Windows and Views

Monday Morning Musings:

“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2

“Then, window, let day in, and let life out.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 5

“Unfix’d yet fix’d,
Ever shall be, ever have been and are,
Sweeping the present to the infinite future,
Eidolons, eidolons, eidolons.”

–Walt Whitman, “Eidolons” from Leaves of Grass

“There’s this phenomenon called the overview effect. It’s this cognitive shift that many astronauts go through when they see Earth for the first time from space. They describe it as feeling this overwhelming sense of humanity. In space you see that we’re all in this together. Astronauts leave the Earth as technicians, but they come back as humanitarians.”

Amanda Nguyen, Rape Survivor, Founder of Rise, Astronaut in Training

Open that vast window

time lives in our embrace

kissing ghost and angel breath

from ocean, sky, and naked dirt

giving poetry to life

for eternity


Open that vast window

we experience the world

through our senses

trying to find rhyme and reason

the ghosts flit and echo

souls and poetry intermingle

past and future merge


Here we sit in a vineyard,

drinking wine named for a poet’s verse,


watching performers speak the words of a writer long gone

his words echo through the centuries

opening windows to worlds we wouldn’t know

as Juliet opened hers to Romeo

time floats

unfix’d yet fix’d


Here in this space

the sky is an open window,

vast with promise and possibility

Sunset, Auburn Road Vineyards

we hear night birds trilling and calling,

a bird

(or is it a bat?

I learn eidolon is also a genus of bats)

swoops to catch an insect

while below,

players thrust and parry with swords and wit

life and death around us

windows opening and closing

unfix’d, fix’d



Later, I remember one of our daughters

spoke Juliet’s words,

it was an audition

for a college theater grant,

leaving home

(the overview effect occurs only then)

a window appears

she opened it,

and in a theater,


finds her sun,

and he burns brightly

for her,

eclipsing everything else


We see another play,


before it begins

we listen to the people near us talk,

they’re all involved in theater,

the woman sitting to my left, we learn,

is in a play in another theater that night

she plays the grandmother—again!

they all laugh

the light dims

our play begins,

one actor on the stage here in Philadelphia,

the other in London

they communicate through SKYPE–

live theater

the wonders of high-speed connections–

we see his house in London

on screens

like windows

but he looks through windows, too

seeing the present, imagining the future


The play is set in the near future

the butterflies have died,

but new ones have been created

along with other animals and plants

like chaos theory

or dominos

each extinction creates another

each creation has unknown effects

people rebel and resist

ecological warfare, starvation,

the world owned by a corporation

a better world

through gene manipulation,

what could possible go wrong?


After the show,

we walk across the street

from a story of the future

to a building of the past

Christ Church, Philadelphia

on this hot, summer day

we wander

see flowers still growing

(sigh of relief)

the sixth extinction may have started

but it’s not visible here yet,

not to untrained eyes,

birds flit and sing


we stop for ice cream

FullSizeRender 159

see a wedding, and another, and another

(couples beginning new lives

closing doors, opening new windows)

I find openings everywhere

windows from the past

looking at the present,

I wonder if ghosts wander here

do they experience an overview effect?

seeing Earth, their lives now from a new perspective?

unfix’d, fix’d



We head home

the sky darkening

FullSizeRender 158

the sun not visible through the clouds,

and the thunder rumbling–

but in the morning

it rises in the east

shining through my window


(the present)

poetry of the here and now

sweeping to the future


There was a dVerse prompt on windows last week that I missed, but I suppose I’ve been thinking about windows. The Oracle gave me the first stanza. She really is all-knowing.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 10.43.01 AM

We visited Auburn Roads Vineyards.  We saw Tiny Dynamite’s production of Perfect Blue at the Christ Church Neighborhood House.



30 thoughts on “Windows and Views

  1. There is something so awesome (and I mean it literally) in the way you thread these images together, the earth, the sun, light, windows, ghosts and bats wandering in and out. We’re out there with the astronauts then watching a sunset through a window, or a sunrise. Such a lot of impressions your words leave.

  2. Shakespeare, Whitman, Nguyen, and YOU all in the same post. I’ve always liked the idea of closing door facing open windows.

    An afterthought: Your musing about your theatrical daughter reminds me of our 9-year-old grandson in theatre camp just now. That sort of drama we can handle – ha!

    • Thank you for taking time out on your birthday to read and comment, Marian! I’m happy to be linked with all the names you mentioned, even if it is simply in the same sentence. Haha.

      I hope your grandson enjoys theater camp! (Are you implying there’s normally other drama from him?) 🙂

  3. invokes a lot of conjurings: no present without the past, no future that isn’t rooted in the present; or as Laurie Anderson’s take on Walter Benjamin’s take on Klee’s Angelus Novus: “And he said: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future / He said: History is a pile of debris / And the angel wants to go back and fix things / To repair the things that have been broken / But there is a storm blowing from Paradise / And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future / And this storm, this storm is called Progress

    and is it possible to get the overview effect while rooted in spot, or as Wallace Shawn put it in My Dinner with Andre: “Tell me, why do we require a trip to Mount Everest in order to be able to perceive one moment of reality? I mean… I mean, is Mount Everest more “real” than New York? I mean, isn’t New York “real”? I mean, you see, I think if you could become fully aware of what existed in the cigar store next door to this restaurant, I think it would just blow your brains out! I mean… I mean, isn’t there just as much “reality” to be perceived in the cigar store as there is on Mount Everest?”

    Or to say it another way, isn’t any place in any moment a kind of window if we want it to be.

    like i said invokes a conjurings 🙂

    • Wow–when you comment, you really comment. I’m glad I inspired some much conjuring!
      And yes, I think any moment could be a window. Reading someone’s musings, for example, could do it. 😉

  4. Windows… there are windows everywhere, I think. I see them in nature as the old oak tree frames the marsh at sunset or the grasses by the pond frame the water and the loblollies on the far bank.
    And time… past and future. We watched “Arrival” over the weekend, exploring the concept of time as circular rather than linear. Not a new thought, and one that I sometimes think I can almost grasp.
    I try not to think about the sixth extinction. When I do, I wonder what will survive, what will evolve from what survives.
    Your weekend sounds hot, but lovely, Merril, and once again, I love the way you connect the dots of so many subjects in your musings. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Robin. (And also for loblollies, which is so much fun to say or think.)
      I really enjoyed “Arrival,” and yes, I am with you in almost being able to grasp that concept of time.

  5. Of course, this is one week after my daughter Caroline married Daniel. I am entranced by all the windows, loved the pastel lavender and peach photo. The picture of you looking back at your husband was so sweet.
    The vineyard with the spoken theatrical production was splendid and fitting. Ending with the Oracle and window again, so sweetly wrapped up. Take a bow, Merril.

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