All the Seconds, Connecting

Philadelphia from Patco train, February 2020

This moment–sparkling.

Monday Morning Musings:

“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. . .

This moment, this seed, this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love.”

-from “Elegy in Joy [excerpt]”

Muriel Rukeyser – 1913-1980


In the slow sailing of time

and the dazzle-dance of stars

in all the afters

and the befores

we find connections


heroes still live

chasing one another for eternity

unable to escape

though larger than life

and immortal


(as long as we see them)

even if they vanish

in the rosy blush of morning

like the dew

like the second that has just passed


never to return.

But this instant,

and the next,

a beginning each time

like this seed

a burst of lavender and yellow

comes again, crocus then daffodil

through the years,

four seasons,

one birthday to another


we celebrate you

we celebrate us

a special dinner,

cake and presents,

you smile


say you’ve been thinking Vera, Chuck, and Dave

but I’ve brought you a bottle of wine

and you’re still my Valentine

I still need you and feed you–

let us nourish beginnings,


the moments that pass too soon–

my mother tells me my father wrote songs

she says she knows they’re his

though they say anonymous

because they’re about her,


the moments they had

when he saw her

and she could still see

and the doctor can fix her eyelid

but not her sight


or her green eyes

dimmed by time

almost a century

our oak tree even older,

and ghosts dance beneath its boughs


where we had a swing,

a yellow baby swing,

somewhere in time

maybe it exists still

gently swaying


a rippling memory

like old window glass

of what was–

and I could connect them

the present and the past,

Merchant Exchange Building, Philadelphia

Wavy window glass of the Merchant Exchange Building, Old City Philadelphia, 2020 Merril D. Smith


and then that moment

would pass, too

elusive like a ghost.

Does my mother really see him

my father?


In the movie

the women are bound by the past,

broken by war

wanting to nourish new beginnings

will they heal


connect to something more than ghosts?

They are filled with emptiness.

And she is frozen.

What happens to the ghosts

when past moves to future?


We watch a show of future times

space ships and androids,

but still there is war.

Treachery seems to fill the skies

everywhere, so we look for heroes

in the stars

and watch their dazzle-dance

and mark the passage of time

with cake

as we nourish love, drink–

and so, the seconds pass

from birth to death

all the in-betweens

seeds to flowers, kittens to cats,

stars explode and are reborn, connected.


Random bonus cats.


Cats and reflections! Philadelphia.



Sometimes we like each other. 


Merril’s Movie Club: We sawJoJo Rabbit on Prime. I think my husband liked it more than I did. Not that I disliked it, but. . .I’m not sure if it worked. It’s hard to laugh about Nazis. Parts of it I did, and the little boy in it is wonderful. We saw Beanpole in the theater. Another one that is difficult to say, “I liked it” because of the subject matter, but excellent acting–the two leads especially are astonishing–but also the whole cast. It is definitely a bleak movie set in post-WWII Leningrad, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

We started watching Picard, even though I really don’t want to pay for another streaming service, but Patrick Steward as Jean-Luc again and daughters are watching it. . . and yes, that is an Enterprise pizza cutter with our homemade pizza.









38 thoughts on “All the Seconds, Connecting

  1. This is such a joy on a Monday to arrive and treasure your words in Musings. Your words are relateable and moving.
    I love the part of your mother saying your father wrote songs about her. So sweet!
    Life is busy in my life, as I am chauffeur to Lara to H.S. (Landen’s sister is 15 and drives ME after school) and then, Hendrix to preschool. My DIL is taking Landen this week to outpatient chemo.
    I work part-time for Felicia, nightly cleaning the county engineering building. My Mom thinks my “Dad is close by, often outside doing a project.” Love is eternal, I believe.
    I like “Sanditon” but really like “Vienna Blood” on Sunday PBS. (They have been on before someone says.) I love your pizza cutter!

    • Thank you very much, Robin. I appreciate that you’ve stopped by when you are so busy, day and night! I hope Landen is doing well.
      My parents were divorced, but my dad was the love of her life–and I think she was his, too. Now she thinks he’s alive–it’s kind of sweet and creepy both. 😉
      I’ve been recording Sanditon, but I haven’t watched it yet. The pizza cutter was a gift from daughter and son-in-law a few years ago.

  2. You make the most of your moments,” this instant, and the next,” connecting art, events, the ripple of reflection in the glass, food and wine with husband.

    By the way, I did not like the ending to Sanditon, not true to Jane Austen, in my opinion. Thanks for the movie suggestions, as always, Merril. Have a wonderful week!

  3. Beautiful musings on this dreary and rainy Monday, Merril. What a bright light in the day. I also loved your photo of the Merchant Exchange Building. The blue sky reflection is fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  4. We have that Enterprise pizza cutter, but even that can’t convince me to pay for CBS All Access. Today, I cut the cord to DISH. We’re trying YouTube TV at less than half the cost, but we’ll miss out on HISTORY. HULU has it, so that’s an alternative. We already have Netflix and Prime.

      • Our NBC affiliate cancelled negotiations with Dish last fall (they wanted more from DISH). Repeated calls about paying the same without that station went nowhere. Today, since I was cancelling, they offered $480 service credit as a longtime customer, spread over a year, with no guarantee the new rate wouldn’t rise $5 – $10 within that year. (It did so twice in the last 12 months.)
        I got tired of the game. Many cable channels
        and all the 4 local network channels are available on YouTube TV, with fast forwarding if saved on the cloud DVR.

      • Good luck. It’s all so confusing. We have Verizon FIOS, so we have “regular TV,” as well as Internet through them, but we also pay for Netflix and Prime, and we watch them on TV through a Chromecast device.

  5. Love love love the ghosts flittering about your melodic poem! Humor, love, sentiments, etc.; you find them all in your sweet musings. Cute photos of your expressive faces. I want to pinch your cheeky cheeks. 😉

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