Monday Morning Musings:
“But now I’m not so sure I believe in beginnings and endings. There are days that define your story beyond your life.”
–Dr. Louise Banks in the movie, Arrival (2016)
“Time is what stops history happening at once; time is the speed at which the past disappears.”
–David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Beginnings and endings,
I hear the mockingbird sing.
A spring day in February,
we changed plans,
instead of a movie,
we went to lunch,
where we could sit outside,
and take a long walk.
our server did Sesame Street character voices
(for the children at a nearby table),
he carried our dishes to us
announced them with a song,
kind of strange,
but so is spring in February.
We sat at our table watching people walk dogs,
and dogs walk people,
(dogs pulled leashes,
noses up, sniffing,
pulling toward the porch-
This way! There is food.)
we watched bicyclists,
and one unicyclist,
and I watched the geese
beginning and ending flights,
over and over
the same patch of the Wissahickon Creek,
a gaggle of honks and feathers in short, graceful flights.
Were they the same geese?
Was it a game?
Teenage geese in race?
wondering when they began
and when they will end this game,
said hi as they passed,
everyone enjoying this glorious February day,
We strolled along the Wissahickon,
we could have veered off to another path—
(two roads and all that)
I think about other walks we’ve taken
and other times we’ve walked,
and other people who have walked where we walk,
will walk there after us,
wonder if they walk with us, unseen,
I think about paths and time and connections
and music that is triggered in my head
by a word,
and the way that books take people through time and space.
I see scenes in my head as I read,
and sometimes I feel that I am there
in that moment,
in that place,
and sometimes I’m not certain if I’ve read a book
or seen the movie
because the scenes are so vivid
and when I write,
the characters become real,
they have always existed,
on a timeless path.
I think about how I love books, shows, and movies with complicated storylines—
stories that move through time,
or are told from different characters’ points of view,
(of course, you will say)
it’s connected to my fascination with time and timelines,
different paths our lives could/might/may have taken,
the protagonist of our own lives,
a minor character in someone else’s,
a movie extra without lines.
I wonder if time passes the same way for everyone,
does the mockingbird singing before dawn
know the sun will come up soon,
that it’s a new day?
I wish I could ask him,
I wish I could understand his answer,
instead, I listen to his song,
and in that song
in the predawn darkness
he does communicate,
I am here. Listen!
Perhaps that is enough,
I relive the moment in my head
a moment past,