“We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon. . .
. . .When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.”
–From Maya Angelou, “A Brave and Startling Truth”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
There are truths I want to say–
that the sun rises every day
whether we see it, or not,
acknowledge the light, or distraught
by glowering clouds, tears, and fears
of what is or might be, and years
suddenly darkened by plagues and death,
a beloved one’s last breath
that you want to catch and hold
lightly cupped in your hands, to fold
a flap of time over, like a page
marked, even as you rage
against time and the powers that be,
you forget, then remember to see
the light that shines, the people who fight
against darkness with kindness, who know right
can be funny and loving and true,
self-evident, you’d think, but not all do–
so, you remember, as you can,
unfold memories, like a fan
and wave them to and fro—
let them softly blow
across your face,
leaving a trace
of what once was, but cherish, too,
what is—the love (and presents) given you
the children, the pets, the friends—
all the beginnings, and all the ends
that circle round, and then again,
like sun and moon, birds in flight, and rain
from moisture in ground, flowers, and trees,
returning, rolling over and over, tides of seas
and rivers’ flowing–the startling truth, not of never,
but of always, now and forever.
We had a theater night at home this weekend and purchased a ticket to stream The People’s Light and Theatre Company’s production of Hold These Truths, “A Solo Play Inspired by the Life of Gordon Hirabayashi .”
As a young University of Washington student and practicing Quaker, Gordon Hirabayashi struggles to reconcile his deep admiration for the U.S. Constitution with the government’s 1942 orders to forcibly remove and intern over 120,000 people of Japanese descent from the West Coast. Gordon’s remarkable resistance ultimately leads to the famous Supreme Court case Hirabayashi v. United States, and continues to resonate today as we encounter questions of national security, citizenship, and what it means to be an American. Steven Eng plays Gordon Hirabayashi (and 37 other characters!) in Jeanne Sakata’s critically-acclaimed solo play.”
My daughters surprised me with a brunch (some mailed and some stealthily left at the door) for Mother’s Day, and we had a virtual brunch with them. We last celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom in 2018. Last year she had a stroke just before Mother’s Day, from which she did quite remarkably recover quite a bit. Today, my sister reminds me, is the anniversary of my father’s death over twenty years ago.
That Maya Angelou… such a phenomenal and quotable woman, was she.
And you, you write so beautifully, and I do not doubt that this first Mother’s Day without your mom and, because of the situation, without your daughters is particularly poignant.
Sending love your way!
Aww–thank you so much. I know you’ve been through much grief, and I appreciate your kind words.❤️
And also about my writing. Once again, I didn’t know what I was going to write about, so I just started writing this morning. . .
Maybe that’s what makes it easier to understand. ❤️
Well, I for one, don’t mind it at all when you “don’t know what you are going to write about”…
Beautiful musings, Merril. There’s so much comfort in knowing that the sun will rise each day, isn’t there? I really enjoyed the photos you shared. Let me guess, the “Queen of Everything” glass belongs to you, right! ❤
Thank you, Jill.
Yes, nature is comforting, and of course that is my glass! 😀
The first Mother’s Day (and other firsts) are so hard. Your writing is, as always, beautiful. I was heart-struck by this: “unfold memories, like a fan.”
Thank you very much, Robin. ❤️ It was strange, but the brunch surprise and video chat were very nice.
I was please with that phrase, too. 😀
Beautiful tribute, Merril 💗
Thank you, Katy. ❤️
I can tell the stone-throwing ritual is becoming healing for you. Perhaps a choice to remain “grounded” in the flickering wave of water, sea change. Lovely tribute, Merril!
Thank you very much, Marian. ❤️
My heart still hurts for you, Merril. What lovely memories, you have, my friend. Hugs and love to you. ❤
Thank you very much, Colleen! I can feel the love. ❤️ We do have some beautiful and also some very funny memories. 😀
Merril, I never knew my mother. She passed away when I was three. I have no memories at all. We’re here for you friend. Huge hugs. ❤
Oh gosh, Colleen. I didn’t realize. My mom lived to be 97, so we had time with her. ❤️
Your musings always make me feel your family’s love. A doubly difficult day this year. Sending hugs. (K)
That’s very kind, Kerfe. Thank you very much.
Your verses are so poignant, knowing that this must have been such a meaningful Mother’s Day for you
Thank you very much, Derrick. It was certainly that.
This is such a beautiful post of memory and love, the images make it vivid
Thank you so much, Jude! I appreciate your kind words.
Just lovely Merril – ah Mother’s Day –
It’s going to be a long time before mother’s day isn’t painful. The circle will come around again though.
Thank you. I did have a good time talking to my daughters, so I still have that part of Mother’s Day.
Mother is an ongoing thing 🙂
Yes, it is. Hope your brood is ok.
They seem to be not taking the separation too hard, thanks 🙂
Oh, good. 😀