that would be the opposite of pro-life. Governors and religious leaders should follow the advice of public health experts and epidemiologists to help prevent the spread of [the coronavirus] infection and preserve life. Everyone wants to go back to church, including me, but not at the risk of increased infection and death, especially among the most vulnerable.

Churches are indeed essential for Christians, and the desire to worship together is a holy desire. But holy though your desire may be, it's not just about you and your desire. It's about protecting the other person, especially if you are, like many people, asymptomatic. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance and even not gathering in churches protects the other person.

There have already been confirmed cases in Texas and Minnesota where Catholic churches have opened and the priests were found to have been unknowingly infected. Coming into contact with their parishioners, and exposing them to infection, may end up causing deaths, especially among the most vulnerable – the elderly, who often make up the majority of churchgoers.

I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. If you have the measles and a doctor says, “Don't go to church because you might infect a woman who is pregnant, ” you don't rail at your doctor for “impinging on your freedom.” You listen to the doctor, make the sacrifice, and stay home, as a way of protecting the other person.

All these preventive actions are ways of caring of the other person – that is, ways of loving.



Related Off-site Links:
Trump Declares Houses of Worship “Essential” and Threatens to Override Governors – Jordyn Phelps and Elizabeth Thomas (ABC News May 22, 2020).
Minnesota Church Groups Divided on Govenor Tim Walz's Orders – Jean Hopfensperger (Star Tribune May 22, 2020).
Minnesota's Catholic Bishops Say They'll Defy Walz's Limits on Church AttendanceMPR News (May 20, 2020).
Not Attending Church Won't Kill Anyone, But Rushing to Reopen Might – Jennifer Brooks (Star Tribune, May 22, 2020).
Pro-Trump Doctors to Promote Reopening States Despite CDC WarningsDemocracy Now! (May 22, 2020).
Churches Obsessed With Their Right to Reopen Are Missing the Point – Peter W. Marty (The Christian Century, May 18, 2020).
“I Dissent”: David Haas on Re-Opening Church – David Haas (Pray Tell, May 14, 2020).
Four Concepts to Assess Your Personal Risk as the U.S. Reopens – Leana S. Wen (The Washington Post, May 21, 2020).
America, How Do You Grieve 100,000 Lives? – John Pavlovitz (JohnPavlovitz.com, May 22, 2020).

UPDATES: Gov. Tim Walz to Let Minnesota Churches Open at 25% Occupancy – Christopher Snowbeck and Shannon Prather (Star Tribune, May 23, 2020).
Muslim American Society of Minnesota Decides to Keep Islamic Centers and Masjids ClosedCBS Minnesota News, May 23, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Hope and Beauty in the Midst of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic
A Prayer in Times of a Pandemic
An Infectious Disease Specialist Weighs-in on Covid-19
Marianne Williamson: In the Midst of This “Heartbreaking” Pandemic, It's Okay to Be Heartbroken
The Calm Before the Storm
In the Midst of Crisis, Learning Resistance and Vision-Seeking from the Indigenous and African-American Experience
The Crisis Is Not About the Virus
Examining the Link Between Destruction of Biodiversity and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Something to Think About – April 22, 2020
Marianne Williamson: “This Is a Time of Transformation”
“You're All Kings and Queens”
The Lancet Weighs-in on the Trump Administration's “Incoherent” Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Memes of the Times


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Memes of the Times



There’s no point trying to be solemn for solemnity’s sake. Even in the darkest, most trying and difficult moments, I believe if something is funny, you have to laugh. Seize the opportunity to escape the situation, even if for a few seconds, and welcome the release.




With every state in the U.S. now relaxing to some degree their “stay-in-place” orders, first put into effect back in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems a good time to look back at some of the funny memes (and a couple of serious ones) of the past few months.



















































































































Related Off-site Links:
Why It’s Essential to Find Humor During Your Darkest Hours – Aimee Foster (Tiny Buddha, 2015).
Escape Our Current Hell With These (Good) Coronavirus Jokes – Chris Murphy (Vulture May 8, 2020).
How ‘Karen’ Became a Coronavirus Villain – Kaitlyn Tiffany (The Atlantic, May 6, 2020).
What 11 Artists Have Created During Quarantine – Gay Gassmann (Architectural Digest, May 19, 2020).
Opposing Social Distancing Isn’t About Freedom – Tim Wise (Medium, May 19, 2020).
U.S. Lockdown Protests May Have Spread Virus Widely, Cellphone Data Suggests – Jason Wilson (The Guardian, May 18, 2020).
Here’s How Most Americans Really Feel About Wearing Face Masks – Ariel Edwards-Levy (The Huffington Post, May 20, 2020).
Tired of Being Home Most of the Time, Americans in Reopened States Weigh the Risks of Going Out – Christina Maxouris, Eliott C. McLaughlin, and Steve Almasy (CNN, May 20, 2020).

UPDATES: Four Concepts to Assess Your Personal Risk as the U.S. Reopens – Leana S. Wen (The Washington Post, May 21, 2020).
Poll: Minnesotans Support Stay-at-Home Restrictions as Fear of the Virus Persists – Briana Bierschbach and Jessie Van Berkel (Star Tribune, May 23, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Hope and Beauty in the Midst of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic
A Prayer in Times of a Pandemic
An Infectious Disease Specialist Weighs-in on Covid-19
Marianne Williamson: In the Midst of This “Heartbreaking” Pandemic, It's Okay to Be Heartbroken
The Calm Before the Storm
In the Midst of Crisis, Learning Resistance and Vision-Seeking from the Indigenous and African-American Experience
The Crisis Is Not About the Virus
Examining the Link Between Destruction of Biodiversity and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Something to Think About – April 22, 2020
Marianne Williamson: “This Is a Time of Transformation”
“You're All Kings and Queens”
The Lancet Weighs-in on the Trump Administration's “Incoherent” Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic