Thursday, December 03, 2015

Out and About – Autumn 2015

Regular readers of The Wild Reed will be familiar with my "Out and About" series, one that I began in April 2007 as a way of documenting my life as an “out” gay Catholic man, seeking to be all “about” the Spirit-inspired work of embodying God’s justice and compassion in the Church and the world. I've continued the series in one form or another every year since – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and now into 2015.

So let's get started with this latest installment . . .

Above and left: On Wednesday, November 18, I participated in the weekly peace vigil on the Lake St./Marshall Ave. bridge, which links Minneapolis and St. Paul.

It was the first vigil to take place after the horrific November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris which claimed 128 lives. Accordingly, the November 18 vigil was entitled "Say No to War, Racism and Islamophobia: Don't Let Paris Be An Excuse for More War."

For more images and commentary on this vigil and for links to articles on alternatives to violence (i.e., "military strikes") in responding to the Paris attacks, click here.

Above and right: The "Justice for Jamar" candlelight vigil outside the 4th precinct police station in north Minneapolis – Friday, November 20, 2015.

I attended this powerful show of community solidarity with my friends Tim and Kathleen. It was an event that drew around 1000 people and featured a number of inspiring speeches by local and national civil rights leaders, including Cornell Brooks, head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Nekima Levy-Pounds, the Minneapolis NAACP chapter president, and Mahmoud El-Kati, a former Macalester College professor and an African-American historian. The vigil also involved singing, chanting, and a march to the site a few blocks away where Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man, was fatally shot by police while in custody on November 15. A number of witnesses say Clark was laying on the ground and handcuffed at the moment he was shot by a police officer.

"We understand that all lives matter," Brooks told the crowd at one point, "[but] unless black lives matter, all lives can’t matter . . . We are in it for the long haul." (above) was a powerful embodiment of community and solidarity.

For more images and commentary on this vigil, along with updates on the ongoing 4th Precinct occupation and the #Justice4Jamar movement, click here.

Autumn was a pretty eventful time for me this year: I celebrated my 50th birthday (right) and, soon after, started dating a wonderful guy named Brent (above).

Brent and I had our second date at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. For images of this beautiful public garden, click here.

For previous posts related to my reaching the big Five-0, see:
A Guidepost on the Journey
For 2015, Three "Generous Promises"
The Choice (and Risk) That is Love
The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle
Turning 50

Above: The place in Minneapolis I call home, and which I share with my good friend Tim.

The house is of Dutch Colonial Revival design, built in the early years of the twentieth-century. It's located very close to Minnehaha Creek (right) and its surrounding areas of parkland and urban wilderness.

Above: The parlour of my south Minneapolis home.

Left: Candlelight reflected in a framed picture of Vaslav Nijinsky. I came across this image years ago, and it was one of a number that piqued my interest in Nijinsky.

This past summer and fall I've read a number of books about the famed dancer, including Nijinsky: God of the Dance by Derek Parker, Nijinsky: A Life of Genius and Madness by Richard Buckle, and Nijinsky by Lucy Moore.

For my 50th birthday my friend and housemate Tim gave me a second copy of Lincoln Kirstein's Nijinsky Dancing, the most complete collection of photographs of Nijinsky. First published in 1975, it's now only available used, and the first copy I ordered turned out to be rather badly water-damaged. So Tim offered to buy me a second copy for my birthday.

The first one has come in handy, though, as I was able to salvage the above images which I hope to have one day professionally framed. They depict Nijinsky in some of his most famous roles. From left: as Harlequin in Le Carnaval (1911); as the Rose in Le Spectre de la Rose (1911); as the Blue God in Le Dieu Bleu (1912); as the Captain of the Lezgins in Le Festin (1909); as Albrecht in Giselle (1910); as the Slave in Le Pavillon d'Armide (1911); and as the Faun in L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune (1912).

Above: Tim and his girlfriend Colleen – September 2015.

I've mentioned previously that since the beginning of the year my friend Pete and I have been meeting every Thursday morning for breakfast. We thought it would be fun to get a photograph of us at every new restaurant we visited (along with some of our regular ones).

In the photo above we're on the patio of Victor's 1959 Cafe (October 1, 2015). One week later we decided to try The Lowry (left). We weren't disappointed.

Right: At the 50th Street Cafe in Edina – Thursday, September 25, 2015.

Above: Pete and I breakfasting earlier today at Yum! Kitchen and Bakery in St. Louis Park.

Above: With my friend Matt at one of my favorite restaurants in south Minneapolis, Vo's – September 26, 2015.

After enjoying lunch at Vo's, Matt and I spent the afternoon at Minnehaha Park where we followed Minnehaha Creek from Minnehaha Falls to the Mississippi River. For images of our time at this beautiful place, click here.

Above: On the evening of November 7, my friend Karam hosted a wonderful soirée at his home in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. From left: Karam, Brent, Luis, Paari, Archana, and Lorraine.

Right: With my friend Raul – October 24, 2015.

Above: On the evening of November 14, 2015, friends and I saw Collide Theatrical Dance Company's production of CLU. Pictured from left: Me, Aaron, John, Kathy, and Liz.

C.L.U. featured one of my favorite Twin Cities-based dancers, Riley Thomas Weber, as "the Butler." Previously, Weber had danced with Cities’ Classical Dance Ensemble. I spotlighted this group's Ballet Amore performance in 2011. As he did back then, Weber demonstrated in CLU both his impressive dancing abilities and his skills as a musician . . . by beautifully playing the cello.

Above: With friends Nate, Noelle and John – September 2015.

Above (from left): Noelle, John, Brittany, Phil, Jacob, Liana and Curtis – October 2015.

Right: With my friend Noelle – October 2015.

Above: With Amelia, daughter of my friends Liana and Cutis – November 2015.

Above and left: I've had the pleasure of baby-sitting Amelia a few times this past autumn. It's always a fun time . . . for both of us!

Above and below: Eddie.

Above and below: Quinn.

Above: Natasha.

Above: Tim and Colleen, dressed up and ready for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Above: I spent the early part of Halloween night at the home of my friends Pete and Kyle. It was here that I was pleased to see that at least one person decided to dress-up as a faun this year! Truth be told, it's something I've always wanted to do. This young man's beanie kinda ruins the effect, but maybe it's to hide the fact that he couldn't find a pair of horns. His girlfriend, as you can probably tell, was dressed as a bee.

Above: Minneapolis' Loring Park – October 2015.

For previous Wild Reed posts that celebrate the autumn of 2015, see:
Autumn Hues
Photo of the Day – 10/29/15
Autumn Leaves
A Magical Time and Place
From the Falls to the River
An Afternoon at the Arboretum
Autumn Beauty

Above: My friend Pete, pictured by a spring located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, just below the University of St. Thomas. The whole area is basically a deep wooded ravine, formed by the stream created by this spring, a stream that flows into the nearby Mississippi River. It's a very beautiful place, and my time there with Pete will always remain in my mind as a magical one.

Above and below: The first snowfall of the approaching winter – Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015.

Right: My housemate Tim, putting the finishing touches to our Christmas tree – November 30, 2015.

For previous Wild Reed posts celebrating the Christmas tree, see:
The Christmas Tree as Icon, Inviting Us to Contemplate the "One Holy Circle" of Both Dark and Light
Something to Cherish
Christmas Baubles
Christmastide Approaches

Last Sunday, November 29, was the First Sunday of Advent. I've yet to write an Advent post this year, but following are some from previous years from which I continue to gain both insight and hope. Perhaps you will too!

Previous Wild Reed Advent posts:
Active Waiting: A Radical Attitude Toward Life
Advent: The Season of Blessed Paradox
The Centered Life as an Advent Life
Rejoice? (Advent 2012)
Advent 2011: Thoughts and Reflections (Part 1)
Advent 2011: Thoughts and Reflections (Part 2)
Advent 2011: Thoughts and Reflections (Part 3)
Advent 2011: Thoughts and Reflections (Part 4)
Thoughts on Waiting . . . and a Resolution
My Advent Prayer for the Church
Advent: Renewing Our Connection with the Sacred

Above: Autumn ends, winter returns . . . and the journey continues.

Autumn 2015 Wild Reed posts of note:
Pope Francis in the U.S.
Remembering John McNeill
Another "Mackalicious" Moment
Autumn Beauty
St. Francis Assisi: A Gay Man's Man
"Trajectory is More Important Than the Current Status"
Quite Something
The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle
Autumn Leaves
Words of Wisdom on Indigenous Peoples Day
The Ground Zero Papal Prayer Service . . . and a Reminder of the Spirituality That Transcends What All the Religions Claim to Represent
Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality (Part 8)
An Afternoon at the Arboretum
From the Falls to the River
Remembering James B. Nelson, 1930-2015
A Magical Time and Place
Turning 50
The Pagan Roots of All Saints Day
James Alison on the Likely "Really Big Deal" of Synod 2015
What We Mean by Love
On Armistice Day, Remembering Edward Brittain and Geoffrey Thurlow
Autumn Hues
In the Wake of the Paris Attacks, Saying 'No' to War, Racism and Islamophobia
"We Are All One" – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Sanctuary for Gay Syrians Danny and Aamer
Come, Spirit . . .

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Summer 2015 (Part I)
Out and About – Summer 2015 (Part II)
Out and About – Spring 2015 (Part I)
Out and About – Spring 2015 (Part II)
Australian Sojourn – March 2015
Out and About – Winter 2014-2015
Out and About – Autumn 2014

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