Reflections in Time and Space

Monday Morning Musings:

“It is just inevitable. The soul wanders in the dark, until it finds love. And so, wherever our love goes, there we find our soul.”

–Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses

And so, once again we’re in the ancient world.

This time, it’s Metamorphoses.

Another theater in Philadelphia,

A rippling pool




And Eurydice

The power of myths,



And love.

The power of words

And art

Legends told and retold

For thousands of years


Who appear powerless

Are not

As long as they’re known.

They still influence us

Through the retelling

Of their tales.

For ninety minutes or so

We’re lost

In the magic of theater.

Carried along on a journey

By the actors

Whose words and movements

In and around that pool

Remind us of the strength of

Long ago myths

And their connection

To us now.

A special treat for subscribers.

A special treat for subscribers.

The next day,

Across the river

And closer to home

We’re watching theater

Of another sort,

Revolutionary War Era soldiers.

It’s a reenactment,

Of course.

The day is brisk,

The leaves starting to turn

Red and gold.

A cannon booms,

A squirrel scurries up a tree

The child in front of me says

“The sound makes my chest hurt.”

But old bones

Shards of vessels

Long shattered

And old cannonballs

Lay in the ground beneath

Our feet

To remind us of lives


The bits and pieces tell a tale.

The past buried

And unearthed.

Perhaps ghosts

Still wander here.


An hour later

We’re on to a wine festival.

My husband, daughter, and I.

Nectar of the gods.

We taste

And enjoy.

In truth,

We’re a bit buzzed

By the end.

But in vino veritas.

And though the stories

Of women,

The poor,

The servants,

And slaves

Are often forgotten

And left untold

I’m sworn to tell them.

But perhaps not just yet

After all

The wine.

Celebrating with Dionysus,

Clio will have to wait.


Across space and time

My mind wanders

Seeking a connecting thread.

From ancient Greeks

To the Quaker woman,

Centuries later who

Nursed the soldiers

Wounded in battle

At her farm.

She was a pacifist.

I imagine her criticizing voice

Grumbling at the soldiers

On both sides of the conflict.

“Is this the way to serve God?

The farmland destroyed

And young men killed,


And scarred.

And yet she tries to heal

Their bodies

Though their souls may

Be lost.

The cruel irony

Of war.

I stand in her garden.

Her house still there

Overlooking the river.

Her secrets long buried

Like the detritus of war

And household scraps.

All who truly

Knew her

Gone, too.

My words now

Scattered into the world

By way of devices

She could not imagine.

Perhaps in hundreds of years

Someone will read them

With some newer device.

Perhaps that person will wonder

About me,

A woman long dead,

Who thought about myths

And the power of love

Who enjoyed wine

And wrote about

Ordinary people

Who though no longer alive

Lived on

In her mind

Like reflections in a mirror

That stretch on

In a never ending line

Through time

And space.

Rippling figures


And myths

Connecting past

And future.


Smoke and illusions-- British soldiers at Red Bank Battlefield

Smoke and illusions–
British soldiers
at Red Bank Battlefield

Here are the places we visited this weekend.

And not to worry, son-in-law was our designated driver to and from the wine festival.

Arden Theatre

Red Bank Battlefield

Autumn Wine Festival at Riverwinds

25 thoughts on “Reflections in Time and Space

  1. A beautiful and powerful piece of prose/poetry Merril thank you. It is more poetry I think – writing poetically of times past and myth, with a gentle and light touch, while piercing at the same time. I am sure to re-read this post at some time. A thought: to put your writings in a collection? Invite submissions from some of your close friends? Or keep them exclusively yours …

  2. I’m with Susan. Your Monday Morning Musings could become a collection of Weekend Wanderings, exclusively yours.

    My favorite quote from Ovid: Fortune and love favor the brave.

    And your love of history and literature always bubbles up here. Thank you for distilling it in poetry and prose – wonderful, as always.

  3. Their memories and legends will live on as long as folks like you tell their stories. Beautiful, Merril. You did weave a beautiful thread from the theater to the Revolutionary War and the Quaker woman who tried to heal their wounds … and, then, to the wine festival. It sounds like a wonderful weekend, my friend. 😉

  4. You weave from past to present so effortlessly. I love reading your Monday Morning musings and think a collection of them is a great idea and a driver to boot you have it made..ha ha 🙂

  5. Despite the beauty of your words spilling out onto the screen to disseminate among us Merril, there is an underlying sadness. Perfectly understandable in view of the waste of lives which were re-enacted above the bones of those lost in conflict.
    But then came a feeling of contentment as you sampled that which was once brought to you by the tramp of other feet, the lifeblood of Dionysus, Wine.
    Thank heavens for designated sons-in-law.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Thank you, David. Yes, you understand exactly. I could go on with connections–because the play actually ended with love and made me feel so happy afterward, and my son-in-law, who is a treasure, is a veteran who has experienced the horror of war, but who then discovered the power of theater–and love. Hugs, back to you, as always!

  6. Merril, once again I enjoyed your poetic prose and marvel at how much you squeezed into one weekend.
    I have been thinking a lot about love this week as it was the finale of the Bachelorette. I swore I wasn’t going to watch it and get embroiled into it and like the Bachelor, thought it was going to be pathetic but I really came to like Sam, the Bachelorette and her choice Sasha. They were both incredibly genuine people and he’d really fallen for her but was holding back a bit because of the other guys and then he finally managed to tell her he loved her because he had to put in 120% or have regrets. I know I’ve seriously just undermined my credibility but it was beautiful to watch.
    Anyway, had better get to bed soon. xx Rowena

    • Thanks so much, Rowena. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
      I remember you discussing the Bachelorette previously. I don’t watch it, but I’m glad you thought it was beautiful. Pleasant dreams!

      • What I found really interesting about the show was that she was always dressed very casually and mostly wore a jacket and pants and the pants even had a few holes in them, which I think is a bit trendy at the moment and I’m just getting old. It was very casual and many of the dates were outdoors and even doing extreme sports. It wasn’t plastic like I’d expected.
        By the way, I picked up a gorgeous dress for my daughter from the op shop yesterday. It’s 100% silk and made out of a real icy pink with layers and layers of frills. She looks like she’s wearing a cupcake in a positive way. I only paid $5.00 for it! Also bought a few masks for halloween. It’s not a bit deal here but the kids will go trick-or-treating and Scouts is having a party.Hope you’re having a great day! xx Ro

      • The dress sounds great–and a bargain is always nice! Halloween is often a big deal around here. We won’t be doing anything–we might even go to the movies–but some people decorate their houses and go all out. I think my younger daughter and son-in-law might have costumes for their dog and cat. 🙂

  7. How nice to see the Arden Theater mentioned here, Merril. Woody and I have spent many a transported evening under that roof. I’ll echo what so many others ahve said here, these Monday Morning Musings are a delight. They tap into a part of my brain (the poetic part) that lies dormant far too much. thank you.

  8. Pingback: Dancing with Food and Juggling the Myths | Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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