Monday Morning Musings:



“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

–L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”

–T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”

–Emily Dickinson

“Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in.”

August Wilson, Fences


Thumb and finger strike,

connection made.


Synapses fire,

memories triggered.


Fingers, feet

feel the beat

New York streets

When you’re a Jet

You’re a Jet all the way

My sister and I listen to the album,

vinyl disk spins,

we watch the movie,

only later do I learn it is

Romeo and Juliet, updated,

and that famous play,

with its star-crossed lovers,

is based on older stories,

tales as old as time,

that connect us with the past.


So many movies, so little time before the old year ends,

we see Fences,

(powerful performances),

the sins of the father visited on the son

generation after generation,

connections through pain and history.

I dislike Troy more and more as the movie goes on,

while recognizing the source of his suffering,

and feeling sorry for him

and Rose and the children.


I ask my husband afterward

if he thinks he would have been a different father

if we had had sons instead of daughters.

He says yes, he thinks so,

that he would have been harder and stricter

like his father

who was a good man, but stern,

I was scared of him when I first knew him,

and amazed the first time I saw him laughing with his brother.

My father-in-law was so different with his grandchildren,

softer, gentler, singing Sesame Street songs.

I think of how he connected differently with his children

and his grandchildren,

the special bond he and my young nephew had.


On New Year’s Eve,

I think of people all over the world,

celebrating the new year.

I see photographs of fireworks,

Sydney and Hong Kong,

long before nightfall here.

We celebrate more quietly with a group of friends,

Chinese food dinner,

a tradition going back decades,

before and after children,

the where and how changing over time,

food and friendship

amidst the Christmas decorations and lights,

we discuss our families,

see photos of grandchildren,

and worry about what the election will bring.

Our friends talk of selling their houses and moving,

not because of the election,

but because we’re getting older

(but better, of course

with years of wisdom now)

we’re still us, though greyer and heavier

about our middles,

and we still connect

in the way of old friends,

with jokes, hugs, and glances that can reveal more than words.


One friend gives each of us—her sister-friends—

a bracelet,

matching bracelets,

I think of how bracelets

have been worn since ancient times,

good luck charms,

amulets for long life and happiness,

tokens of friendship.

charms linked to one another

connecting them

as we are connected through our bonds of friendship,

as words connect thoughts in a sentence,

expressing ideas and actions,

taking us into the new year and new worlds

describing our past, describing our future,

connecting them in clauses,

independent and dependent

as we are,

free to make choices,

to keep people out or keep them in,

but also, dependent on those around us

not to destroy our lives, our souls, our planet.


New Year’s Eve, 2016. We are linked, heading into 2017.


We can build fences,

or walls,

but are we protecting or defending?

It’s a myth that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space,

but the lights of cities do glow like beacons,

lights connecting us in the dark,

connected like the water flowing from river to the sea,

the message in a bottle circling the globe,

Help! Find me. I’m lost.

The connection is made.

But, snap!

Who sent the message?

Is it too late to help?


The holidays are over, the clock strikes, we turn the page.

It’s a new dawn, with new words,

but still linked to the past like a bracelet.

Open the door,

peek over the fence,


feel the beat,

move your feet,

dream of tales as old as time

and of now.



I wish everyone a happy and peaceful new year. We may be in for quite a bit of turbulence on this journey through 2017. So buckle up! Have that wine and chocolate handy.  I appreciate all of you who read my posts, and I love the friendships and connections I’ve made here. Welcome to my new readers, too! I hope you’ll stick around to see what the new year brings here on Yesterday and Today.






22 thoughts on “Connections

  1. T. S. Eliot’s Little Gidding quote works for me this year as I revise memoir: “And next year’s words await another voice.”

    The linked hands with bracelets, lovely image. I think I know which hand is yours; I don’t think you generally wear nail polish – ha!

  2. I knew which hand was yours! Is that freaky or what? Yes, I just spied on the above comment and realized I already knew which one it was. Anyway, more importantly, how absolutely fabulous to have such a wonderful of Long Time Friends. You are so blessed! And what a lovely gesture with the bracelets. Happy New Year, Merril! xo

  3. This was a lovely connected post for our New Year’s pleasure, Merril. Your ending photograph of you with your friends fingers connected with lovely bracelets was precious.

    My brother, Rich, expressed disappointment in how “Fences” is so real. Also comparing, “Manchester by the Sea,” both show men not being good to women. Yes, second one at least shows better relationship with nephew. (I haven’t seen either but loved, “Sing!”)

    Susan and he tend to look at films with these elements hoping for growth or change in character.

    Your mentioning “West Side Story” and how it is an updated, “Romeo and Juliet,” made me wish to add the older movie with Julia Stiles and a few recognizable teen actors called, “Ten Things I Hate About You,” as a rendition of “Kiss Me Kate,” which came from, “Taming of the Shrew.”
    I think the Kate Hudson with Matthew McConnaghey film, “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days,” is somewhat borrowed from this, too.
    In high school drama class we studied connections to Shakespeare which really showed us how so much of our current language comes from him. 🙂 Heres to happy new beginnings and old friendships enduring! xo

    • Thank you so much, Robin. Happy New year to you–to making new friends and cherishing the old! I’m happy to have met you. 🙂

      I chuckled a bit that your brother was disappointed that “Fences” was so real. That is the point of all August Wilson’s plays.
      Neither Fences nor Manchester By the Sea is an upbeat movie, that’s for sure.

      Yes, you are correct about the movies based on Shakespeare (and Kiss Me Kate, based on The Taming of the Shrew–the show is a bit different than the movie version.) There are probably others, and of course, there are movies based on Jane Austen, too. 🙂

      • I would certainly understand there have to be realistic pictures of people depicted in current films. After all, we cannot all be living (or thinking we can live) in “La La Land!” 😉
        I liked this movie which lifts you up and makes you believe in dreams, Merril. (Not love, as some would hope the theme is. . .)
        Susan and Rich both are (or have been) professors, so not just dreamers. 🙂 Rich’s work as a teacher for elementary children with learning disabilities in inner city Cleveland (20+ years) probably just “wishes” there were more positive role models for children of different ethnicities!
        Rich is now a tutor while Susan is one of the Dean’s at Baldwin Wallace.

  4. Happy New Year to you, too, Merril. 🙂 I’ll be here, in and out, as usual. I always look forward to your beautiful, thoughtful, and often thought-provoking, posts. The bracelets are lovely, and the message of being joined in friendship even more so.

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