Monthly Archives: March 2016

The poet laureate of NRPC

The hands
cut the air
weaving words
painting images
telling stories.

The hands
that spoke the heart
to share truth
and touch emotion
have ceased to move.

Beloved by family,
friends, church, and God
the word weaver
image painter
now is silent.

Held still
and forever
in the love of God
he shares his poems
in eternity.

And we who mourn
remember and give thanks
that once we knew
the soundless
poet laureate of NRPC.

With thanks to God for the life and love and witness of Michael G. Barkoot, Jr.; and with prayers for all who loved him.

The Shire
20 March 2016

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The competition

As I completed my work out at the Gym at the Shire and prepared to mount the elevator to return to the Shire itself, I noticed some of the others using the gym. Treadmills pounded; weight machines clanked. Grunts and sighs and snippets of conversation filled the air.

I briefly watched a younger man, much younger than me, struggle to do exercises I can do easily. And for a moment, I felt accomplished.

Then a woman, not young but not as old as me, smoothly moved into a headstand. Her ease and grace reminded me of the struggle I sometimes have just to stand on my feet. And for a moment, I despaired and thoughts of giving up filled my head.

For a moment. Only a moment.

The moment quickly passed and I realized as I exercise I do not compete with those who are ahead or with those who are behind, those who can do more or those who can do less. It is a journey of self-care. It is a competition with myself, with that voice in my head that tells me I can’t. And every time I make it through, every time I do something more, something new, I win.

And with support of family, trainer, friends, I have many wins. And more will come.

See you along the Trail.

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Purple flowers – Midtown Manhattan 1

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11 March 2016
Manhattan, New York

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Purple flowers – Morningside Gardens 11

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12 March 2016
Morningside Gardens
Manhattan, New York

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All people have voices

On 11 March 2016, I spoke about the work of advocacy at the orientation for the Presbyterians attending the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. I was asked to post a portion of my remarks and did so on the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations blog. I reprint the words here with the permission of the blog editor (who happens to be me).

All people have voices.
The task of advocacy has nothing to do with giving voice to the voiceless, because
all people have voices.
Some people have voices we choose not to hear.
Some people have voices we ignore.
Some people have voices we force to the margins.
Some people have voices we oppress, repress, suppress.
Some people have voices we have silenced, sometimes for a long time, but
all people have voices.

The work of advocacy leads us
to uncover the voices of our sisters and brothers whose voices we ignore, drive to the margins, suppress, or silence
to hear the voices of our sisters and brothers
to listen, truly listen, passionately listen to the voices of our sisters and brothers
to heed the voices of our sisters and brothers
and then to work with our sisters and brothers whose voices we ignore, drive to the margins, suppress, or silence
to amplify the voices of our sisters and brothers
to bring the voices of our sisters and brothers to the halls of privilege and the tables of power
to invite and call and challenge all people, particularly privileged, powerful people, to hear the voices of our sisters and brothers
to demand that all people, particularly privileged, powerful people, listen, truly listen, passionately listen to our sisters and brothers whose voices we ignore, drive to the margins, suppress, or silence because
all people have voices.

See you along the Trail.

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