Tag Archives: strength

You are beloved

If remembered, relived violation
battered and bruised you this day;

if unexamined privilege
and barely restrained belligerence
pierced your heart,
assailed your soul,
distressed your mind,
sapped your strength;
know,
as day ends,
know:
you are not alone
you are stronger than you imagine,
you are believed,
you are beloved.
27 September 2018
Manhattan, New York
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Filed under Current Events, Family, Friends, New York, Poem

Workout 16 March 2018

IMG-7027After a week away and a few days off due to laziness, I returned to the gym today.

I spent thirty minutes on the treadmill and did some core work.

Then I did an arms and legs workout with NK Body Philosophy. At some point during the evening ahead, I will stretch to March Madness.

Hopefully this marks the beginning of a routine.

Now if I could just do something to restrain my eating …

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Filed under Exercise, Friends, New York

A moment comes

A moment comes
in the journey of every hobbit,
perhaps as the hobbit goes there
or maybe on the way back again
when the journey reaches a critical moment
and the hobbit encounters a choice
of where to go
or how to proceed
or both.

Often in such moments,
something or someone
circumstances,
external factors,
a council,
a fellowship,
a friend,
a wizard
shows the way,
points the direction if,

if,

if the hobbit has wisdom and grace
courage and strength
faith and hope
to listen
to hear
and to choose.

12 October 2015
Manhattan, New York

 

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Filed under Friends, New York, Poem

Still shines

Never easy, love Love
strains us,
stresses us,
stretches us,
wounds us,
cracks us,
breaks us,
chastens us,
challenges us,
shatters us,
yet in it all
and through it all,
still love shines.

11 March 2014
Manhattan, New York

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Filed under Photo, Poem

Tonight I wept

There are places I remember all my life

Lennon and McCartney got that right.

But there are also people I remember. And moments.

Moments I will remember as long as memory lasts. Moments that not only fill my mind as memories. Moments that fill my soul and spirit as the sights, sounds, feelings wash over me as though the moment had never ended.

The births of my sons.

The death of my father.

The murders of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy.

The fall of the Berlin Wall.

The release of Nelson Mandela.

And more.

Tonight I wept as I relieved such a moment.

I finally watched Lee Daniels’ The Butler. I had not seen it in the theater, but I added it to my Netflix list and it arrived this week.

The film provides much to ponder. Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan? Seriously?

The scene that touched me came near the end.

Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whitaker, has retired from his position as a butler at the White House. He has reconciled with his son, Louis, played by David Oyelowo. His wife, Gloria, played by Oprah Winfrey, has died.

Cecil and Louis are in his house on November 4, 2008. The votes in the Presidential election are being counted. As the moment nears when the media will declare a winner, Cecil calls his son to come to the living room and watch. Louis arrives in time to see history happen.

As the newscaster in the film announces  Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States of America, I found myself transported back to the night it happened. And I wept.

I wept in joy at Barack Obama’s victory. At progress made. At hopes realized. At the possibilities before us then and now.

I wept in sorrow at how much work remains to achieve racial justice. At the oppression, discrimination, and injustices my sisters and brothers endure.

I wept in frustration at shortcomings and failings of President Obama’s administration to meet the expectations of the moment. At potential unfulfilled.

Merdine T MorrisBut most of all, I wept remembering my friend Merdine T. Morris. Shortly after the media announced Barack Obama’s election, I called Merdine T. Together we laughed and cried and prayed.

The film scene transported me through space and time and as I heard again the joy and hope and pride and concern Merdine T. expressed that night.

Merdine T. recognized the historic significance of President Obama’s election. She also understood the arduous work that lay ahead for him and for our country as we continue to come to terms with the racism and other systems of oppression and discrimination dividing us. Merdine T. knew first-hand racism’s bitter sting and enduring power. She knew Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. personally as our mutual friend Carol reminded me. She knew hopes shattered and dreams, not only deferred, but devastated. She knew the tears that water and the blood that mark the road to justice.

But Merdine T. Morris never gave up. She held to faith. She held to hope. She held to love.

And so I wept tonight because Merdine T. and her husband Luke trusted me and were my friends, because Merdine T. and Luke welcomed me with grace, because Merdine T. and Luke accompany me in the Communion of Saints, because, to paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, writing about another unforgettable moment:
Her strength gives me strength
Her faith gives me faith
Her hope gives me hope
Her love gives me love

Tonight I wept in gratitude. And my tears were good.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Friends, Movie

Life

In a world tattered and torn,
a world battered and worn;

In a world of sorrow and pain,
a world of horror and shame;

In a world where I weep for the evil we do,
a world where I grieve for what sisters and brothers endure;

In such a world,
I give thanks.

In this world,
I give thanks
for hope and faith
for love and grace.

In my world,
I give thanks
for tender mercies and boundless joy,
courage unexpected and strength unforeseen.

In our world,
I give thanks
for a baby’s first cry
and a parent’s first smile.

I give thanks
for life.

23 January 2014
New York, New York

For
Joann, Mike, and Austin
Roja, Joel, and their newborn daughter whose name I will list as soon as they tell me
And all new parents and babies

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Filed under Friends

Today, my friend

Today,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Peace,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Rest,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Strength,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Hope,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Courage,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Justice,
my friend,
I pray for you.

This day,
my friend,
I pray for you.

Always,
my friend,
I pray for you.

14 September 2013
Shire on the Hudson

Slightly different versions of this prayer-poem came out today for friends in different difficult situations.

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Filed under Friends, Poem