Reflecting Shadows and Light

Monday Morning Musings:

“Turn a page, walk the lines of sentences: the singer steps out, and conjures a world of color and noise in the space inside your head.”
― Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laiden with happiness and tears”
Jerry Bock / Sheldon Harnick, “Sunrise, Sunset,” Fiddler on the Roof

“Let the music commence from inside
Not only one sense, but use all five
Come to your senses
Come to your senses
Come to your senses
Baby come back
Jonathan Larson, “Come to Your Senses,” Tick Tick . . .Boom!

There’s an ache for those who’ve passed
into memory, held within our hearts,
carried on in blood, skin, genes within our jeans—

my older child and I once shared a gown, now we share the sky,
our tongues taste the wind, we watch vultures fly.

We gather—together, we form and fashion light,
our senses alive, we’re wicks in scented wax,
held fast

flickering and flaming, creating a glow that burns
in darkness, a miracle reclaiming bright,

the red and gold against the dim
and cold November nights, when

we break bread together, we eat, and we drink
our senses tuned to color, we catch
the rising and setting sun, the clouds, the river

Sunrise Reflections, Delaware River

that flows through shadows, reflecting the gleam–
what was, what might be—unseen–
the ghosts that surrounding,

whisper “remember us,” as we share dreams
of now and tomorrow—
tears come, so does laughter–

our senses alive to shade and hue, the soul-filled tunes,
all the stories of the past—and now,
one season following another through traditions and change,
we turn the page again–and wait—

hear the fiddler, hear his song,
feel the whispers—tree sighs, squirrel chatter, birdwings of light–

all the things there all along, all the joy and grief,
and the magic yet to come.

Our older child and their wife were here last week. We had not seen them since before the pandemic, and it was wonderful to have them here. Our daughter, our younger child, came over and we made candles one day, then broke up loaves of bread for stuffing. On Thanksgiving, some other family members came for dinner, and the famous cranberry squirrel was present again. While our older child was here, we re-watched Fiddler on the Roof. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the entire movie. It was great to see it again. I listened to the soundtrack while I fried latkes last night for the first night of Hanukkah.

Last dinner after dinner, my husband and I watched Tick, tick. . .Boom! (Netflix). It’s truly a love letter to musical theater—a movie based on Jonathan Larson’s 3-person musical about writing his first unsuccessful musical, but the movie is directed by Lin Manuel Miranda, who was inspired by seeing Larson’s Rent–and Larson was inspired and mentored by Stephen Sondheim, who died on Friday. There’s a musical number in the show that becomes a tribute to Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George. The real Sondheim leaves a voicemail message in the movie. Our older child’s college essay was on what Rent meant to them, so I guess we’re connected, too.

I’m nearly finished with Cloud Cuckoo Land, a novel by Anthony Doerr. Of course, I love it. It’s such a Merril book (multiple timelines and connections, light, color, history. . .and books, libraries, and librarians.).

42 thoughts on “Reflecting Shadows and Light

  1. That is so weird. Two bloggers I follow have Cloud Cuckoo Land in their posts… Hmmm… Here I was thinking, what to read after “Crossroads”?. No. I shall not buy another book. Not yet.

    All this to say, this was absolutely lovely! So happy to see you with your family around you. I was supposed to see Fiddler on the Roof with my girlfriends but, thank you pandemic. It was cancelled. Guess I shall have to find it online somewhere to re-watch it as it has been ages, for me too. And I was going to watch “Tick, Tick…Boom!” last night but realised it was too close to my bedtime 😉 Guess I have another thing to look forward to.
    Happy 2nd Day of Chanukah!

    • Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, Dale! That is strange about Cloud Cuckoo Land. I got my copy from the library.
      Older child found out just before they visited that their wife had never seen Fiddler, so we had to watch it. I think they found it on Amazon Prime. There are family things connected to the show. 😏
      Tick Tick. . .Boom is so good.

      • I might be able to find a copy at my library, though the English selections are few and far between.
        Super! Family things connected, eh? 😉
        Excellent! I shall check it out forthwith!

  2. I loved the quotes at the top, your words and wonderful photographs Merril. How lovely that you were with family for Thanksgiving. Happy Hanukkah! I love anything by Anthony Doerr, will look out for this one.

  3. I can feel the pulse of happy family times here, especially with your children, who apparently caught the “clowning-around” gene from their father–maybe both parents. I have a vivid recollection of reading Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See but didn’t know about his new book.

    Your dishes look delectable, especially the cranberry squirrel! 😀

    • Thank you so much, Marian!
      I think we all have that clowning-around gene. 😏 When the two kids get together though, they play off one another.
      I also loved All the Light We Cannot See, and I was excited when I heard about this new book a couple of months ago.

  4. Such wonderful family photos…How nice to gather together after all this time!!! It has been so hard being separated from the people we love. Happy Hanukkah…wishing you joy!

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