Monday Morning Musings:
“That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”
–Walt Whitman, “Oh Me! Oh Life!”
“There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.”
–Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Time Long Past”
Months ago, in summer weather,
when temperatures were up,
I walked down,
and saw a watch
left on the stairway
of the parking garage,
(digital, no hands)
encircling the red railing, like a wrist.
Was it an object lost, then found?
Or a statement perhaps—we are time bound?
A metaphor, let me expound–
the passing of time
or of us passing while time stands still—
make of this what you will,
but I think of it still.
This has been a strange week
of ups and downs
in life and weather,
one day snow and one day spring
not knowing what the next will bring
the stock market rises and falls
the calls hidden behind the White House walls
(well, what isn’t Twittered
from a president who needs a babysitter!)
life seems so unstable
things I once took for granted,
now it’s arguments and views slanted.
On a cold morning,
I take the train into Philadelphia
the day after The Big Game
and though to me, sports are all the same
still, it’s good to see people happy
instead of being mean and snappy.
Walking in the cold
looking at the new and old
I’m anxious about a meeting,
but I feel joy in my heart,
as I suddenly notice, then stop—
to take photos of public art.
During this week of ups and downs
we look for papers to document my mother
(to prove she is not some other)
her existence in black and white upon a page
to prove—at this stage—
she is who she is.
She needs them for government services,
and we are filled with anxiety, nervousness
that we will not be able to prove she is who she is—
till we find them in a box
events dated, time stopped
on this day born
on this date married
documents of a life lived and varied,
while time is carried
through ninety-five years
of laughter and tears–
the ups and downs of joy and fears.
We go to a movie about verbal abuse and life,
men insulted, but they’ve lived in strife
and though one claims he does what he does
not for himself, but for his child and wife,
it is all about him
(as it always is,
women learn to live with this
the catcalls, the taunts, even physical abuse
now suddenly, in the news).
We learn that both men are more than who they seem
(as are we all)
both have nursed
fears and sorrows,
have wanted better tomorrows,
and though the film takes place in Lebanon
there are universal feelings and issues that we understand
and may or may not agree upon–
house repairs, urban renewal, and immigrants—
the costs of war—
there is more,
as up and down,
the movie becomes a courtroom drama—
with family issues—and if not karma,
then resolution, of a sort.
From there we go to taste wine
paired with chocolate
we sip, and smile, and feel fine
(understand, it’s not just the wine).
All who pour
smile, as if it’s not a chore,
a woman says her mother knows my husband
her brother is at the other table,
We leave them tips
because we’re able
and life goes up and down, unstable.
Then we buy chocolate and wine to have later,
perhaps we’ll debate, which is greater—
but only after taken, do I see the watch in the photo—
time’s message of then or when,
And I wonder again. . .
In the night, I dream
of finding blue glass and paintings,
in a post-apocalyptic world,
beauty and art–
the message there,
time passes on
through ups and downs–
I take them to share–
contributing my verse.
We saw the movie, The Insult, which is nominated for best foreign film.
We went to William Heritage Winery.
I’m having an issue with WP. It won’t save unless I use the old format editing, so everything seems a bit off. Sigh.
I LOVE this post! What a terrific poem (and an intimate glimpse into your recent life challenges and thoughts and feelings)! Thank you for ruminating and writing and rhyming so well. I especially like: “Or a statement perhaps—we are time bound?”
Thank you so much. I love your enthusiastic comment. It made my day! 🙂
The older I get the more it seems like time passing us as we stand still.
I’m seeing more and more reports of WP weirdness.
Keeping those documents organized is so important. My father was meticulous when it came to records – something that was necessary in applying for and tracking his disability payments. So when he died early, at sixty, I was able to take over that responsibility and keep everything in place, including pretty much managing my mother’s taxes and medical bills. That doesn’t mean I’m overly efficient with my own paperwork. I know where things are, but that doesn’t mean they’re organized – or even in one place. I really need to do something about that.
Thanks, Ken. The reports of WP weirdness is weird, too–don’t you think?
That is fortunate that your father kept everything so organized. My mother-in-law does, too. And actually, it turned out that my mom had all of these documents together. It’s just that she didn’t remember where they were, and she can hardly see, so she couldn’t look for them herself.
Bureaucracy will be the death of us all.
But chocolate and wine do soothe…(K)
Thank you, Kerfe. Indeed they do!
Well, it looks perfectly fine on my iPad! I can feel the stress of searching for your mother’s papers!
Thanks, Luanne. It’s just a pain trying to edit the other way. First world problems. Haha.
Yeah– so now that we found the papers, we know that my mom’s name on her birth certificate does not match the name she has always used and which is on all the rest of her documents. 🙂
Is that going to be a big problem?
I hope not. I don’t think so because we have other documents with her name that she has always used.
Surreal is the world we now know.
All things (art, politics, sports, wine, etc) came together beautifully in your poetry. I have missed a few of your masterpieces these past few weeks. I’ll return soon. Things are starting to be less chaotic, and I should be able to visit more regularly again.
All your words thrilled me; especially:
“we sip, and smile, and feel fine
(understand, it’s not just the wine).”
Cheers, dear Merril!
Thanks for stopping by, Rose, and leaving such a lovely comment. I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how you are. I’m glad things are starting to be less chaotic. Cheers back to you! 🙂
You wrest so much from a day, and express it so well. I had the same problem with WP for a while. It resolved itself when I finally got a faster broadband signal
Thanks so much, Derrick.
I’m hearing of various reports of weirdness on WP. I’m not sure how boosting the signal would help, but who knows? 🙂
Oh the ups and downs that color our lives so magnificently Merrill – and you with your way with words articulate it all so poetically. Thank you!
Thank you, Susan. That is very kind. 🙂
This was such a wonderful glimpse into the ups and downs of life these days. I’m so glad you found your mother’s papers. It’s a scary thing, in this age of needing to prove who we are and that we are where we belong.
I still use the old editor. I found the new one awkward. If WP is being weird, it usually means a big change or two. Change, usually, for the sake of change (or to justify someone’s job, which I don’t begrudge because we all need a job of some kind).
Thank you, Robin.
I suppose it depends, too, on what type of device you write on and which browser you use. I think the new editor is easier to work with, but oh well. 🙂
I use my desktop (so I can see what I’m doing with the photos). I think you’re right about the type of device, browser, etc. The new editor is fine when I’m on my tablet. I like to spread out when I’m on the desktop computer (since I have this big screen). 🙂
I liked this post and felt your fear. It was a little bit like holding my breath (I took shallow breaths) until the end reveals, it may be all fine. I like wine a lot, mainly reds. I enjoy chocolate, too. . . The movie is one I have heard of, I tend to wait to get the foreign film award nominated movies from the library. I hope all goes smoothly with your mother’s care and well- being (also yours! 💕 )
I’m pleased this sparked such an emotional reaction, Robin. Thank you very much for your kind and caring good wishes.
We both really liked this movie.