Tuesday, October 18, 2016


The following words of author and poet Julia Cameron are particularly meaningful to me at this time, for reasons which I'll share in a later post. Perhaps these words will resonate with you too, and where you're at on your journey.

All beginning is an ending. I both celebrate and grieve. As I choose to start anew, I choose to believe in my own resilience. I choose to trust the generosity of life. Calling upon Spirit to supply me, I encounter fulfillment of my needs. Spirit has abundant supply for my heart's desires. It is the pleasure of Spirit to give. It is my gift back to Spirit to accept. In an antique shop, I find a crystal globe, an antique map that speaks to me of a world lit only by firelight. On a beach, I find the fragile shell washed to me from warmer climes. The falling leaf, vivid and transitory, reminds me of life's cyclicality. A friend's dog licks my hand. I accept the generosity of Spirit. I allow my life to be made anew.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Onward Call
Unique . . . Yes, You!
The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle
Threshold Musings
Seeking Balance
May Balance and Harmony Be Your Aim
Memet Bilgin and the Art of Restoring Balance
Clarity, Hope and Courage
Prayer and the Experience of God in an Ever-Unfolding Universe
For 2015, Three "Generous Promises"
A Guidepost on the Journey
Turning 50
Be Just in My Heart
All 'Round Me Burdens Seem to Fall
As the Last Walls Dissolve . . . Everything is Possible

Image: Michael J. Bayly.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

An Autumn Afternoon at Minnehaha Falls

I spent much of this afternoon with my friend Kyle at Minnehaha Falls in south Minneapolis. We followed Minnehaha Creek from the Falls to the place where it flows into the Mississippi River. It was almost a year ago when, with my friend PJ, I made the same trek from the Falls to the River.

Today's trek took place under an overcast sky. It was nevertheless a beautiful autumn afternoon, as I hope the images I share this evening show.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
From the Falls to the River
Autumn Beauty
Autumn Leaves
O Sacred Season of Autumn
"Thou Hast Thy Music Too"
Autumn Hues
An Autumn Walk Along Minnehaha Creek
Autumn Dance

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Quote of the Day

A month to go [until the U.S. presidential election] and I find myself skewered with something bigger than frustration. It begins with the false, dead enthusiasm I hear in Hillary’s attempts to rally her base, the tepid “USA! USA!” she invokes as she praises America’s generals and its wars and its moral righteousness. She and Trump are running for president on the same illusion, and there’s something seriously wrong with this.

It’s no accident that most of the focus this election season is on how bad the other candidate is. The rallying cry from both sides is: We have no choice. And I agree with those words, but attach a different meaning to them. We have no choice because we’re given no choice. We live in a permanent state of Democracy for Dummies: a complexity-free democracy, reduced to a game of winning and losing. The voters are spectators, not co-creators of the national future. No, the future is already predetermined, and it’s one of unquestioned military budgets and endless war.

Robert C. Koehler
Excerpted from "The Politics of Fear"
Common Dreams
October 6, 2016

Related Off-site Links:
Outside RNC Headquarters, Millennials Declare: "It's Trump vs. All of Us" – Deirdre Fulton (Common Dreams, October 6, 2016).
I Don’t Like Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party. I’m Voting for Them Anyway – Annabel Park (The Washington Post, October 6, 2016).
As Trump Brags About Tax Avoidance, New Sanders Bill Aims to Fix Rigged System – Andrea Germanos (Common Dreams, October 5, 2016).

Sex, Lies and America’s Deplorable Democracy – Peter Bloom (Common Dreams, October 9, 2016).
Wikileaks E-mails Reveal Hillary Clinton's Presidential Strategy Which Included "Elevating" Trump in GOP – Tara West (TheInquistr.com, October 9, 2016).
Leaked E-mails Show That Trump Was a Tool Used By the Clinton Campaign From Day One – Brandon Morse (RedState.com, October 9, 2016).
Both Campaigns Enthusiastically Violate Ban on Super PAC Coordination, Watchdog Says – Jon Schwarz (The Intercept, October 7, 2016).
Needed Now: A Peace Movement Against the Clinton Wars to Come – Andrew Levine (CounterPunch, October 7, 2016).
Trump May Go Away, But the People He Has Empowered Will Not – Jeremy Scahill (The Intercept, October 9, 2016).
At Second Debate, a Monster Calls – Michael Winship (Common Dreams, October 11, 2016).
In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast as Putin Plots – Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept, October 11, 2016).
Planned Attacks on Sanders Included in WikiLeaks' Third Batch of Podesta E-mails – Nika Knight (Common Dreams, October 11, 2016).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Carrying It On
Progressive Perspectives on Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton
Progressive Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump
Hope, History, and Bernie Sanders
Super Tuesday Thoughts on Bernie Sanders
Quote of the Day – September 15, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Out and About – Summer 2016

Well, autumn is here in all its unique beauty which means it's high time to review the summer just passed with the latest installment of my "Out and About" series.

Regular readers of The Wild Reed 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 every year since – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 . . . and now into 2016.

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

A real highlight of this past summer was seeing and meeting one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters, the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie. I was actually fortunate enough to see her twice in concert – in Minneapolis on August 26 and in Bayfield, Wisconsin on August 27.

In the image above I'm pictured with Buffy and drummer Michel Lee Bruyere. At left, Buffy is pictured on stage with guitarist Anthony King.

For images and commentary on both these performances, see the special Wild Reed post, A Music Legend Visits the North Country


Another highlight, though a somber one to be sure, was my participation in the July 7 vigil and march remembering and honoring the life of Philando Castile, a young black man lethally shot by a police officer on July 6. Philando's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, videoed the aftermath of the shooting and live-streamed it on Facebook. Reynold's young daughter was in the back seat of the vehicle throughout the ordeal.

Castile's death came just days after the police shooting death of another black man, Alton Sterling, in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, and was at the time the latest in a long list of black lives violently taken by law enforcement in the U.S.

For more images and commentary on the vigil and march for Philando Castile, click here.

Above: Bde Maka Ska ("White Earth" Lake), also known as Lake Calhoun, as viewed from the apartment of my good friend Raul (pictured at left wearing my Akubra Territory hat!). I've long maintained that Raul has one of the best views in Minneapolis.

For more images of Bde Maka Ska, click here, here, and here.

Above: Brent and I on the rooftop of Raul's apartment building in Uptown, Minneapolis – June 2016.

Right: A rain storm sweeping in from the west over Bde Maka Ska.

Above: With Brent and our friend Pete at the Twin Cities Gay Pride festival in Minneapolis' Loring Park – June 25, 2016.

For The Wild Reed's 2016 Queer Appreciation post, "I Will Dance," click here.

For a collection of images of LGBTQ Pride celebrations from around the world, see the special Wild Reed post, Worldwide Gay Pride – 2016.

Above: Friends Matt, Joan, and Karla – July 2016.

Left: With Brent – July 2016.

Above: Friends John, Brent, Fred, Carmen, Mark, Phil, Madeline, Noelle, and Ben – July 2016.

Above: Pictured center (wearing what I call my Cernunnous t-shirt) with friends (from left) Rick, Bob, Adrian, Brian, and John – August 2016.

Above: Breakfasting with my friend Pete at Eggy's Diner in Minneapolis – June 2016.

Right: With Pete and my friend and work colleague Julia at Our Kitchen – September 2016.

Above: With my friend Pete's nephew and niece – August 2016.

Above: On the shores of Pelican Lake, Minnesota – July 14, 2016.

I drove to Pelican Lake from the Twin Cities to spent the weekend with my good friend Angie and her family at their summer get-away spot. It was a wonderful few days away from the Cities, and great to catch up with Angie and her family.

For more images and commentary, click here.

Above: Hamming it up with Angie's and her husband Bryon's three daughters – July 16, 2016.

Above: Lake Harriet, Minneapolis – August 2016.

Above: Amelia!

Left: Summer blooms.

For more images, click here, here, here, and here.

Above: Eddie, who's clearly not in the least bit interested in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, also known as the 2016 Summer Olympics! Perhaps he'd read Sonali Kolhatkar's critique of the Games.

Above and left: More summer beauty.

Above: My friend Kyle snapped this photo of me when we took a breather in our walk from my place to the Tiny Diner in south Minneapolis.

Right: One of my favorite flowers, the sunflower. I take after my maternal grandfather, Valentine Sparkes, in this regard.

Above: My friend Kyle, pictured by the placid waters of Lake Harriet – August 2016.

Above: Friends Tom and Darlene White, Kathleen Olsen, and Brigid McDonald, CSJ – August 2016.

Above: Celebrating my friend Omar's birthday. From left: Kyle, me, Brent, and Omar.

Left: Happy Birthday, Omar!

Right: With Brent at the Eagle/Bolt Bar – September 16, 2016. Whenever I wear this particular t-shirt out to a bar or restaurant, I joke that I'll buy a drink for the first person who says, Hey, it's Buffy! . . . or something like that. To date, no one has.

Above: Wild (summer) reeds – Pelican Lake, July 16, 2016.

Summer 2016 Wild Reed posts of note:
Summer Boy
"Radical Returnings" – Mayday 2016 (Part 1)
"Radical Returnings" – Mayday 2016 (Part 2)
Progressive Perspectives on Islam and Homosexuality in the Aftermath of Orlando
"I Will Dance"
Australian Sojourn – May 2016
With "Around," Russell Elliot Tells It Like It Is
Gay Pride: A Catholic Perspective
You, O Comforter, Are Ever Near
"This Doesn't Happen to White People"
Remembering Philando Castile and Demanding Abolition of the System That Targets and Kills People of Color
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2016
Pelican Lake
Carrying It On
"There's Light in Love, You See"
The Impossible Desire of Pier Paolo Pasolini
"Window, Mind, Thought, Air and Love"
Standing Together
A Music Legend Visits the North Country
An Evening at the Fair
Late Summer Blooms
A Letter to "Dear Abby" re. Responding to 9/11

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Spring 2016
Out and About – Winter 2015-2016
Out and About – Autumn 2015
Out and About – Summer 2015 (Part I)
Out and About – Summer 2015 (Part II)