Sunday, March 22, 2020

Out and About – Winter 2019-2020

Well, the spring equinox has been and gone. . . . High time, then, to take a look back over the recently ended winter in Minnesota. . . . And what a winter it was!

But first, regular readers 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 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 11 years – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 . . . and now into 2020.

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

A definite highlight for me this past winter was seeing and hearing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at a campaign event in downtown St. Paul on Monday, March 2, 2020 (opening image).

Before she suspended her campaign, author Marianne Williamson was another presidential candidate I supported. I wore my "Marianne 2020 – Department of Peace" jacket to Bernie's rally as the establishment of such a department is something I hope he'd consider if elected president. Marianne officially endorsed Bernie on February 23.

Something like 8,000 people attended Bernie's March 2 event in St. Paul. I was with several hundred in the overflow space of the venue, and before he delivered his speech in the main auditorium, Bernie, accompanied by his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders, came and spoke to us for about fifteen minutes. I'm sure there's no way I would have been as close to Bernie as I was if I had been part of the main crowd inside!

For more images and commentary on Bernie Sanders' March 2 event in St. Paul, click here.

Above: Sitting at right with friends at a Christmas Day 2019 celebration. From left: John, George, Ian, Joan, Matt, and Zach.

Right: With my friend Deandre – Christmas Eve 2019.

Above: I do love me some Christmas baubles!

Above: My friends Matt and Joan.

Above: A Christmas portrait of my friend Deandre.

Above: Celebrating my friend Adnan's birthday (and his return from Somaliland) – December 27, 2019.

Above and left: On Sunday, January 5, 2020 I joined with around 200 other people in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis to rally and march against U.S. military intervention in Iraq and the growing danger of a U.S. war on Iran.

For more images and commentary on this rally and the events that precipitated it,click here.

For the January 7 statement from Veterans for Peace condemning any and all U.S. aggression towards Iran, click here.

Above: With friends (from left) Mary, Brigid, Kathleen, Darlene, and (at far right) Tom – January 10, 2020.

Right: With my buddy Raul – January 7, 2020.

Above: With friends Rick and Brian – January 10, 2020.

My friends Joan and Matt hosted the twelfth Queer Movie Night on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

Pictured above (from left): me, Joan, Jim, Brent, Omar, and Daniel.

The film that Joan and Matt chose for us to watch and discuss was Between the Shades, a 2017 documentary by filmmaker Jill Salvino. In this film, Salvino interviews a diverse group of individuals in a quest to put faces to the letters that make up the LGBTQI community. The film also explores how these letters have evolved.

For more about our Queer Movie Night series, click here.

Above: Friends (from left) Pete, Jeffrey, John, and Jim – January 26, 2020.

Above: At left with (from left) Pete, Jeffrey, and Brent – Puerto Vallarta, Sunday, February 2, 2020.

My friend Brent and I flew down to the beautiful resort town of Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico's Pacific coast, early Sunday morning, February 2. Here we stayed for four days with our mutual friends Pete and Jeffrey, and Pete's parents Gary and Ruth, in a condominium in the Molina Del Agua complex, located in the Old Town of Puerto Vallarta. Throughout the duration of our stay the weather was unseasonable crappy – overcast, rainy and cool. But we definitely made the most of our time in this beautiful place.

Above: I call this my Puerto Vallarta portrait! (With thanks to my friend Pete.)

For more images and commentary on my time in Puerto Vallarta, click here, here and here.

Above: Back in Minneapolis, where my mate Deandre helped me set up my new smart TV on the evening of February 11, 2020.

Above: A visit to the Prayer Tree – Saturday, March 7, 2020.

Above: The winter view from my skylight – January 22, 2020. For more images of winter, click here.

Above: In the last weeks of winter 2020, events began unfolding across the globe that I think it's fair to say, are unprecedented in living memory. As I write, the coronavirus pandemic continues, as does panic buying by some of certain goods and products.

It's a strange and stressful time, to be sure, as whole cities and even countries impose lockdowns in an effort to slow the spread of infection and spare health care systems from being overwhelmed.

Yes, these are bleak and troubling days in many ways.

But there is also a lot of inspiring and hopeful energy being generated and actions being taken in response to this crisis. To see what I mean, click here and here.

And in the challenging weeks and months ahead, may we all stay safe, hopeful, and lovingly-connected to one another!

NEXT: Spring 2020

Winter 2019-2020 Wild Reed posts of note:
Winter Solstice Blessing
The Joy of Christmas
Finn and Poe Revisited
Ben Ehrenreich on the Global Uprisings Against Neoliberalism
Let Us Be the Wise Ones They're Waiting For
In Australia, “the Land As We Know It Is No More”
Saying Farewell to 2019 in a Spirit of Gratitude
A Blessing for the New Year
Saying “No” to War on Iran
The Case for Bernie Sanders
“A Beautiful Message, So Full of Greatness”
Remembering Patrice Lumumba
Moderates, Radicals, and MLK
Holy Encounters Where Two Worlds Meet
Winter . . . Within and Beyond
D’Angelo’s Voodoo, 20 Years On
A Prayer for the Present Moment
Quotes of Note Regarding the Senate’s Impeachment Trial of President Trump
Thoughts on the Eve of the Iowa Caucuses
Winter Round-Up
Puerto Vallarta – Part I | Part II | Part III
Thoughts on the “Sanders Surge”
George Yancy on the “Unspoken Reality of Death”
Carl Anderson: On and On
Bernie Sanders and the Corporate Media
Carl Anderson and The Black Pearl
“I Learned So Much From the Experience”: Marianne Williamson on Her Presidential Bid
Happy Birthday, Buffy!
Carl Anderson in The Color Purple
“It's Time to Take a Stand”: Marianne Williamson Endorses Bernie Sanders for President
Carl Anderson: “Let the Music Play!”
The Mysticism of Trees
Bernie Sanders’ “Revolution” is Ultimately One of Values – the Values of Justice, Hope, and Love
Marianne Williamson on the Contest Being Played Out by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders
An Infectious Disease Specialist Weighs-in on Covid-19
Progressive Perspectives on Big Tuesday and Beyond
A Prayer in Times of a Pandemic
Hope and Beauty in the Midst of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic
“Let Us All Unite!”

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Autumn 2019
Out and About – Spring & Summer 2019
Out and About – Winter 2018-2019

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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