Monday Morning Musings:


“The idea,” she said, “is that in a dream a person might be able control events. And I thought how much better I’d like it if there were such a thing as lucid living. Much better to control what happens in life than what happens in your dreams.”
–Nina De Gramont, The Christie Affair, p. 53.

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
–Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night”

Early morning light on the river

Sun and Shadow, Early morning

We’re settled in the confluence
of sorrow and remembrance,

another shooting
barely makes the news,
the politicians spin, backpedal,
attempt wheelies to distract–

because there’s no logic,
no reason for children to be killed.

Today we remember the soldiers
who gave their lives—but how much
better if these were ancient
memorials, war a foreign concept.

But none are safe,
no one is immortal.
Plagues, guns, chance, and choice
everything gone in a second.

A small graveyard in Salem County, NJ

I hold my loved ones close,
say I love you,
bake bread and cakes
drink wine, cherish the day, family, and friends,
I cuddle my cat,
smile at puppies, kittens, baby birds–

knowing I can’t control, except in a dream,
but wishing—

in the cycles of sunshine and storms,
the predawn choir and the bats at dusk,
that I could translate and circulate this—
the light, tree memories, crow wisdom,

we’re settled, resigned,
but I will see the beauty

and rage against the dying of the light.

An overgrown yard transformed by morning light.

Today is Memorial Day. Yesterday we went to Auburn Road Vineyard with our daughter, son-in-law, and one of their dogs. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside and enjoy wine and pizza. I’m having leftover pizza for lunch. I’m about three quarters of the way through The Christie Affair, a novel that takes place during Agatha Christie’s famous disappearance, as told by her husband’s mistress. I’m enjoying it very much.

46 thoughts on “Lucidity

  1. How much easier and uncomplicated it is to commemorate the death of soldiers. They ‘gave’ their lives for something, freedom, I think. I suppose that includes the freedom of brutes to murder children. Well worth dying for. Keep on raging. Those soldiers didn’t want to die either, however the politicians try to spin it.

  2. I too wish war were a part of ancient history only. Unfortunately, humans are the same they always have been. The older I get the harder it gets for me because I see it more and more clearly. I’m very gloomy lately. I try not to be that way in front of others, but that also seems fake.

  3. Happy memorial day, Merril. It’s wonderful reading these poems and walking these beautiful place in the photos with you too. Actually the mass killing of those innocent babes is one that has left me hurt and disappointed in our authorities too. The way situations like these are spinned just feels worse and disturbing.😌. May those beautiful kids and two staff rest in lasting peace. 🥲❤

  4. Love the musings!
    Your writing, a gem from the crown of reality, celebrates the hugging and kissing of loved ones and beloved pets. This is for you have reminded, of the stupidity and horror we live within.

    Still I am piqued by the fact that Nina De Gramont says – “a person might be able control events.”
    Might is the word.
    Dreams….every night without fail, I dream. In these dreams I exercise much control.
    One (not the only) exception is; wherein the dream that I am controlling events, I find a series of streets, caverns or alleys filled with street art and murals. It’s the most amazing place, ever.
    I pull out my phone to take pics. It doesn’t work…. Then begins an exhausting series of scenes wherein I attempt to get my phone working. It usually crumbles in the end. Sometimes people help, always making things not work.
    Once I was told I needed to build a bridge between X & Y A REAL Bridge inside my phone??.. I’m sure I make up the tech terms in my dream. Sometimes I pull out a phone that is not mine. I try to find the owner in an attempt to recover mine.

    Nothing ever works. A bit of a nightmare begins at that point.
    There is no control, only dream tricks and deviations.
    Anyway, this is one of the examples where I cannot control my dream.

    Life imitates dreams imitating life imitating dreams ad infinitum.

    Thank you, Merril!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Resa! The context of the quotation is that one character is explaining the idea of lucid dreaming to the main character, and the observation that if only there was such a thing as lucid living, we could change some things that happened. I lucid dream, too. Your anxiety dreams are quite something! It’s true one cannot always control them.

      • Thank you for the clarification, on the quote.
        Yes, I have had lucid dreaming. (I looked up what it means to be sure).
        Quite interesting when you say anxiety dreaming, which is most of my dreams. I didn’t know they were called that.
        I have serial dreams, and repeat dreams.
        In one, I have to carry my cat through hell and horrors. It came true, in a way when I saw all the footage of people fleeing Ukraine. Many are holding onto their cats, instead of 1 piece of luggage.

      • You’re welcome. I don’t know if anxiety dreams is a technical term or not, but that’s what they seem like. I’ve had anxiety dreams, and some repeat dreams, I think. Fortunately, most of my dreams that I remember are not bad ones. Sometimes, they’re even funny.

  5. Beautifully done. We have to find the beauty while we rage against the ugly. I am so glad you find so many lovely occasions for sharing love.
    And that sounds like a good book!
    By the way, I sold Night Sky and we will be watching episode 2 on Friday 🙂

  6. Such awesome photos and family pictures! Your words are wise, to celebrate life and our loved ones. We cannot change the world, but we can live our best lives.

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