Sweetness Restored

Monday Morning Musings:


“I know you feel it

The sweetness restored”

From Leonard Cohen, “Leaving the Table”


A ship sails across an ocean

crashes, in furious motion,

its treasures sink in the deep

as though asleep

while centuries creep

a chunk of bronze, fragment of the past

did it predict this future, forecast

another ship sailing through a sea of stars

carrying our past to the future

suturing time with invisible stitches?

Beings we will never know

blow forward and back

ghosts drift from stardust

near and far, they must

I think, walk beside us,

(that gust)

whispering in the wind

bringing horror or bringing joy,

bringing completeness

restoring the sweetness

of what has been lost


In the year of the dotard

when real is thought fake

(so much at stake)

when false is declared to be true

and people go about life

(without a clue)

when Mother Earth vents her fury on land and sea

and like a banshee

the winds wail and roar

and as the darkness gathers and soars

and millions sit without a light

in the dark, body and souls

between the poles

of north and south

they go without.

When all this takes place


in this space

we sit at the table

thankful we are able

with challah and wine

we dine

in honey dip our apple

watch the sun and shadows dapple

the walls,

as evening falls

here in this moment,

here in this place

the sweetness restored


We watch a movie about a dancer

a child who dances in the Russian snow

aglow with the joy of moving, doing, being

receiving the best training

(her parents work hard)

and she does, too

through pain of body and soul

is it worth it all?

and she struggles and questions—

technique or feeling?

finding it unappealing

tired of dancing others’ creations

sensations, ideation

she moves in a duet by the water

to find that child again,

form and feeling

to find the sweetness restored


My husband and I walk

we talk about the film we’ve seen

watch the street scenes

a pretty window and door

an urban street with more

we see nature’s destruction

turned to art

despite the ignorance and the hate

we humans love

we need to create

art, poetry, and stories

of the fantastic and the real–

we feel–

the family behind us

answering their son’s funny questions

wondering will they be troublemakers

and we are partakers in this bit

strangers meeting on the street

and then we go our separate ways,

stroll a while

but we smile

the family’s moment struck a chord

the sweetness restored.


Daughter and I go to a wine festival

the autumn day disguised as summer

We talk and taste wine

and we are feeling fine


buy bracelets with literary themes


of hopes and dreams

the sweetness of wine and books

of strangers looks

(okay, perhaps not all)

we people watch as we stand in line

behind the drunk couple

all entwined

the man with his roving hands

the woman who might fall as she stands

our eyes meet

standing there in the heat

no need to say out loud what we are thinking

mother-daughter interlinking thoughts

we talk of teaching

of The Color Purple and Langston Hughes

we talk of friends and we shmooze

if days could be like this

without dotards to lead

without a world full of greed

without hurricanes and earthquakes

without racism and hate—

is it too late?

if we could wrap up and hoard

all the love, the light, make the world bright

would we feel it,

the sweetness restored?


We saw the movie, Polina. Trailer here.

We went to the Heritage Vineyards Wine Festival.

I’m kind of fascinated by the antikythera mechanism.

Here is a beautiful video for Leonard Cohen’s “Leaving the Table.” This song is from his last album, made just before he died.





30 thoughts on “Sweetness Restored

  1. Every Monday morning I get carried away on your memory loop. There is always something yummy to eat, a fine art movie perhaps, family snapshots, and something new. Thank you for introducing me to the antikythera mechanism. Have a wonderful week, Merril!

    • That is such a lovely comment, Marian. Thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful week, too. Book manuscript due, test assignment due, and family dinner–it’s going to be a busy week for me!

  2. “we need to create / art, poetry, and stories” but as the Antikythera mechanism demonstrates we seem the need to create machines that help us think, that think for us… laptop computers and social media an inevitability… as is the counter balance o art, poetry and stories… the more things change the more they stay the same

    • I think the minds that have conceived of these devices–that I think are tools–are remarkable. I think they can help us think, and I don’t think their creation and the creation of art and poetry are necessarily an either/or thing. I think it is all part of the same process of creating–but yes, the more things change. . . 😉

      • agree, both creating, one which leans on the right side of the brain, the other which leans to the left, but not exclusively there. Both are necessary, both what makes us human. I was thinking about how people will complain, after a computer has made a mistake or social media has ruined an election, that they wished they had never been invented, and well, they have always “been invented” – it is a matter of learning to navigate their presence, to learn to live in both hemispheres of the brain. Okay maybe i’ve had too much coffee already this morning 😉

  3. I’m glad for the current source of “dotard.” If it had been assigned by the press – or fake news, you choose – it would have gotten little airplay, But, as it is, it’s right out front, where it belongs.
    Nice happy photo of you and your daughter, btw.

    • Thank you, Shirley. Coming from someone whose life has been full of rich experiences and who is always teaching, that is quite a compliment!
      I have to say that I enjoyed the movie more than my husband did. He liked it, but didn’t love it.

  4. Not only do I like reading about your weekend (always with family!) but I enjoy the comments almost as much. Yes, to a lovely photo of you and your daughter, and yes also to the complicated interactions of human and machine. The choices we make with the culture we have are what counts. And despite the desperation around us, we need these moments of peace and blessings. (K)

  5. I love your Monday Morning Musings, and feel like we get swept along with you on your outings and in your words. I am heartbroken about Puerto Rico and about so much that is going on now. Dotard, indeed. But there is some sweetness restored in our families and friends, in the arts and nature, and in your Monday Morning Musings. ❤

  6. suturing time with invisible stitches…

    Your words are golden; especially “dotard.” When will the nightmare end?
    Sweet photo of you and your daughter! I love the bracelet you chose with a quote from Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree.’ I’ve just recently discovered Leonard Cohen — he was truly amazing. SO many things to love about your post!

  7. Leonard Cohen is a favorite of mine, since I turned 55. It took awhile for me to love his voice, knowing I loved the others he loaned his lyrics to. . . There’s a whole album my friend Bill once bought for our “road trip music.”
    My youngest daughter is one who likes to attend wine tasting up on Lake Erie with me. You are blessed to have someone who shares those looks with thoughts transmitted in silence. (I’m blessed with two different daughters to fill in my gaps, but an additional son has been my warrior and savior in times of need.)

    • Thank you, Robin. I first knew Leonard Cohen’s songs through other vocalists, too–the first was Judy Collins.
      I could share looks with both daughters, but I see my younger one more often, since she lives nearby. My other daughter and her wife live in Boston.

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