Monday Morning Musings:

“Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory—”
Percy Bysshe Shelly

“Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.”
–from Jo Harjo, “Remember”

Today we remember—
the ones who lie buried,
the ones lost at sea,

But do you remember
before memory?
How the world came to be?

From stars,
all the oceans,
and then soon the trees,

Sun through the trees at Red Bank Battlefield. I thought it looked like a little amphitheater. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

You remember this,
Ancestral memory

of long before when,
and where soft voices go,
to live on, maybe

pretend. We should remember
in every war fought,
each side will plea–

saying God’s on our side,
and we’re in the right,
the land of the free.

But after every battle,
there’s a hole, a wound
left in a town and family–

all those who died.
There may be pride, or anguish
or a question of degree—was it necessary?

So, remember the sun
still there behind the clouds,
and the moon, humming fiercely

listen now.
Listen to Crow, the creator,
who foretells what will be,

preserve what you can,
fight if you must
for beauty and truth, disagree

with the haters
and authoritarian dupes,
help the world to better be–

remember her laugh,
remember childhood giggles and purring cat–
hear all the songs in your memory,

and let the world’s wonder wander through–
remember you are all and all are you.

It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S. It’s also a three-day weekend. When vice-president Kamala Harris mentioned that in a tweet, conservative hypocrites who willingly overlooked every horror the former twice-impeached resident of the White House ever did or uttered acted outraged. Meanwhile, they are doing all they can to suppress democratic rights, such as the freedom to vote. I prefer real democracy to mindless flag waving.

Meanwhile, no thanks to the former administration, people in the U.S. are getting vaccinated, and many places have lifted all or nearly all Covid restrictions. I’m not entirely comfortable with it yet, but I have met with friends. The weather has been all over the place–from summer heat, where turned on the a/c to cold enough to turn the heat back on. It was good weather to bake and cook.

Merril’s Movie Club: We watched The Father. One review I read described the movie as “a Rashomon of dementia.” The movie is from the viewpoint of a man whose mind is going. It is difficult to tell what is real, and the movie is purposefully confusing, brilliant, and harrowing. There is also a wonderful opera soundtrack. Anthony Hopkins deserved his Oscar, and Olivia Coleman was excellent, as was the entire cast. Meanwhile, we’re onto Season 2 of Dexter. We might need to take a break with something a bit lighter. 🤣

33 thoughts on “Remember

  1. ‘But after every battle,
    there’s a hole, a wound
    left in a town and family–‘

    So well said Merril: we’re all one race and one family and yet we seem unable to accept this!

    We have a different ‘Remebrance Day’ in the UK (11/11) so it has been interesting to learn about Memorial Day.

    • Thank you very much, Ingrid!

      We have Veteran’s Day in November, which was Armistice Day (11/11). So, that’s all veterans, but Memorial Day is for those who served and died.

  2. I think it’s rather wonderful to have two occasions to celebrate all the vets – those who gave their lives and those who served. Like the UK, we only have Remembrance Day (your Veteran’s Day) to celebrate all of them at once.

    Beautiful, as always, accompanied by wonderful photos.

    I’ve been contemplating watching The Father 🙂 Thanks for the nudge.

  3. Wise suggestion: “let the world’s wonder wander through” – so many angles to view just about anything that occurs (or is contemplated within our own psyches) – good sometimes to back away from gruesome specifics and reconnect to the All we each contribute to.
    Beautiful post (as always) … especially the kitty (can almost hear the purr)

  4. I remember the Shelly quote, and I remember poet Jo Harjo visiting our college campus just as she was achieving fame.

    Your kitchen must smell heavenly with all the baking, Merril!

  5. Such a beautiful, thoughtful poem. These lines:
    But after every battle,
    there’s a hole, a wound
    left in a town and family–

    all those who died.
    Oh, I wish those argue for war would acknowledge the devastation done to all families. Maybe (just maybe) war is sometimes necessary, yet we shouldn’t lose sight of war’s impact on humanity. (Okay, getting off the soapbox.)

    Thanks for recommending The Father. I love Anthony Hopkins. Will pretty much watch anything he is in 😉 Are you watching the new Dexter? We watched the original series quite some time ago, and then I read that someone was producing a sequel.

    • Thank you so much, Marie. I’m pleased this made you think and get on your soapbox. 😀

      The Father is excellent. He really gives the performance of his lifetime, I think.
      The new Dexter begins in the fall. I had seen the series way back when, but my husband never watched it, so I’m rewatching it now with him. There are a few promos out now for the new series.

  6. As I was reflecting on your post, particuarly, “remember you are all and all are you,” and I was reminded of a poster from when I was a kid: What if they gave a war, and nobody came?

  7. With God on our side…the crux of the problem I think. Dylan nailed it.
    I was surprised to see more people wearing masks this weekend than the previous week. I agree that caution is best, still. (K)

  8. Beautiful poem! Love your photos…we must cling to the beauty around us. On Memorial Day we remember those who sacrificed so much for our freedom, for the ability to walk along a sun-lit path and watch the sea birds soar. Our tribute to these brave souls is be our very best selves, to honor their sacrifice by making the world a better place…with kindness, with compassion, with respect for one another.

  9. Just lovely Merril thank you. Remember and never forget those selfless souls. I also think of the value of re-membering, a reminder that we are members of the world ..

  10. I have read your poem over and over and over again. It is a classic. It is a masterpiece. I am gob smacked. I think it should be read by every student in every country. Every year.
    Memorial day is such a paradox. People say happy memorial day and view it as a wonderful beginning to the summer. But I remember how my dad, I paratrooper in World War II, listened to his patriotic records on his record player every memorial day. He honored his fellow soldiers.
    Also, I agree with what you say how about those on the far right who have put down science and voting rights and ignore the fact that the vaccine is bringing us our lives back.

    • Wow–thank you so much, Pam, for your effusive praise! 💙 And I support the bravery and dedication of your father. I can’t imagine being a paratrooper in any war!
      My dad’s eyesight was too bad to serve, but I think he did war work. I know my mom did–not a riveter, but the person who caught the rivets. And she had people there who heckled her with sexist and anti-Semitic comments.

      I don’t mind that people enjoy the weekend and day–I do it, too. But I do mind the hypocrites. And I despise the people who are supporting the destruction of our democracy while pretending to be patriots.

      • Yes, Yes. And YES! By the way, my dad wanted so badly to be in the navy, but he was color blind so they made him a paratrooper instead. ;-0 My son and two of his sons are colorblind, so an interesting facet of war history… Have you read The Rose Code? Another interesting part of WWII history of women (and a few men) whose mathematical intelligence helped with the war effort in England.

      • Interesting! My son-in-law is colorblind, too–and also war-connected, he didn’t know until he enlisted. He wanted to be a pilot, but couldn’t because of his colorblindness, but he was in the Air Force, and deployed. . . No, I don’t think I’ve read The Rose Code. I ‘ll have to look for it. Though I have read other books that cover that topic–and also watched The Bletchely Circle series.

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