What is this without that?

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise over the Delaware River

What is this without that?

“Color itself is a degree of darkness.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Theory of Colors

“For this we go out dark nights, searching
For the dimmest stars,
For signs of unseen things:”
–from Rebecca Elson, Let There Always Be Light (Searching for Dark Matter)

The paradox of worlds and sky
every breath an unconscious
mechanical, chemical feat
we don’t consider, just do

as bees do, too
and the butterflies that flutter by
and the fish that surface from the blue
as if to say

look at the beauty of this day,
then gulp and swim away
from heron, eagle, and osprey
the descendants of dinosaurs

Sunrise Heron

their genes in feathered splendor soar
from prehistoric to modern—this,
the paradox of seeing the unseen
the shadows in the morning light

the glittering trace of dead stars at night,
and when there were no words for blue,
somehow, we found them through
green when we needed to

not perception, but expression, the view
of what we see. How do we know
the bee does not perceive beauty, as well
as utility in the flower, or the doe
appreciate the hours when the sun sets or rises–

we think only we are wise,
but the paradox of larger brains–
I can write about blue and time,
and force a rhyme,

appreciate the sublime,
but I cannot run without a sound
or find true north on a midnight flight
or love unconditionally like dog—or cat—
we have all this, but we have lost so much of that.

Whitall House and Colonial Garden, Red Bank Battlefield

It’s been a busy week. We had a special lunch with poet friends last Monday, which I’ll write about in a separate post. We had various appointments and outings, work, and then I finally made it to a book club meeting, run by my daughter at Blue Cork Winery. I had read The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner several months ago–a book that I thought looked interesting when I saw it at the library, so I was happy to re-read it for this meeting. Here’s a review from NPR.

Book Club at Blue Cork

Merril’s Movie Club: I’ve been slacking on the movie recommendations. 😏 We still have not been in a movie theater, but perhaps someday soon. . . Here are two strange Merril movies. Neptune Frost (2021) is a movie that our older child and their wife saw in the theater recently. I think I can safely say that if you watch it, it will be the strangest movie you’ve ever seen. My husband and I both liked it, and we’d like to see it again. Here is the description from Rotten Tomatoes: “In an otherworldly e-waste camp made of recycled computer parts, a subversive hacking collective attempts a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources–and its people. When an intersex runaway (Neptune, played by both Elvis Ngabo and Cheryl Isheja) and an escaped coltan miner (Matalusa, played by Kaya Free) find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry. With hypnotic visuals and original songs composed by musician and co-director Saul Williams, this celestial cyber-musical offers a radically bold vision of power, exploitation, and love.” I rented it from Amazon, but it’s available on other platforms.

We also watched Thelma, “a 2017 Norwegian supernatural thriller drama film directed by Joachim Trier,” whose more recent “Worst Person in the World” film we enjoyed earlier this year. We also both liked Thelma. It has some unexpected moments, and it makes you think.

36 thoughts on “What is this without that?

  1. “we have all this, but we have lost so much of that.” I like this as the summary and as a direction for further thought. Is it good what we have, or bad? Is it good that we have lost it, or is it a bad thing? I guess you could ask and answer this over and over.

    • Thank you, Claudia. I’m glad I made you think and question.
      I posted photos of the chocolate cake I made elsewhere, but I forgot to post it here, but it was full of chocolatey deliciousness. I’ll put it in another post. I thought of you. 😏

  2. Many words ring true in today’s musings, Merril. The last line sums it all up perfectly. “we have all this, but we have lost so much of that.”

    Beautiful shots, thanks for the movie tips! I’ll see if we get Neptune Frost on our PLAN.
    Goodness knows we pay enough for it! 💙

  3. Always a treat to read your musings and peruse your beautiful photos. That does sound like a very strange movie. I’ve add the book to my wish list.

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