Saturday, April 29, 2017

Come to Me . . .

. . . You've flapped and fluttered
against limits long enough.

You've been a bird without wings
in a house without doors or windows.

Compassion builds a door.
Restlessness cuts a key.

Step out and fly
proudly into sunlight.

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Don't Go Back to Sleep
Move Us, Loving God
"Then I Shall Leap into Love . . ."
Andrew Harvey on Radical, Divine Passion in Action
Active Waiting: A Radical Attitude Toward Life
Called to the Field of Compassion
The Sufi Way
Sufism: A Call to Awaken
In the Footsteps of Spring
Photo of the Day – May 29, 2012

Image: Michael J. Bayly.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Warrior's Heart

To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit. But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart. We need energy, commitment, and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over with any philosophy – material or spiritual. We need a warrior's heart that lets us face our lives directly, our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities. This courage allows us to include every aspect of life in our spiritual practice: our bodies, our families, our society, politics, the earth's ecology, art, education. Only then can spirituality be truly integrated into our lives.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Standing Strong
Growing Strong
Clarity, Hope. and Courage
May Balance and Harmony Be Your Aim
The Way of the Wounded Healer
David Whyte: "To Be Courageous is to Stay Close to the Way We Are Made"
Lovemaking: Pathway to Truth, Harmony and Wholeness
Quote of the Day – December 29, 2011

Image: Michael Greyeyes as the Oglala Lakota warrior and mystic Tȟašúŋke Witkó ('His-Horse-Is-Crazy' or 'His-Horse-Is-Spirited') generally known as Crazy Horse (ca. 1840–1877).

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quote of the Day

NOTE: Today's Quote of the Day is an excerpt from the April 25 eulogy by Étienne Cardiles [left] for his husband Xavier Jugelé [below], who was killed last week on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees by Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old Frenchman, in an attack claimed by ISIS.

I suffer without hatred. I borrow this formula from Antoine Leiris [whose wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed in the Bataclan theatre massacre on November 13, 2015] whose immense wisdom in the face of pain I have admired so much that I read and re-read his lines a few months ago. It is a lesson in life that has made me grow so much that it protects me today.

When the first messages were published informing Parisians that a serious event was taking place on the Champs-Elysees and a policeman had lost his life, a small voice told me that it was you, and I recalled this generous and healing formula: “You will not have my hatred.”

This hatred, Xavier, I do not have because it does not resemble you, because it does not correspond to anything that made your heat beat, or what made you a gendarme, then a guardian of peace. Because the general interest, the service of others and the protection of all were part of your education and your convictions, and that tolerance, dialogue and temperance were your best weapons.

– Étienne Cardiles
April 25, 2017

Postscript: Sadly, not all gay French men value the qualities of "tolerance, dialogue and temperance" embodied and articulated by Xavier Jugelé and Étienne Cardiles. This BBC article, for instance, examines the rise in support within the French LGBT community for the far right Front National (FN) party led by Marine Le Pen. It's a political party known for its homophobia, racism and anti-semitism. And yet as the BBC article notes, of the 3,200 gay French men that the dating app Hornet surveyed, one in five said they would be giving Marine Le Pen their vote in this weekend's French presidential election.

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
In the Wake of the Paris Attacks, Saying 'No' to War, Racism and Islamophobia

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Signs of the Times

Although I didn't participate in last Saturday's March for Science in St. Paul, I definitely support what it was (and continues to be) all about.

And what exactly is it about? Well, the march's organizers describe it as "the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments." What's not to support about that?

Saturday's march in St. Paul drew 10,000 people and was, as Liz Sawyer writes in the Star Tribune, "the largest Minnesota arm of a global effort to champion independent research and scientific fact at a time when many people feel that both are under attack by those seeking political gain."

More about the "political gain" bit at the end of this post. First, though, here are some of the more creative (and humorous) signs that folks around the country and the world brought along to the March for Science. These images, all found online, are accompanied by an excerpt from the march's Mission Statement.

The March for Science is a celebration of science. It's not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world. Nevertheless, the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?

People who value science have remained silent for far too long in the face of policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world. New policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research and communicate their findings. We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely. Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.

The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue. Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone — without exception. Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions. At its core, science is a tool for seeking answers. It can and should influence policy and guide our long-term decision-making.

The March for Science champions and defends science and scientific integrity, but it is a small step in the process toward encouraging the application of science in policy. We understand that the most effective way to protect science is to encourage the public to value and invest in it.


Why target President Donald Trump? Well, I'll let Tod Perry from the website Good explain.

Since taking office in January, some people have felt President Trump has been a bit hostile to the science community. His administration has put policies in place that silence federal agencies from publicly discussing climate change and has proposed massive budget cuts to the National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Energy. The President himself has voiced anti-scientific views by calling climate change a “Chinese hoax” and has supported the anti-vaxxer movement in the past.

To combat this systemic rejection of the scientific process, tens of thousands of people in over 600 cities on seven continents across the globe came together last Saturday at the March for Science.

Related Off-site Links:
At Least 10,000 March for the Love of Science in St. Paul – Liz Sawyer (Star Tribune, April 22, 2017).
Why They March: "Science and Scientists Are Now Under Attack" – Sharon Lerner (The Intercept, April 22, 2017).
Photos from Around the Country Show Just How Massive the March for Science Really Is – Mathew Rodriguez (Mic, April 22, 2017).
Planet Breaches 410 ppm as Back-to-Back Protests Demand Trump Wake Up – Lauren McCauley (Common Dreams, April 24, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Earth Day 2017
"It Is All Connected"
Something to Think About (and Embody)
A Record High
The Paris Climate Talks, Multilateralism, and a "New Approach to Climate Action"
Earth Day 2015
Quote of the Day – September 19, 2014
Photo of the Day – Earth Day 2013
Superstorm Sandy: A 'Wake-Up Call' on Climate Change
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2011
Thomas Berry (1914-2009)
At the Minnesota Capitol, Signs of the Times

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Green Destiny

I am close to the beginning of the earth.
I check the pulse of each flower.
I divine water's wet fate,
the tree's green destiny.

My spirit flows in new directions,
following all matter. . . .
My soul is true as a rock in the road.

I have never seen two spruce trees at war.
Never seen the willow subletting its shade to the earth.
The elms offer their branches to the crows rent-free.

Wherever there is a leaf, I bloom.
The poppy rinses me clean in the bath of Being.
As can the wings of a housefly I also can measure dawn's weight.
Like a vase, I listen to the music growing.
Like fruit in the basket I have a fever to ripen.

Sohrab Sepehri
Excerpted from "Water's Footfall"
as published in The Oasis of Now:
Selected Poems of Sohrab Sepehri

(translated from the Persian by Kazim Ali
and Mohammad Jafar Mahallati)
pp. 20-21

Images: Michael J. Bayly (Minnehaha Creek and its surrounding parkway – Minneapolis, April 2017).

Text: Sohrab Sepehri. (For another excerpt from "Water's Footfall," click here.)

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Spring: "Truly the Season for Joy and Hope"
The Enkindled Spring
Celebrating the Return of Spring
Springtime by the Creek
Spring's Wintry Surprise
Considering Resurrection
Let the Greening Begin . . .
Dreaming of Spring
A Springtime Prayer
In the Footsteps of Spring

Earth Day 2017

Related Off-site Links:
Happy Earth Day! Here Are All the Terrible Things Donald Trump Has Done So Far – Dominique Mosbergen (The Huffington Post, April 21, 2017).
Earth Day Pioneer Calls It a "Day Of Mourning" This Year Thanks to Trump – Michael McLaughlin (The Huffington Post, April 21, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Standing in Prayer and Solidarity with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock
"It Is All Connected"
Earth Day 2015
Photo of the Day – Earth Day 2013
Boorganna (Part I)
Boorganna (Part II)
Thomas Berry (1914-2009)
"Something Sacred Dwells There"
The End of the World As We Know It . . .
Quote of the Day – September 19, 2014
Michael Morewood on the Divine Presence
Diamond Head
On Sacred Ground
I Caught a Glimpse of a God

Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dad!

In Australia today my Dad celebrates a rather significant birthday.

Yes, 80 years ago today Dad was born in the rural New South Wales town of Coonabarabran to Aubrey and Isabel Bayly.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I've said it before but it's worth saying again: My brothers and I are very fortunate to have Gordon James Bayly as our father. He is a man of integrity, compassion, and selfless service to others. We experienced and witnessed such qualities growing up in our hometown of Gunnedah, and they're qualities that are still very much part of our father today.

I love you, Dad, and can’t thank you enough for all you continue to be and give to me, my brothers, our family, and so many others whose lives are touched by yours. I'm sorry I can't be with you to celebrate your birthday, but I sure do look forward to seeing you in July.

I last saw my father when I was back in Australia last May. I'm pictured above with him and my mother in the coastal town that they now call home, Port Macquarie.

Left: Dad holding me when I was just a little boy. This photo was taken during a family holiday at The Entrance in the Australian summer of 1966/67.

Right: With Dad in Port Macquarie – May 2016.

Above: Dad as a little boy with his parents Aubrey (Aub) and Isabel (Belle). This picture was taken in the early 1940s at “Flodden,” my grandmother’s family farm in the Purlewaugh district of northwestern New South Wales.

Above: Dad as a schoolboy in the 1940s.

Above: Mum and Dad, early in their courtship, in Gunnedah in the mid-1950s.

Above: Mum and Dad pictured at a social event in Gunnedah in the late 1960s.

Above: My brothers and I with Dad and Dad's step-father, Bill Smith, in the early 1970's. It's my younger brother Tim's birthday, and we were at a football carnival in, if I recall correctly, the small country town of Manilla. My older brother, Chris, was clearly playing that day.

Above: With Dad in Sydney, circa 1980.

Above: With Dad in 1990.

Above: Mum and Dad at Heidelberg Castle, Germany - August 23, 2005. For more images and commentary of our 2005 European tour, click here.

Above: Pictured with Dad in Port Macquarie in 2010.

Did you know that Dad is the same age as the Prince Valiant adventure strip? In fact, it was Dad's collection of Prince Valiant "comic" books from the 1950s that first fired my interest in that heroic Viking prince named Valiant!

That same interest compelled me in 2011 to establish a blog dedicated to what's been described as "the finest work ever produced in the comic art medium." And one of my first posts on this blog was the transcript of the interview I did with Dad in January 2010 about his early interest in Prince Valiant. To read this interview, click here.

Above: My brothers and I with our parents – April 2015.

From left: Tim, Mum, Dad, Chris, and me. We're pictured in Melbourne for my eldest nephew's wedding.

For more great photos of Dad and the Bayly family through the years, see the previous Wild Reed posts:
Happy Birthday, Dad (2015)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2014)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2013)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2011)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2010)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2009)
Congratulations, Mum and Dad
Catholic Rainbow (Australian) Parents

See also:
Commemorating My Grandfather, Aub Bayly, and the Loss of the AHS Centaur
Remembering Nanna Smith
A Visit to Gunnedah
Port Macquarie Days
Europe 2005