Dreams of Generations

Monday Morning Musings:

“Time makes room

for going and coming home

and in time’s womb

begins all ending.”

From Ursula K. Le Guinn, “Hymn to Time”


“Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears”

–from “Sunrise, Sunset” Jerry Brock and Sheldon Harnick, Fiddler on the Roof


The dream flits,


spreading its wings

and soars

as the moon whispers

and shadows dance–

circles of light,

circles of darkness,

together, apart

beginnings and endings

all one thing,

in time



A hot July day

time with a friend

not wanting it to end


we drink, eat stay

talking of what was

and what now is, because


we’re catching up

he knew us way back when–

the before, and then

The Cool Lights! Revolution House, Philadelphia

we went our own ways

but kept in touch—

and now this lunch


though life intrudes

as I get texts about my mother

one after another


but still we laugh

then part, agree to meet

again soon—sweet


are friendships,

fleeting is time,

the clock chimes



through city streets

in buzzing beats


between the pauses, I feel

dreams rise from the cobblestones

beneath us buried bones.



We watch a movie

of fantasy and dreams

and my mom dreams, it seems


not certain of what is real

sometimes, but to her

fantasies, we defer.


And it is hotter now

some water ice to keep cool

in shaded bower, where statued pools

spray and children play

while others kept in cages

cruelty growing in stages


“Lock them up!” “Send them back,”

the ugly crowds chant

as the demagogue rants


and I listen to the fiddler play

and Yiddish spoken–

a culture not yet broken


entirely, and being revived

though they tried to kill us

six million then—but let’s discuss


how hate never goes away

entwined with fear

year after year


beneath the surface

like a dream.

Do you hear the scream


of those in a nightmare life

who are fleeing?

What are you seeing


when children in cages

appear before you?

Ho, hum, it’s nothing new.


Japanese, Jews, camps

of them, this and that–

and off them someone gets fat


(follow the money)

through history. We watch

a movie–does the cop botch


his life,

or is it ordained

as we see it explained


backwards through time.

Sci-fi and noir, violence and lust–

was it a story that must,


that always ended a certain way?

So many ifs and could-have-beens,

the outs and ins


of love and time

dances in circles, intertwine—



but the sun rises and sets

through our laughter and tears

and the years


circle in seasons

round and round–

light and darkness abound.



We watched two Netflix movies this week. In Sicilian Ghost Story, I liked the way dreams were a key part of the story and the fantasy of it; my husband not so much. We both liked The City of Last Things.  The story is told backwards in time.

I listened to this Fresh Air episode about the Yiddish version of Fiddler on the Roof. Well worth the listen, if you have the time.





































22 thoughts on “Dreams of Generations

  1. Always a joy to read your Monday Musings. You and your hubby really have a nice thing going and it’s fun to see you share various activities.
    Have a fabulous week, Merril!

  2. Am I reading too much into your musings or were you/are you feeling a bit more reflective than in past musings? When we visit with old friends, people who live thousands of miles and an ocean away, I always feel reflective after, thinking about how much we change and yet don’t change. And there is your mom, the changes she is going through that you all would rather delay. But you always find joy in the here and now, the simple pleasures of a fountain and water ice. We can be angry about the crimes against humanity that our government commits, but we must still enjoy what there is to enjoy in life.

    • Thank you for your close reading, Marie. It’s hard to say if I’m feeling more reflective or not. I usually write these in in an hour or two on Monday morning. It was great seeing a friend who had known my husband and me since 9th grade–and it struck me that there are things that only he would know or remember. And then all the stuff with my mom–then listening to that Fresh Air episode after being with my mom. . .

  3. Sorrow and joy mingled here on a Monday.

    I’m thinking again of Andrew Marvell’s lines “But at my back/I always hear Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near” taken out of context for sure, but fits the mood I detect in your musing.

  4. The past and present mingle as usual. Shadows and light, always.
    I read a wonderful story of how they put that Yiddish Fiddler together, but I can’t remember where. I’ll have to check out what Fresh Air has to say. (K)

  5. Your Mondays musings are full of contrasts and deep, Merril. I do think it is hard not to look back when spending time with someone close, who has known both you and your husband. Sometimes the simple past has a sense of idealism, hopefulness for many of us. The harsh reality is so present now that it creates shadows, dark/light. I’m so glad you had fun, found meaning in the films. I have always loved Tevia’s song, “Sunrise, Sunset.”

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Robin. You are quite right about the looking back sometimes with a sense of idealism (that might not be the reality). “Sunrise, Sunset” was never my favorite, and I seemed to get overplayed at weddings and such–but as I get older, it’s become more meaningful. They mention it and play a bit in the Fresh Air interview–the woman who plays Golde, Tevye’s wife has a beautiful voice!

  6. Beautiful, as always. Joy, sadness, life. I felt a little weepy reading some of this, but that seems to be the way of things these days (without hormones to blame for it!). I’ve noticed that your images are beginning to tell stories of their own (or maybe that’s just me, since I am a photographer).

    • Thank you, Robin. I’m pleased that my musings here evoked so many emotions in you! That’s interesting about the photos. I think perhaps I’m getting better (sometimes) at photographing things with my iPhone camera :)–though I did have to kind of scrounge to come up with photos for this week, since we didn’t do so much walking or going place in the heat and with other things going on. . .

    • Thank you so much, Ken! They are almost always written on Monday morning in an hour or two–sometimes I have an idea of how to tie my thoughts together before that, and sometimes not. 🙂

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