The Always, the Never, the Joy, the Light

IMG_4478Monday Morning Musings:

“For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.”

― James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”


After the dark cloud dances,

a pulsing star kisses the universe—

I open the window,

letting in magic


~and all the ifs~



breathing time, remembering ghosts–

our lives, the brilliant poetry

of always and never


We walk through city streets,

a thought comes, retreats


a fragment, not yet complete

lost in a beat


as I look up to see

the world around me–


in the windows the clouds

reflected, ignored by crowds

who pass them by,

ignore the perfect azure of the sky


broken with streaks of white

wind-blown, in flight


across the blue.

And it’s true,


I think, that beauty is found

in county and town


all around us if we look for it.

rove and gaze a bit.


And so, time passes—

half-empty or half-filled your glasses?


A frantic rush to meet

deadlines, yet greet


each day with some joy,

though fate is coy,


and accidents will happen

so, we go rushing in when


it does, to wait and stand by

her eyelid damaged, not her eye,


though her story makes no sense,

the consequence


of confusion,

of what was, delusion


over what she can do–

most likely I’ll be like that, too.


We arrive home late at night

to hear an owl, out of sight


he whoo whoo whoos,

and if I could choose


some magic, that seems right,

perfect, transfused into the night,


a bridge of spirits, night to day

with sorrow held at bay

Ben Franklin Bridge

Heading over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia just before dawn.

we sway with friends

beginnings and ends


the power of love, beauty, light

joy and delight

Wedding at Philadelphia Horticultural Center

Wedding at Philadelphia Horticultural Center, Fairmount Park

to share such moments again

and again, to dance, feel romance


in the night around us,

and laugh as we discuss


how that speech went way too long–

isn’t it time for another song?

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So, we eat, drink, dance some more,

and yes, my feet are a little sore—


but look at that moon, that sky!

she hums so fiercely, why


don’t we hear or see

enough of the beauty,


the light? Our tales are not new,

but they are yet so true


and so, told again and again,

every beginning to every end


circling round, like our moon

singing an ancient, eternal tune


poetry of stars, the always, the never

going on through time. . .forever.


Some of you know, I’m finishing a book on sexual harassment. It has to be completed this week, and I’m scrambling. So I apologize for being behind on reading everyone’s posts. Added to this, my mom had an accident Friday evening, and my husband and I were in the ER with her till very late at night. When we got home, there was an owl hooting from some tree in our yard. I’d never heard this before, so I’m convinced it’s one of Jane Dougherty’s owls. Or perhaps the Oracle sent it as a sign of. . .something.  (Great horned owl song here.) We went back to the ER early the next morning, where an eye surgeon glued my mom’s damaged lower eyelid back into place. We’re hoping it will hold, and that she will not need surgery. Saturday night we went to a wedding, the groom is the son of friends, and we got to be with a bunch of our very dear friends for the night.





















36 thoughts on “The Always, the Never, the Joy, the Light

  1. What a life! With all the ups and downs, thanks for reminding your readers (like me!) to look UP and OUT!

    And thanks for including the snaps: I love the HUG. (Doug adores you!) Best wishes for your mama’s recovering too.

      • I’ll tell you what is crazy. My mother used crazy glue to seal a cut on her forehead a few years ago. She used to live up north and fairly far from any clinics so, after smashing her head on a beam, she cleaned it up and crazy-glued it. Can’t even see a scar…
        At least your mother’s was done by a doctor…

  2. It’s funny, I was looking up the other day and it also occurred to me that almost no one else does. I’m always trying to locate birds I hear. And then I always notice something else.
    I know only too well those long nights in the emergency room. I hope all goes well for your mother.
    The sustaining rituals of life give us shelter in the storm.
    Almost there! (K)

    • Thank you very much, Kerfe. My mom seems incredible strong for 97.
      I also look up to try to find birds! I’d love to see that owl (and I’m glad our cats are strictly indoor ones). But I look up in the city, too, to see all the fun details on old buildings. You probably do that too.

      • Yes, I’m always pointing things out on buildings that people have never noticed. But then the majority of people are looking at phones all the time these days.

    • Thank you, Luanne. Yes, I thought I said at the end. My mom had an accident. It was a long time in the ER, but she seems to be healing well. A surgeon glued her lower eyelid back into place! Isn’t that wild?

      • How did I miss that?! I was only guessing by the context? Oh gosh, how traumatic though for all of you. Gluing eyelids. Now I’ve heard of everything.

    • Thanks, Ken. She seems to be healing.
      Yes, that venue is within Fairmount Park, a huge Philadelphia park that includes historic houses, the zoo, and other buildings. The 1876 Centennial was there. I had never been to this Horticultural Center though. It was beautiful!

  3. I know that you and I never ignore the cloud formations, Merril, for that is definitely where magic and joy and answers (why we’re here) are found.
    Thanks for the James Baldwin quote – did I tell you he was part of the focus of my M.A. in literature thesis? He was a genius.
    Lastly, so sorry to hear about your mom. Glad to read in comments that she’s doing better. This past weekend my guy and I drove down to DE to visit my mom and I waved toward you. Did you feel the breeze? ❤

    • Oh–that’s what that breeze was. 🙂 Thanks so much, Pam. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the clouds yesterday. We had a blustery wind blowing them all around. Yeah–that was a crazy accident my mom had, but she seems to be healing. ❤

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