Ghost Connections

Monday Morning Musings:

“Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack

of the past and future?

The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond

its capacities will find no rest?

–Rumi from “That Lives in Us” 

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

–Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


The moon sails through time

over and over

through the purple sky.

We sit in the dark

and watch it


in a universe of only

and always


to wake from dreams . . .

feeling the ghosts

in the breezes,



On the day of the storm

the sun blazed,

and animals were dazed


by the glare as his chariot rose

higher and higher.

But the gods conspired


and sent the wind

and rain to shower

the flowers, but taking our power


The storm rolling in

away for a day.

So, we sat in the twilight,

then read by flashlight


Making the best of the situation when the power went out.


and fortunately,

the air had cooled—

but we weren’t fooled,


we knew

it was only a temporary stay

from heat and humidity, but hey,


Carpenter’s Hall all a-flower

we’ll enjoy it while we can

walk in the city, eat ice cream–

talk and dream.

In the movie we see

the family lies

Is it wise?


Who knows?

Done to be kind

though they’re in a bind


about how

to carry out the hoax.

There are tears and jokes–


a crowd-pleasing film

of cultural clashes

and flashes


of tenderness

in family gatherings and meals–

and the deals


we make

as we scatter

world-weary, what matters


still are our connections,

the invisible ties,

the love and lies,


that bind

generating power and loss,



synaptic bursts

through wires and minds

creating dreams and incredible finds.


But the loss

when there’s a faulty connection

the hesitation and misdirection.


In my mom’s mind

dream and reality blur—

sometimes–and I’m not sure


how it works at all.

Past, present, future circle round

intertwine–wiring unsound?


Perhaps. Or do ghosts come to visit?

That shadow almost seen?

What is it? Where has it been?


I don’t know tomorrow

I can’t shape the past

or make fine weather last.


A beautiful summer night at William Heritage Winery, New Jersey


but I enjoy the moment

of summer fruits, the flavors

bursting, bits of sunshine savored

before the next storm. . .

and sometimes magic just appears.


We got free tickets to a preview of The Farewell. Trailer here. We enjoyed it very much, and it seems like the rest of the audience did, too. Lulu Wang also told the story of the movie—her real life story on an episode of This American Life

We’re watching a series on Netflix now called Typewriter. It’s marketed as a sort of Indian Stranger Things, mainly because it involves four kids. They’re middle school age. It’s not very scary (yet), but I’m enjoying it. Trailer here.

I also heard a recent episode of This American Life about a young woman held as a prisoner by her biological parents in Pakistan. She only had one book to read—that she kept hidden—and read over and over again hundreds of times.  It was Little Women.

















48 thoughts on “Ghost Connections

  1. It’s a good way to look at your mother’s condition, faulty wiring, hooked up to the elements maybe, with flashes of lucidity and periods when the current gives out. Enjoy everything.

    • Thanks, Jill. Yes, I took an early morning walk yesterday before the craziness of the day, and it was a bit of magic to see that deer family–and then more deer.
      My husband’s expression really was about having to hold my cone while I took a picture. 🙂

  2. I always love your Monday Musings. Oooh! And that film looks fabulous. So nice to see Awkwafina in a serious role. DEFINITELY going to see that one!
    As for the rest of this wonderful poem, just fabulous.

  3. I went to the Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island Saturday, and one of the tables was manned by Veteran poets from NJ…all from Vietnam, although the group evidently includes younger poets. One of them had just written a series of poems about taking care of his wife with Alzheimer’s and he read me one and it made me cry, thinking not only about my mother, but all of humanity and how fragile our connection is with the world, but how reality can be bent and expanded with love. Your words about your mother contain the same feeling, and the movie sounds like it covers that territory too. Full of love and reciprocity as always (and making me think…) (K)

    • Thank you very much, Kerfe!
      I can just imagine that poem. I’m sure I’d be crying, too. The movie is as you’ve described with also the dimension of cross-cultures and places. The This American Life segment came first, and much of what later appeared in the movie really happened in her life.

  4. I find a lot of electricity here, including wine and cheese and other tasty treats. And I do understand about faulty wiring in loved ones’ brains. Touch is the best thing, a sense palpable event to the confused.

    We’ve been looking for something new on Netflix, but I don’t think Typewriter is it. In the meantime, I’ll listen to The American Life episode. Thanks for hooking me up!

    • Thank you, Marian. No, most likely Typewriter is not for you (though you’d admire the feisty little girl with braids). 🙂 I really like This American Life, and both the segments I mentioned were very good.

  5. Yes, “sometimes magic just appears.” Usually when we need it most. I am intrigued by your thoughts of faulty wiring. We thought something similar with my mother-in-law whose decline into dementia was such a long way from where she started (“sharp as a tack” was how she was usually described). Someone, I can’t remember who, described confusion and dementia in the elderly as the spirit leaving the body, traveling who knows where. I liked thinking that about my mother-in-law because she loved to travel and did so as often as possible.

    • Thank you, Robin. That’s a nice thing to have thought about your mother-in-law. I don’t really know what I think–some days my mom is better than others, so I like to think of it as some days she’s kind of rebooted, but the circuits are wearing out. It’s just sad.

  6. ‘…what matters still are our connections, the invisible ties, the love and lies…’ I love this truth and then, of course, at the end, that momentary spark of magic, triggers for the mind and the memory. It’s been too long since I’ve taken a Monday morning trip with you. xx

  7. I second what Jane said in her comments about your mother’s mind. I imagine that’s what it feels like to her. My sister has Parkinson’s and gets frustrated with her faulty wiring. She tries to keep a calendar, but I think the hard part is her family, that is, her children who still don’t quite understand (or accept) that she gets confused and can’t always remember their little details. Yesterday I finished listening to an audio of a novel called A Murder of Crows. The author was also the narrator, lovely Scottish accent. It’s not a well-designed novel but one of the characters—Alice—has dementia. She slips in and out of fugues. Her fleeting memories drive the plot to some degree. I mention it because he writes from her point of view and so the reader experiences her confusions, her fears, but also her wonder. I don’t know what experience the author drew from to write such a compelling character, but she was the most sympathetic.

  8. The Oracle whispered to you indeed in this languid wise poem of stars and storms, power and the lack of it, mental acuity and the opposite. I loved every word. I suppose at some point I’ll need to blog about the fear we had two weekends ago at our mom’s memory care facility, where “a gun was fired,” and some died. It’s such a sad story, not sure I can write about it. Yet, it’s life, and death. Power on. Power off.
    I can’t wait to see The Farewell. I saw “Yesterday” at the movies and swooned. So well done.
    Enjoy the moment. Leave the rack of past and future. ❤

    • Thank you so much, Pam.
      “A gun was fired?” I can’t even go there, but I guess you did. It’s all so sad. We should be able to just literally fly up into the sky when it’s time to die, not this wasting away.
      I think you’ll enjoy The Farewell–it’s funny as well as sad. I’ve heard mixed reviews of Yesterday–I’ll probably see in once it’s streaming. I love the idea of it though.

      • Yes, flying is my ideal.
        As a huge Beatles fan, I savored every song in the movie, and thought the actors treated the subject (a bit of time bending) sweetly and sincerely.

  9. Your love and concern come through, any time you write about your mother. Perhaps that wiring (or ghosts) is not so faulty, but provides connections and reminders of significant moments to fill the gaps or lapses that are inevitable for many at that point.

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