We’ve all gone to San Francisco for a few days, and for a good cause: My life long friend Kevin Simmers–our history began when we were 11 years old–is getting married to his partner of 22 years, Ed Carrigan.

The photograph above was taken through one of the new De Young Museum’s many perforated screens. How revelatory it is when the obscuring scrims of our lives can lift, bringing our legitimate, authentic selves into full view. I am so honored to be able to stand with Kevin and Ed and to give their partnership the full blessings of a joyous community of well wishers.

The photo below was taken of Kevin and Ed from the tower of the De Young last year. Through the windows you can see Renzo Piano’s California Academy of Sciences, still under construction at that time. This amazing structure is finally completed and opened to the public last weekend, in appropriate synergy with the more personal celebration that brings me and my family to San Francisco. (The New York Times review of Piano’s building by Nicolai Ouroussoff is posted on Slow Painting.)

Mid lifers who marry: It is an extraordinary gesture. This is the second close friend who has made that step this year. I take these decisions as an undeniable vote of optimism in a world that could be beating us into cynicism, into feeling an unraveled hopelessness in the face of so much that is wrong. Howard Zinn’s words–“Of course you have to have hope! If you don’t have hope then there really isn’t any!”–ring in my mind constantly these days. This weekend will feed that, I know.

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