Life, Art, Time, Place

Monday Morning Musings:

Life, Time, Art, Place

“It’s about how invisible things circulate within a couple.”
–Tony (Tim Roth) in “Bergman Island”

A beautiful spring day in Old City, Philadelphia, Carpenters’ Hall
A colorful doorstep we passed. LGBTQ+ !

Here, the colors are over-the-rainbow bright,
and there are choices to be made with tea—
blueberry jam or orange marmalade?

It’s a dreamworld, but real as any other
while I’m there,
a few pounds of matter
can hold imagined universes–

I walk with ghosts on Fårö
the director a presence there
even after his death,
and invisible things drift
between married couples,
like jellyfish in the ocean,
growing in the midnight sun.

Or–perhaps I am in Ukraine,
the family’s cherry orchard
soon to be auctioned off,
revolutions looming—
conflicts appeased by volleyball,
or perhaps we are the ball
endlessly lobbed over and into,
finding a place just out of bounds.

I could be at a Cape Cod cottage
swimming in the cold pond water
early in the morning,
a lifetime lived over in a day–

time, space, places
existing always or never,

Wisteria on an old wall.

a morning moon that fades in day,

Morning Moon

a bird in flight–to beyond.

Light and shadow, perhaps an orb. What is real? People say ghosts walk here on this former battlefield. . .

The truth and magic of physics
words may hang in the air,
but a bomb must fall,

and we jump once—
and over and over, remembering
a moment passed,

a split-second when everything changes,
or doesn’t.

Early morning, Driftwood beached and floating on the Delaware River.

Movies, Plays, Books, This and That:

I woke up from a dream this morning where I was in this place with such bright colors, like a Technicolor musical.

On Saturday, I participated in “There’s a Poem in this Place: Poets in the Blogosphere.” It was a wonderful experience, and I was honored to be included amongst such brilliant poets. I will share the video when it becomes available. I realized how important place is in the recent things I’ve watched and read. And how, sitting in a house in New Jersey, or in a theater in Philadelphia, we can be transported somewhere else. (Not an original thought, I know, but still . .) And artists, poets, writers of all types, musicians—all continue to create in war zones or in repressive societies, sometimes bearing witness to what is going on around them, and sometime imagining a better or different world.

I celebrated the poetry month event and the end of Passover with wine and pizza, and we watched the movie Bergman Island. It’s a Merril movie, involving a movie within a movie: “Two American filmmakers retreat to Fårö island for the summer and hope to find inspiration where Bergman shot his most celebrated films. As the days pass by, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and the couple is torn apart.” I like it more and more as I think about it. It’ one I’d like to watch again, as I was kind of tired.

We saw The Cherry Orchard at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, a pre-theater walk first, and wine and cheese at Tria afterward. An unusual production with slapstick humor, lines referencing contemporary pop culture, and yes, a volleyball game. A railway flipboard is a character who answers the characters’ questions. I haven’t yet decided if I liked it, but it was certainly interesting. The Russian director, Dmitry Krymov, who came here to direct the play just before the invasion of Ukraine, is now living in exile.

I read The Paper Palace: A Novel by Miranda Cowley Heller that takes place in both one day at a summer beach cottage and also through the course of a woman’s life, exploring love, secrets, and relationships. We’re also watching Picard—Season 2 is much better than Season 1, and there is time travel and Q!

If you’ve read this far: I’ve added a River Ghosts page to my Website with information and links.

35 thoughts on “Life, Art, Time, Place

  1. You seem to be inspired often when you visit Old City Philadelphia. And you seem so happy with your husband, whom you met as a boy in 9th grade. Ninth grade!

    I remember the emotional affect I felt reading Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard. But, I can’t imagine it with slapstick humor. Perhaps that’s one way the director, now living in exile, is dealing with trauma.

    Lines I especially like from your poetry today:
    colors are over-the-rainbow bright . . .
    invisible things drift
    between married couples,
    like jellyfish in the ocean,
    growing in the midnight sun.

    I’ll probably finish reading River Ghosts this week. 😀

    • Thank you so much for your very thoughtful comments, Marian! Thank you for letting me know the lines that stood out for you.
      I’ve seen several versions of The Cherry Orchard, and we’ll be seeing another soon, I think. There is some humor and absurdism in it–but this was definitely different. I think Eastern European theater tends to have this type of humor, perhaps a response to the politics and culture around them? The Wilma Theater tends to perform with lots of physicality.

  2. Your post is packed full of wonderful photos and poetry 🙂 I really enjoyed the poetry reading on Saturday. I often felt I was listening to music and would close my eyes at times, deepening the experience.
    Now, in this post, these lines resonate with me, but out of context:
    “and invisible things drift
    between married couples,
    like jellyfish in the ocean,
    growing in the midnight sun.”
    I haven’t seen Bergman Island; the resonance is how I often feel “invisible things” drifting between me and my husband, no doubt the result of 36 years living together. Jellyfish can sting but they are beautiful and part of the fabric, so to speak 😉

  3. Beautiful musing today, Merril. You know how much I always enjoy your photos here and on IG. The photo of you holding the wine glass with the sun and shadows touching your face is gorgeous! I’m glad you had a great weekend.

  4. Always a delight to read your weekly synopsis 😉

    Did you enjoy The Paper Palace – I really did.
    I’m loving Picard. Oh! I must check to see if there are any more episodes for me!

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