Monday Morning Musings:
“Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good.”
“We need to help people to discover the true meaning of love. Love is generally confused with dependence. Those of us who have grown in true love know that we can love only in proportion to our capacity for independence.”
–Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
It has been a mostly beautiful weekend to celebrate the birth of our nation,
colonies declaring independence from the crown
I think of how crown rhymes with clown,
and it amuses me–
I think of all the clowns who’ve worn crowns
and how often the jester or fool has been the wise man.
Last year on this day, the Fourth of July,
My husband and I wore paper crowns,
parents of the bride
a nod to custom,
and an affectionate tribute to a family tradition
of the birthday crowns we construct.
Our daughter carried a fan she designed
with a quotation from Jane Eyre,
“Reader I married him.”*
She and our now son-in-law vowed to love and cherish
each other, to join together
forming “a more perfect union”
like colonies becoming states, and then a union,
it is a process that goes beyond the simple declaration of intent
of independence and dependence
a balancing act,
rather, respecting one another,
and enhancing the best in each.
Perhaps our nation could benefit
from a bit of marriage counseling.
We had planned to see a baseball game with them,
baseball, the great American pastime,
what could be more perfect?
But because it was raining with violent storms in the forecast
we went to dinner with them instead–
food, that like our nation, was a mixture of all types,
vegan entries, steak for my husband, salads,
Buffalo sauce and Sriracha
many flavors and textures
sharing space on the table.
The weather had improved by the next day,
glorious weather for celebrating,
though we stayed at home
listening to fireworks in the distance.
We watched a movie, Belgian, but in French
(Remember how France joined us in fighting
their English enemy though France was still
a monarchy with a King who wore a crown?)
Two Days, One Night,
Marion Cotillard, a wife and mother,
works in a solar-panel factory,
with the help of her husband and support from friends,
she spends the weekend asking her co-workers to vote for her to keep her job,
even though if they do so, they will lose their bonuses.
We make all sorts of negotiations in life,
When is it right give up something that will benefit ourselves
in order to help someone else?
It is a decision each must decide.
Dependence and independence.
The sun rises, a crown of pink and orange
beaming golden rays into the azure sky,
spokes like those of Lady Liberty’s crown
promising liberty, standing on a broken chain,
given to the United States by the people of France,
inscribed with the date, July 4, 1776,
not a reality for all
but something to strive for
Liberté, égalité, fraternité,
Emily Dickinson said,
“Hope is the thing with feathers,”
but hope is also the sun rising and setting
and hope is the joining of two in marriage
and love is our shining crown.
*This essay by Claire Fallon discusses the line “Reader, I married him,”