Monday Morning Musings:
“Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”
James Joyce, Ulysses
“It’s a triumph of art and friendship over time. And it’s also very important, I think, to hang on to the things that mean something to you. And they transcend time.”
–Judy Collins, “Love, Friendship and Music: Stephen Stills and Judy Collins Collaborate on New Album,” All Things Considered with Michele Martin, November 11, 2017
“There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
‘Tis like a child’s belovèd corse
A father watches, till at last
Beauty is like remembrance, cast
From Time long past.”
–Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Time Long Past”
buried deep in walls
echoing the beats, flowing,
waiting for release
old, unstable, and so
down it comes
over the years
it’s housed tools and junk,
a chipmunk or two, amidst the rakes
perhaps a snake.
We were told the wall at the back
was bumped out a bit to fit
a Model T–
But honestly, I don’t know,
and it’s all so long ago.
The roof was shingled many times
and covered with leaves, pollen, and snow
beside it children have played,
and a wandering doe has grazed.
The yard is littered
adorned with its pieces–
fragments of a secret life
forlorn in autumn’s fading light,
a building built to last,
shadows cast, from time long past.
The weather now has turned much colder
as the year journeys to its end,
no more harkening back, it seems to say
though time winds round again
through falling leaves and winter snow
to springtime bud and summer flowers,
and in the buildings here on city streets
there’s blending of the old and new
where cobblestones meet asphalt streets
and on concrete pavements,
shadows cast, from time long past
We see a musical about phone sex and love
set in the 1990s,
(it opens a door)
the Internet really became a thing
and here a young man and woman
don golden chastity rings,
and vow to remain chaste till wed.
But now with their upcoming marriage,
they realize they do not really know each other.
They learn in song
(Well, it’s a musical, so we go along.)
we all have secrets lives and secret selves–
shadows cast, from time long past
It’s a funny, enjoyable show
a quirky romantic comedy
if not profound
it covers some familiar ground,
but still we talk of how it’s set
in a changing time.
a time now past
when our children were young.
And as day becomes night,
in autumn’s fading light
We see a bride and groom
and should we assume
they have lives kept private and
shadows cast, from time long past?
In the car, we listen to NPR
hear an interview with Judy Collins and Stephen Stills,
old lovers, now still friends,
hanging on to important things
and illustrated with their songs
things that last,
shadows cast, from time long past.
I think of my mom and dad
meeting in time long before technology
of cell phones and Internet
and they connected,
once they were young and in love
then they weren’t either
keeping secrets from each other
yet still, I think the love was always there
and she to him said a final goodbye
the night before he died
shadows cast over time, long past
We take my mom to a winery–
“Cross a wine tasting off your bucket list,”
Here we can sit at a table
order our selections
of white and red
served with cheese and bread
and the atmosphere is convivial,
the conversation, mostly trivial,
but as we move to pizza and more wine,
we’re feeling pretty fine,
we talk of Thanksgiving
and of ancestry
I tell her about my poetry,
she tells me things she remembers–
sitting in her grandfather’s lap
though she doesn’t remember much about him,
and after that he died,
from an injury to his skull,
difficult times from them all
immigrants from another land
speaking a language I don’t understand,
I learned there was a baby brother born
after her mother and her aunts
he died young, seldom spoken of.
In the conversation here
ghosts of ancestors now appear–
shadow cast, of time long past
Then to home
the weekend ended,
sunshine and shadows, blended,
cast in a circle
through time and
space our souls wander
casting shadows of time past
long ago and now
We saw TouchTones at the Arden Theatre. We went to Auburn Road Vineyard.
I’ve begun and ended my musing with Shadorma for my somewhat sporadic participation in Eliot of Along the Interstice’s November Shadorma Challenge.
like the contrast between those secret lives with the walls and those within the heart… as always so much to unpack within the musing…
Thanks, Eliot. My husband said you won’t be able to cover all this, and I said, “Challenge on!” 😉
I would say you have valiantly won
Yes. The heart/walls heart analogy is perfect.
Thank you, Ken.
valiantly, beautifully, poignantly … lovely thank you!
Thank you so much, Susan!
How you have woven all this into a pulsating essay on the passing of time
Thank you very much, Derrick!
Secrets are funny things. So often by keeping them the secret is larger than when it’s let out into the world. That’s something that I grapple with in writing my memoir.
Yes, you are right about secrets.
I was trying to get some more info from my mom about ancestry. 🙂
Oh, I hope you can! Even little tidbits you think are meaningless might help later on. I am finding some disturbing info, but have to proceed slowly on the blog because it would be overwhelming otherwise–and I have a couple of relatives learning through the blog and don’t want to inundate them with too much emotional stuff at once either.
I look forward to reading more. Sadly, my mom is getting more forgetful, and she sometimes confuses things, too. She did say that she thought her mom’s family came from a different section of Gomel. I thought she said “Homel.” I just looked that up, and it’s a variation. But here’s something funny–I asked her if she has ever watched “Finding Your Roots.” She said, “I know my roots!” 🙂
Hehe. Well, good for her for knowing her roots! 🙂 Write down whatever she says, even if you think it’s wrong. Keep notes on it all. Ask her often in case she gives different answers each time.
I do think walls have secrets. Not always visible. Like our own secrets I suppose. It’s funny, the person I trust least with the truth is so bad at lying…I mostly know what’s being hidden anyway. It’s those things that reside deep down beyond truth almost that surprise, like a long-lost baby brother.
Are you going to rebuild the garage? (K)
Thank you, Kerfe. Yes, you’re right.
My husband ordered a garage. I’m not sure when it will arrive. Apparently, it’s not the one he had showed me. . .
A surprise! (hopefully a good one)
There’s a wistfulness to this, starting with the old garage coming down, old age, ancestors almost forgotten, a lost language. Thank goodness there’s the wine 🙂
Perceptive, Jane. Always, thankful for the wine. 🙂 It was a nice outing for my mom. It’s hard sometimes to find a place that’s accessible for her, but she’s 95, so I’m always aware there may not be that many more outings. We moved into this house when I was pregnant with her older daughter, so I think we’re both feeling a bit wistful about the garage, even though I didn’t care that much about it (if that makes sense). 🙂
Perfect sense. I feel that way about old tea towels that you can see daylight through, but they’ve been around so long it seems heartless to throw them away.
Kindred spirits. 🙂
Oh, how I am entranced with your Monday Musings, Merril. They fill me up, bring me joy. Family is so important, especially mom! The Auburn winery looks quite fun and snacks delicious.
My mother’s sister lived on an Auburn Road up until five years ago when she and my uncle moved to Virginia.
I look forward to my Thanksgiving times with brothers, sister-in-law, Felicia and mom. 💞 Hope your holidays will be peaceful and special, Merril.
What a kind compliment, Robin! Thank you.
We’ve been to Auburn Road Vineyard before, but not for a “table tasting.” It was great for my mom, since she can’t stand for a tasting–plus we got the food, too!