Heard on The Next Big Thing, a very amusing prayer written by novelist Mary Gordon and actually performed by singer/songwriters Suzzy and Maggie Roche. You can find audio of the song here, (at timestamp 3:10 or so on the audio stream).
It’s in the style of a prayer (so Sean and Mark will kill me!) and here’s a transcript (I chose US spelling and improvised the punctuation, so sorry Ms Gordon):
For Those Whose Work Is Invisible
For those who paint the undersides of boats,
Makers of ornamental drains on roofs – too high to be seen,
Cobblers who labor over inner soles,
Seamstresses who stitch the wrong sides of linings,
For scholars whose research leads to no obvious discovery,
For dentists who polish each gold surface of the fillings of upper molars,
For civil engineers and those who repair water mains,
For electricians, for artists who suppress what does injustice to their visions,
For surgeons whose sutures are things of beauty.
For all those whose work is for Your eye only,
Who labor for Your entertainment or their own,
Who sleep in peace or do not sleep in peace, knowing their efforts are unknown.
Protect them from downheartedness – and from diseases of the eye.
Grant them perseverance, for the sake of Your love, which is humble, invisible and heedless of reward.
As you might imagine, my favourite line is the fifth one. As we’ve discussed on this blog before, progress in science is incremental…there are lots and lots of us chipping away at the coal face, producing the bulk of the progress. But most people only relate to the “Eureka!” moments. Sigh.