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
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
away for a day.
So, we sat in the twilight,
then read by flashlight
the air had cooled—
but we weren’t fooled,
it was only a temporary stay
from heat and humidity, but hey,
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?
Done to be kind
though they’re in a bind
to carry out the hoax.
There are tears and jokes–
a crowd-pleasing film
of cultural clashes
in family gatherings and meals–
and the deals
as we scatter
world-weary, what matters
still are our connections,
the invisible ties,
the love and lies,
generating power and loss,
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
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.
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.
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. It just kind of came to me–probably the Oracle whispering . . .
She knows about these things. I wonder if she whispers to your mother too?
Perhaps. That might account for the confusion–my mom doesn’t know about the Oracle. 🙂
The Oracle probable speaks to her when she paints.
I like to think so, and that she hears but since it’s probably what she’d do anyway, she sees nothing strange in it.
That makes perfect sense. She’s too practical to think about muses and such, but obviously the Oracle exists. 🙂
She maybe won’t be thinking about the Oracle, but I bet if you watch her while she’s painting, you’ll see a smile occasionally when some suggestion has slipped into her ear 🙂
This is why we’re friends. Thank you. 🙂
Thinking alike helps enormously 🙂
It does. 😉
I loved the line “and sometimes magic just appears.” It’s wonderful when that happens. Your husband looks so happy with his ice cream cone! 🙂
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. 🙂
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.
Thank you so much!
She’s really good–but really the whole cast is. It seems like it will be a sad and serious movie, but it’s not (though I definitely got teary-eyed). I love the grandmother. I was going to write “Dale, see this one” in the post. I also liked the soundtrack, but my husband said he didn’t even notice it. 🙂
Yes, I did recognize a few of them. It’s only when I heard her voice that I realised it was her!
Hahaha! Never be shy to add the “Dale see this one!” 😉
It’s not Cold War, but it’s very enjoyable. 🙂
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.
This is lovely Merril thank you. May such magic moments always be your companions – and those transient ones visit your Mom as well.
Thank you very much, Susan.
Merril, your posts are always so special, I just love your writing and the weaving of beautiful images. Happy Monday Merril!
Awww—thank you so much, Holly. That is so kind.
So true, Merrill.
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.
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.
Difficult times for you … but walks, food, and wine seem to make you smile. Peace and strength to you.
Thank you, Frank.
It is good that you still find magic during this struggle
Thank you, Derrick. It was magical to come across the deer in the park that morning, especially the family.
‘…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
Awww–thank you so much, Damien! We need both connections and magic, don’t we? Thank you for wandering with me!
Always a pleasure- now to check out Typewriter!!!
It’s enjoyable, and the kids, especially the girl, Sam, are great.
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.
Thank you very much for your comment, Marie. I’m so sorry about your sister! Some diseases like that same particularly cruel. I think now at this point, my mom is just wearing down, like a machine where all the parts are old and anything could just stop. It’s all so sad.
Oh, I’m so sorry. It must be so hard for all of you. I have no words but send you lots of love ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you so much, Marie. Hugs back to you!
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.
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.
Thank you, Ken. That’s a nice way of thinking about it.