Tag Archives: water

AdventWord – December 18 – #purify

This has been the most difficult word for me this year. In many ways, purity is illusive, perhaps even unattainable. In other ways, the concept has been misused. Finally, I landed on an aspirational approach. Although I still remain unsure of my thinking and my thinking about the photo.

Is that water pure? One would hope.

Is it being purified? One would hope.

Can one be sure? I doubt it.

BUT – pure, clean, safe water for all is an aspiration of justice and a cause for which to work.

Photo: 25 April 2021, Waterfront Botanical Garden, Louisville, Kentucky


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22 March 2020

Walking. Morningside Gardens. The Shire.
Water Is Life – Wanita Bird
The Sea – Morcheeba
Wade in the Water – Sweet Honey in the Rock
Rain Song – Sharon Burch
Shimmer, Prayer for Cleaning the Water – Joy Harjo
Where Peaceful Waters Flow – Gladys Knight & The Pips
River – Natalie Merchant
Cherokee River – Walela
I’m Going Down to the River of Jordan – Fannie Lou Hamer
Mighty River – Mary J. Blige
Orinoco Flow – Enya
Bridge over Troubled Water – Aretha Franklin
River Song – Stiff Gins
Proud of Your Boy – Aladdin (the Playbill 30-Day Song Challenge song – thanks Sean)

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Filed under Current Events, Exercise, Music, New York, playlist

When ten minutes equals a day

How often do you use your smartphone during the day? How long passes between each usage? If you are like me, you may not know.

Over the past ten days or so, I have become a bit more aware of my phone usage as I have participated in the UNICEF Tap Project. This project invites us to go without your phone to help children in need of clean water.

For every ten minutes you don’t touch your phone, UNICEF Tap Project donors and sponsors can fund one day of clean water for a child in need.* It’s that simple.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Visit uniceftapproject.org on your phone.
  2. Begin the challenge right away to see how long you can go without your phone.
  3. The application will tell you how long you have done so and how many days of water the donors and sponsors will fund.

Of course this is not the most efficient way to provide water for children. The donors and sponsors could and should simply provide the funds directly. I could and should make a direct contribution.

I know that. But I take part anyway. The act of not using my phone serves to remind me of my brothers and sisters who live day after day after day without access to necessities.

I make no comparison. Not using my phone is a choice about a luxury. As UNICEF notes when it comes to water:

No one can survive without water, and yet 768 million people around the world do not have safe, clean water to drink. 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a proper toilet.

It isn’t just inconvenient – it’s lethal.

Every day, 1,400 children die from diseases directly linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities.

The UNICEF Tap Project helps me remember. It challenges me to act with compassion and to seek justice so that water will roll down for all.

Here’s some more details on the project:

UNICEF works in more than 100 countries to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities. Whether by restoring access to clean water after a disaster or promoting safe hygiene practices in schools and communities, UNICEF is on the ground helping children in need.

What is the UNICEF Tap Project?

The UNICEF Tap Project is a nationwide campaign that provides clean water and adequate sanitation to children around the world.

With just $5, UNICEF can give one child safe drinking water for 200 days.

Since 1990, more than 2.1 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water thanks to the work of UNICEF and its partners.

Founding Agency Partner Droga5 and Media Sponsor MediaVest are supporting the UNICEF Tap Project once again this year. The project is also supported by:

National Sponsor

Giorgio Armani Fragrances
For the fifth year, Giorgio Armani Fragrances returns as national sponsor of the UNICEF Tap Project through its Acqua for Life campaign. Read more.

National Media Sponsor

Since 2008, MediaVest has been a proud supporter of the UNICEF Tap Project, producing a national pro bono media campaign to build awareness throughout the month of March. Read more.

Premier Supporter

UNICEF’s Next Generation
A diverse group of young professionals with a shared commitment to UNICEF’s future, UNICEF’s Next Generation joins the UNICEF Tap Project as time sponsor this year.

*Subject to the pledged limits from our generous donors and sponsors. See uniceftapproject.org/legal for more information. Standard data rates will apply.

See you along the Trail

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Filed under Human Rights, United Nations

Advent 16: Strong


25 February 2012
Manhattan, New York

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Filed under Advent, New York, Photo

Perspective 2

A while back, when tempted to whine about the heat, I reflected on perspective with the help of some friends. Today, while touring the United Nations headquarters with a group from China I saw a t-shirt that further deepens my perspective on the challenges of life – the real challenges of life. The t-shirt hangs on the display about displacement – hangs there every day – hangs there every time I accompany a group on a tour. I see it every time. Today, though it spoke to me with a power not present before.

The photo lacks in quality – next time I will bring a better camera – but it conveys the message.

May all who share such hopes have them realized.

May I help answer these hopes of my sisters and brothers.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under New York, Photo, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

W is for Water

Along the Box Canyon Trail,
water flows,
in some places even creating a waterfall.
Or at least falling water.

6 August 2008

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M is for Moisture

Water is precious,

essential for life.

It is particularly precious in the high desert.

24 August 2011

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I is for Irrigation

Every summer at Ghost Ranch

the message comes loud and clear:

“Drink not from the irrigation system.”

I wonder if that results from




30 July 2008

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Willow at Harlem Meer

The willow,
driven mad by
thirst it cannot quench
via its root system,
dips its branches into
Harlem Meer.

Central Park
22 October 2011


Filed under Poem

Water moved

As a child growing up on Front River Road on Neville Island, I used to watch the boats in the Ohio River. I only had to pass through my front door and walk across the lawn before I would arrive near the banks of the Ohio. There I would ponder the river and and wonder who was in the boat, where they were going and where they had been and why.
Barges would pass by the island carrying I knew not what. My lack of knowledge made it easy to invent tales of daring and adventure.  
The water of the Ohio moved. And much moved with it: floating branches, fish, waterfowl, ice in spring, and commerce. Recreational boats used the water. It carried pollution visible and invisible. 
The river had power to transport and destructive power as well. It flooded. It claimed life, not often, but it did happen.
Living in Louisville as an adult brought me back to the Ohio. While I did not spend the time on its banks as I did when a child, I experienced comfort and joy knowing the river flowed near my home.
I have returned to Neville Island a couple of times. While much has changed both in reality and from my childhood memories, the Ohio River with its power, grace, and mystery remains.

14 August 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio

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