Tag Archives: work

Virtual prayer vigil

Joining, from afar, the ecumenical prayer vigil held on Sunday, March 21 in the parking lot of the Gold Massage Spa to honor the victims of the Atlanta shooting. This vigil was organized by Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church, Emmanuel Korean United Methodist Church, and Lutheran Church of Incarnation. Here are some prayers for the moment.

Christ have mercy.
We thank you for your beloved children whose
lives were taken too soon, too violently in Georgia.
Draw us together to work
against racism and racist violence against Asian Americans.

Christ have mercy.
Inspire us to see each person
in the wholeness you create;
inspire us to see each person
with your gaze of love;
inspire us to see and honor
your image in each person.

Christ have mercy.
Provide love and courage for those who fear
for their safety because of who they are.
Guide us to disrupt systems and practices
that lead to fear and to create a society
in which no one need be afraid.

Christ have mercy.
Grant rest and comfort and strength
to your children who are wearied
by resisting white supremacy.
Sear the consciences of
those who have accepted privilege without interrogation
those who responded with apathy,
those who have expected people who endure racism
to provide the answers and to do the work.
Move us to care for one another
by dismantling systems that wound and drain
your children, our family
and deny your justice and love to all.

Christ have mercy.
Lead us to learn our history –
the history of Asians in America and of Asian Americans –
the history of the violence too often
inflicted by white supremacy
on Asian nations and on Asians in this nation.
May our learning lead us to recognize wrongs done,
repent, and begin the journey to repair.

Christ have mercy.
Move us to demand that
elected representatives in our nation,
in each state and in every community
speak and work to end hate and violence
directed at the Asian American community.

Christ have mercy.
We have work to do.
So much work to do.
Search our hearts,
guide our feet,
hold our hands,
stand by us
as we do the needed work
to disrupt white supremacy
and dismantle the systemic racism
that impacts Asian Americans
and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Prayer

2 September 2019

Stretching (2x). The Shire.
Working Class Hero – Green Day
Joe Hill – Paul Robeson
Working on the Highway – Bruce Springsteen
Workin’ at the Carwash Blues – Jim Croce
Bread and Roses – Judy Collins
Three Miles Down – Gil Scott-Heron
Which Side Are You On – Natalie Merchant
Weary Mothers – Joan Baez
She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer
The Hands That Built America – U2
1913 Massacre – Arlo Guthrie
Bracero – Phil Ochs
More Than a Paycheck – Sweet Honey in the Rock
Stand Up! – John McCutcheon
Solidarity Forever – Pete Seeger
Ship in the Sky – Woody Guthrie

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Filed under Exercise, Music, New York, playlist

For all who work

I give thanks this day for all who work –
whether that work is
paid or unpaid
honored or unrecognized
whether that work
earns a pay check or simply involves the day-to-day tasks of living
whether that work is
a labor of love
or somehow combines all of the above.

I give thanks for all who have lived and died
to protect the lives and rights of those who work.

I give thanks for all who live and give of themselves,
and risk themselves,
to make a better world for all who work.

I confess and grieve that the life I live,
the privilege and comfort I enjoy,
too often rests on the backs of brothers and sisters who work.

I recognize that all too often sisters and brothers work
in dangerous conditions, in situations where they are exploited, violated.

I pray that the day will come when all people have work to do
work that is safe and meaningful,
work that is honored and valued,
work that pays a wage that allows the workers
to provide a decent living for themselves and for their families.

I pray that I will receive the grace and the wisdom and the courage
to in some small way
make a contribution to the dawning of that day.

I give thanks this day for all who work.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Family, Friends, Human Rights

Doing, working, being

“What do you do?”
came the question.

“What do you do?”

Answer after answer named
where we worked –
not what our work involved –
nor what we do when we work –
simply the name of our office
perhaps our title.

“What do you do?”

The words that we said
left others unknowing,
uniformed, unaware.

The words that we said
left me wondering:
does the question,
do the responses
address who we are?

16 August 2012
Shire on the Hudson

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Filed under Poem

Q is for Quizzical

A calm, ordered, organized man,
nonetheless, at times
I can befuddle
even Dennis,
one of the Ghost Ranch Service Corps leaders
in the summer of 2011

16 July 2011

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Filed under Ghost Ranch People, Photo

Thank you, Chris Hoke

Pittsburgh Steelers helmet

Image via Wikipedia

When you play in the middle of the defensive line of a professional football team, people rarely notice you. Until you do something wrong. Commit a penalty. Allow a running back to slip by you and begin a long gain. And everybody knows your name – at least for a moment. Failure proves more noteworthy than success.

When you play as a backup player in the middle of the defensive line, people notice you even less.

People recognize the names of linebackers – Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Lawrence Taylor, Ray Lewis.

People recognize the names of defensive backs – Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Ronnie Lott, Ken Houston.

Say the name Chris Hoke and see how people respond.

Some, particularly members of Steelers Nation, may know that Hoke has served as the back-up nose tackle, behind Casey Hampton, for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He entered the league in 2001 – the same year as Hampton.The Steelers picked Hampton with a number one draft choice; Hoke signed after the as an undrafted free agent.

Hampton became the starter, taking on the task of clogging the middle of the defensive line, occupying blockers, filling the hole.

Hoke became the backup. He entered games to give Hampton a rest. And, when Hampton could not start, Hoke did.

Eighteen times over the past ten years, Chris Hoke began a game as the starting nose tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seventeen times, the team left the field with a victory. 17-1. Quite a record.

Hoke filled his other role just as well. When Hampton rested, the defense remained strong with no drop-off in performance.

Chris Hoke had a job to do. He did it well.

In October, a neck injury essentially ended Hoke’s season. He remained on the roster although he did not play after the injury occurred.

The announcement came on December 6 that his injury required surgery. The team placed him on injured reserve on December 8.

Some believe this surgery will end his career.

If it does or if it doesn’t, this seems an appropriate moment to say, “Chris, I hope your recovery is swift and sure.”

It is also time, past time, to say “Thank you, Chris Hoke.”

Thank you for doing your job and for doing it well.

Thank you for not needing the limelight – but for doing what you were asked and paid to do.

Thank you for being a professional.

And thank you to all the Chris Hokes who make up this world.

All who work – who work hard – who work well – who work with little recognition – who work to make life livable, more pleasant, and more enjoyable.

To all of you – to each of you – my thanks.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Football


It has taken a long time
to reach this point.
It will take a long time,
it will take hard work,
it will take faith and change,
it will take patience
to reach another, better point.

22 August 2011
Shire on the Hudson 

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Filed under Poem

Get home safe

It happens almost every night.

I shut off the computer,
turn out the light,
and leave the office.

I walk down the hall to the elevator
and push the call button.

When the cab arrives, I push “1” and head downstairs.

Hector is there to see me out.

Sometimes we talk about weather or family.
Often we talk sports.
[Conversations got interesting when
my Steelers beat his Jets.]

Then I head for the door,
and I hear Hector’s final words:
always the same
always in the same, kind voice:

“Good night, Marko.
Get home safe.”

Get home safe.

We live in a world where so many have not a home
a tent in a refugee camp
a blanket in the back of a car
a cot in a shelter
a mattress in a brothel
a root of a tree
a spot on a subway grate;

a world where unsafe situations fill so many homes:
domestic violence
sex trafficking

a world where the journey home
is unsafe
perils, dangers
known and unknown
lurk and strike
with regularity and ferocity.

In such a world, Hector’s words come as
a blessing
a benediction
a prayer that the day may soon dawn . . .
and a challenge that we work for that day . . .
every one has a home
every home is safe
and we all travel there safely.

Get home safe.

May it be so.

See you along the Trali.

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Filed under Friends, New York