Regular readers will be familiar with this series, one that I began in April 2007 as a way of documenting my life as an “out” gay man, seeking to be all “about” the Spirit-inspired work of embodying God’s justice and compassion in the world. I've continued the series in one form or another for the last 10 years – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 . . . and now into 2017.
So let's get started with this latest installment . . .
Above and right: Joining with close to 200 others in Minneapolis on Saturday, April 8 to speak out against the Trump administration's unilateral and illegal military action against the Syrian government in alleged retaliation for a chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians.
Organized by the Twin Cities-based Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and part of a series of nationwide demonstrations, this event was not only a response to the recent U.S. bombing of Syria, but served as a protest of the U.S. government's seemingly endless series of wars and interventions in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. As a spokesperson of the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition observed, "This new escalation will only lead to more death, injury and displacement."
For more images and commentary on this action, click here.
Above and left: The People's Climate Solidarity March in downtown Minneapolis, Saturday, April 29, 2017.
My friend Pete and I gathered with close to 1,000 others in solidarity with the People's Climate March (2.0) held that same day in Washington, D.C. According to The Washington Post, "tens of thousands" attended that event.
The aim of all the various People's Climate rallies and marches held across the U.S. on Saturday was twofold: to challenge the anti-environment policies of the Trump administration and the threat that these policies pose to our climate and our communities, and to demand government action on the very real issue of climate change.
For more images and commentary on this event, click here.
Above and below: On the same day as the People's Climate Solidarity March in Minneapolis (Saturday, April 29), my boyfriend Brent celebrated both his birthday and a housewarming party for his new home!
Above: Hello, boys! From left: George, John, me, Keith, Brent, Matt, and Omar – Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Right: Brent with members of his family.
Above: Standing at left with (from left) Brent, John, George, Omar, and Keith.
Left: Friends Matt and Joan – Saturday, April 29, 2017.
You may recall that my dear friend Joan accompanied me on a visit back to Australia in 2015.
Above: Brent on the back deck of his new home – April 2017.
Above and left: The return of spring to Minnesota!
For more images of spring in Minnesota, click here and here. And for spring's April 10 "wintry surprise," click here.
above) friends (from left) Joe, Raul, and Javier . . .
. . . and (right) Stephanie and Pete – Friday, March 31, 2017.
Our gathering took place less than a week after the spring equinox, and so we celebrated by sharing spring-related poetry, prose, and song . . . and a spring quiz!
For more images (along with the quiz!), click here.
Above: The afternoon tea I hosted for my friends Ken, Carol, Sue Ann, Brigid, and Kathleen – Friday, April 14, 2017.
Above: At my friend Zac's April 8 housewarming party in Minneapolis. From left: me, Slade, Zac, Hugh, Jessica, Heather, and Erin.
Above: Celebrating the birthday of my friend Colleen (center) at the house I share with my good friend Tim (Colleen's boyfriend) – Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Left: Colleen and Tim.
Above: Easter Sunday with my friend Pete and members of his family – April 16, 2017.
For The Wild Reed's three-part 2017 Holy Week series, "Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action," click here.
Above: Easter Sunday dinner with friends (from left) Ben, Noelle, Phil, John, Dee, and Liana.
Above: Thanks to my friend Brian I got to see and hear the Minnesota Orchestra's performance of Edward Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Opus 38 on the evening of Friday, April 21. It featured tenor Peter Auty, mezzo soprano Michelle Breedt, baritone Andrew Foster-Williams, and the Minnesota Chorale. It was a phenomenal performance of a rarely performed 90+ minute piece. How rare? Well, it was last performed by the Minnesota Orchestra in 1907.
Above: The Minnesota Orchestra on stage at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis – April 21, 2017.
Above: My friend Kathleen . . . in her newly renovated kitchen! This photo was taken on the evening of May 1, when we got together and celebrated the ancient Gaelic feast of Beltane.
Above: With my friend Pete – Thursday, May 4, 2017.
Above: With friends Pete and Chris – April 2017.
Above: An Aztec dancer, one of the hundreds of participants in this year's In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre's annual Mayday parade in Minneapolis – Sunday, May 7.
This year's theme, "Imagine, Heal, Resist," was all about coming together to "imagine a just and joyous future for all; heal personal, cultural and historical wounds; and to stand as a circle in resistance to false myths of separateness that perpetuate violence and inequality." Inspiring stuff, to be sure!
For more images and commentary, click here and here.
Above: Dinner with my friend Phil at Stella's Fish Cafe in Uptown, Minneapolis – Monday, May 8, 2017. Phil left the next day for a holiday in Northern Ireland, a place he'd wanted to visit for some time.
Above: With my friend Joan, enjoying dinner before seeing the Guthrie Theater's May 9 production of The Bluest Eye, based on the novel of the same name by Toni Morrison.
Above: With friends and fellow chaplain-interns Dan and Theresa – Monday, Monday, May 15, 2017.
Later that month all three of us completed the first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training, which we'd started part-time last October at St. Francis Medical Center in Shakopee, MN.
In August I'll be starting a year-long full-time chaplain residency at an inner city hospital in Minneapolis. First, though, I'll be returning to Australia in July to visit family and friends. I was last there around this time last year.
Above: Another image from the April 8, 2017 protest against the Trump administration's unilateral and illegal military action in Syria.
Right: A spring portrait!
Spring 2017 Wild Reed posts of note:
• "The Turn": A Lenten Meditation by Lionel Basney
• Spring: "Truly the Season for Joy and Hope"
• The War Racket
• Josef Salvat
• Progressive Perspectives on U.S. Military Intervention in Syria
• Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action (Part 1)
• Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action (Part 2)
• Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action (Part 3)
• Spring's Wintry Surprise
• Buffy Sainte-Marie: "I'm Creative Anywhere"
• Four Spot-on Responses to the United Airlines Debacle
• Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri
• Christianity and the Question of God's Presence in the Midst of Hardships and Heartache
• Considering Resurrection
• Celebrating the Return of Spring
• Celebrating Dusty
• Happy Birthday, Dad!
• Green Destiny
• Signs of the Times
• Beltane: Celebrating the Sheer Exuberance of May
• The People's Climate Solidarity March – Minneapolis, 4/29/17
• From Musical Duo Aquilo and Director Davis Silis, a Chilled Electronic Reminder That It "All Begins With You"
• "Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 1)
• "Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 2)
• On International Day Against Homophobia, Voices from Georgia
• In Too Deep
• It Is Happening Again: The Return of Twin Peaks
• Progressive Perspectives on Memorial Day
• "Of Thistledown and Magic": The Artistry of Ben Whishaw
• Trump's America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Out and About – Winter 2016-2017
• Out and About – Autumn 2016
• Out and About – Summer 2016
• Out and About – Spring 2016
Images: Michael J. Bayly.