Monday Morning Musings:
“The fringed curtains of thine eye advance, And say what thou seest yond.”
–William Shakespeare, The Tempest
“We all move on the fringes of eternity and are sometimes granted vistas through fabric of illusion.”
–Ansel Adams, Ansel Adams: An Autobiography
Once a star devoured a universe
long haunted by dark clouds
then breathed to wake a new one
~with laughing kisses~
though we hadn’t known we slept
or how close we’d been to the edge
~of time, an illusion~
that we cherished then
but now the blue horses prance
and caramel breezes drift from the sea
~carrying past and future~
through the window of time
and beyond. Remembering
what we forget, carrying our dreams.
Twenty-nine dead in thirteen hours
the headlines say, we
offer thoughts and prayers, and flowers
of blood bloom on streets and malls.
How tragic, we say
and go about our day
and the death bell tolls
again, and again
and we wonder when
it all will end.
When will we wake
and find a way to send
away the men who profit from hate–
who stoke the fear—
and say what people want to hear,
the lies that trip from poisoned tongues
and damage life, and old and young–
the fringe chorus becomes the loudest sung.
A macrocosm of death surrounds me,
but sheltered in my smaller world
I want to see, to flee, to be
What? I’m not sure,
though there is some allure
to buried heads when all around
is death and dying.
And we laughing, sighing, and crying
as my mother weakens
speaking clearly, or not–
each day different, caught
adrift, she smiles, sleeps
on going. Through shallowing deeps
that flows in and out,
sweeping the beach to turn about
and leave treasures on the sand.
But fleeing this land
we visit friends,
who offer helping hands
and open hearts
to listen, as we talk
and we eat, then walk
on a summer night,
there’s music and friendship–
sometimes things are right,
sometimes there is light
in the darkness–
the stars twinkle diamond-bright
against the sapphire sea,
and the sun rises, and I see
promise in a day.
We go on our way
to the fringe
and back, we see a play–
OK, perhaps we see six–
(One even had magic tricks)
in this blueberry town,
we walk up and down
the streets, find food to eat,
and clap from our seats
for actors and singers
and our smiles linger
We avoid the tempest
from our seats inside,
on stories sail and ride.
But it’s fringe,
some need a tinge
more polish, perhaps.
We’ll see what happens
if, when, we’re here–
as time laps,
racing to the edge
of eternity, with no pledge
of what will be,
there on the fringe
On Saturday and Sunday we went to the New Jersey Fringe Festival in Hammonton, NJ, “The Blueberry Capital of the World.”
“though there is some allure / to buried heads when all around / is death and dying.” I definitely felt like burying my head this weekend. More than fear is the sense of helplessness. For years, we’ve been asking “how many more must die” before Congress (or rather, Senate Republicans) take action. Often I feel they are biding their time as each of us collapses under the weight of so much violence, buries our heads to deafen the screams and blind us to the pain. Any action they take now (and action they must take) will still be too little and too late.
And for you, there’s the added layer of your mom. I imagine it might be difficult to feel much joy in your weekend events, but you have to find the good in the world and embrace it. You–we–need that.
Thank you, Marie. I was happy that I didn’t see the news during the day(s) while we were at the Fringe festival. We actually did feel joy and relief to go to the festival. It was a nice break.
That’s good to know 🙂
Usually your musings seem to me to follow a thread of thought, eddying around a theme. This one is more like a collage, starting with that gorgeous puente of dreams, then your underlying thoughts surface, the state of the world, your mother, and the everyday pleasures that keep your mind fixed on the here and now, for you. Lovely and thoughtful work.
I like the collage idea. Thank you, Jane. I wasn’t sure how I was going to write this one. There wasn’t any particular thread from the fringe shows we saw. You got me hooked on the puente form now, too. 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment.
The puente is good for joining opposing sentiments 🙂
Yes, it is! 🙂
I’m having major WP issues this morning. I was finally able to see your slideshow of wonderful photos. I don’t know how you embed that into your posts. I like it. Prayers for your sweet mother, Merril.
Thank you for persevering, Jill! The slide show is one of the options. I guess it might depend on which WP editor you use. Thank you for your kind thoughts.
You did a sensitive weaving of musings and your Fringe theme. Glad you found solace with friends, loving husband, plays and music, Merril.
I was awake when this Dayton, Ohio tragedy news event happened at one am. I cried, my youngest daughter once attended and graduated from University of Dayton. This area is a historical, “gentrified” district. His sister was killed by the shooter. No participation (for me) in social media from wee Sat. hours until today. The families in Walmart lives changed by hate. . . If only the 9 minutes President Trump speech could be believed and put finally into action!
Thank you, Robin.
I didn’t hear about either shooting this weekend until hours after because I wasn’t checking the news while we were at the Fringe Festival. Somehow it makes it seem worse, or something when you’re familiar with the area. I have no faith in anything dt says.
I didn’t want to send a personal message on your texts, but my heart is saddened by hearing of your mother’s weakening and being closer to the edge of darkness. I believe your family’s strong love and friends’ lights will help ease this transition. . . My hope would be: May it be possible for healing, Merril. . . ✨🤗
Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts, Robin. ❤
A most thoughtful and wonderfully woven poem, Merril.
I can’t wrap my head around these tragedies that happen over and over. Why the US refuses to look at other countries’ dealings of situations like these and being inspired to do the same is beyond me. Of course that Association is way too powerful. As long as it remains in power, no matter who is at the top will be powerless.
We have a Fringe Fest in Montreal too – a month or so ago. One year I shall actually attend…
Thank you so much, Dale. I appreciate your kind words. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go with this today. 🙂
Yes, the NRA is very powerful, and it shouldn’t be, nor should politicians be beholden to it.
There is a bigger Fringe Festival in Philadelphia–it goes on for a few weeks and in venues all over the city. We may go to some. This NJ one is fun because it’s small, and all the venues are within a few blocks.
Funny how that works… 🙂
They are way too powerful.
Oooh… how fun to have someone to drag with you to the Fringe 😉 I have a friend of mine who goes with his wife every year. I don’t know how many they see but it is amazing.
For the Philadelphia one, we may see a couple plays, but this year especially, we can’t go to many. One of the contributors to the book I’m working on performed her play at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer.
Makes it all the better to participate when we know someone
Well, I don’t really know her, and I haven’t been to Edinburgh, but yes, it would be fun. 🙂
There’s a trance-like quality to this, Merril – or perhaps it is just its effect on me. Pointless deaths before time and a loved mother coming to the end of hers – ‘on the fringe of eternity’.
Thank you, Derrick. I hope hypnotic rather than stupefying. 😉 There are so many deaths that just shouldn’t happen. People shouldn’t have to worry about shopping or going to school or public events. . .
Your poem was hypnotic, the events stupefying
Where are we going? Hard to believe in a future these days. And yet…we must get sustenance where we can. Thoughtful and moving as always. (K)
Thank you very much, Kerfe. Yes, it is hard to know where and what. . .
Well said, Merril. It’s always good to remember those lights in the darkness.
Meanwhile, we have leaders who do nothing about that darkness.
Thank you, Ken. Yes, that is unfortunately true.
Emotional juxtaposition of topics. The meeting of public and private pain. And the unpolished fringe.
Yes, thank you, Luanne.
SO many thought-provoking thoughts and suggestions and feelings here. First, sorry that your mom weakens. My hope for her (as for my mom) is that they see the fringe of infinity as they grow closer to it. That they feel the security of joy and love within. The fringe is a beautiful allusion to the veil of what we don’t understand – of the unseen, right in front of us.
But the fringe of those who hate is close at hand. May we all not hide under a fringe of distaste, but stand up to what’s right. And fight for what just makes sense in this time of violence that is senseless.
Thank you very much, Pam for your kind words, understanding, and hopes for the future. We’re pretty sure my mom is dying, but it could be days, weeks, or months.
And I’m scared for our country. It seems those who were once on the fringe are given prominence now.
So difficult to tell when “the end” is near for our loved ones. Two years ago my mom was placed in “hospice care.” A year ago hospice fired themselves. Mom is still alive and staring into a space we can’t see. ❤
As far as the other fringe, may they unravel SOON. 😦
Oh! That must be so difficult for you and your family. ❤ My mom is also in hospice care. (Don't get me started on our broken health care system.) She is mostly lucid, but she is getting weaker daily.
And YES–about that other fringe!
My thoughts are with you all. xo