Blood and Fate

Monday Morning Musings:

“They were deceiving themselves, but the blood couldn’t be denied.”

–Federico Garcia Lorca, Blood Wedding

 “The duende is a momentary burst of inspiration, the blush of all this is truly alive. . .it manifests itself principally among musicians and poets of the spoken word. . .for it needs the trembling of the moment and then a long silence.”

Federico Garcia Lorca, “Play and Theory of Duende,” quoted by Blood Wedding dramaturg, Walter Bilderback


On this weekend before Halloween

we watch Stranger Things

cocooned in our living room

food on the table


cats besides us

FullSizeRender 241

we become immersed–

the Upside Down and the Shadow Monster–

we tremble in the moment,

the deliciousness of a scary story,

this is the new normal in their town

but it echoes the world around us

where monsters climb from the shadows.

Perhaps we need to listen the children

before we face a long, perhaps forever, silence


The skies have turned dark and dreary

and we walk through damp streets to see a play.


Transported to a society that is bound by strict rules,

and though all try to abide by them,

they cannot escape fate

and the blood that can’t be denied,

flowing through generations,

blood and fate,

knives, like Macbeth’s dagger

foreshadowing what’s to come

inevitable, despite all they do

the actors tell the story with percussive rhythms

of feet, hands, and voices

Hungarian folk dances and flamenco.

The characters sing

with and without instruments,

an actor portrays the horse,

that he is always racing,

the players climb on each other

pull up the floor mats to form barriers–

and shrouds–

The Bride and Groom are dressed in red

the color of passion, desire, and blood,

she wears the crown of orange blossoms

he gives her

the flowers of purity, chastity, and fertility

but they are made of wax, not real

and their marriage will not result in children,

no blood of deflowering or childbirth

but a blood wedding all the same,

we tremble in the moment

as the figures on the stage end in silence


FullSizeRender 237

We walk again through wet city streetsIMG_7263

discuss the play over wine, beer, and cheese


I think of the idea of blood throughout history

“bad blood” running through families and generations

the ideas slave owners and white supremacists

one drop of black blood, one drop of Jewish blood

dooms you in their minds

when we know—that blood is blood

and all who are pricked will bleed

despite the beliefs of the shadow monsters

we all tremble before the long silence


I am called for jury duty.

I wonder if it is my fate to serve

and whether the fate of someone accused is already predetermined

I don’t believe this,

not really

. . .and yet. . .

the sky is dark

I wait for the dawn

the branches tremble in the wind

that breaks the silence with a moan.




31 thoughts on “Blood and Fate

    • Wow–thank you so much, Jane. I was in court all day, and chosen as a juror (civil trial), but the attorney’s can still dismiss jurors tomorrow, so we’ll see. If I remain, I’ll be tied-up with this trial for about 2 weeks. It’s throwing my schedule off! 🙂

      • I don’t think that is true here, as a general rule, though there are always individual teachers, or course. I have known some–especially near retirement–who are often absent. Also, here students often have days off or half days because of in-service days for teachers, which is a pain for parents. I’m saying here, but really it means New Jersey, because U.S. states have different educational systems. My husband was a high school math teacher, and my younger daughter is a middle school English teacher. 🙂

      • French teachers are a law unto themselves. The school day is very long but there are lots of gaps in it, so the kids can get up at just after six to be at school for eight, only to find that the first teacher is absent, then there’s a two hour gap in lessons. It happens often and there isn’t a good place like a ‘quiet’ library where they can go to work instead so there’s an awful lot of wasted time.

      • They have a room where they go to be ‘supervised’ by students funding their studies with a job in a school. But there’s no effort made to get them sitting down and working. As long as they don’t make too much noise it’s tolerated. Since they never know that a teacher is going to be absent they don’t carry school work around with them just in case. Another quaint aspect of French schools is that the kids don’t have desks where they can leave their school books. They have to bring all the textbooks in as they need them. Nobody can carry anything extra! It’s a stupid, wasteful system, but changing it would make the teachers more accountable and they won’t tolerate that.

      • I’m sure this is annoying, but it’s interesting to read. In the U.S., we hear about how bad the schools are here, but there really is such variation, and stupid stuff like banning the assignment of To Kill a Mockingbird. In most high schools here, students have lockers to store their books, coats, lunches, etc.

      • It varies here too. I don’t suppose the schools with the best reputations tolerate absenteeism from the staff to the same extent as an ordinary school. They do say that it’s the stress of having to cope with kids with problems that sends them to the doctor and I can believe that of some schools, but for the most part, the teachers have such a hands off attitude that I can’t imaging them getting emotionally involved with the problems of their students!

  1. i “disown” a member of the extended family and my brother tells me I need to accept the person back into my life. I list all of the back stabbing and other crimes committed by the person (inc. those committed against my brother). He says “blood is thicker than water.” I reply “apparently not.”

  2. “for it needs the trembling of the moment and then a long silence.”

    The Spanish art concept Duende is a new one for me, but perfect to me for the beginning of the the Spanish poetic form Shadorma to be created in the month of November. That it means a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity (and term was derived from the duende, an elfin magic creature in Spanish mythology).

  3. I think your Hallowe’en-y reflection is supposed to give us shivers: a blood wedding, wet streets, dreary skies, and Macbeth’s dagger. It is so sweet that you have Doug as a soundingboard for your after-theatre discussions.

    Once I reported for jury duty, but was excused because the magistrate learned I was a teacher and concluded I was needed in the classroom. If you are picked, you have the makings of another blog post – ha!

    • Thank you, Marian. I’m not sure that I intended shivers, simply setting a mood, I suppose.
      I was picked once before for a jury, but then dismissed. As of right now, I’ve been picked, but we will see what happens next! I may be busy there for the next couple of weeks. Fortunately, it’s the county court, which is nearby.

  4. Well, what to say … this is a very powerful piece Merril thank you .. I have no words really and that says a lot. I am very moved by these words … from the first quote: “They were deceiving themselves, but the blood couldn’t be denied’.

  5. I liked the way you wove darkness and light into this, along with blood and it’s meaning (or not.)
    I think that the green umbrella in your husband’s hand caught me thinking there was a green spout in the cement until I stretched the picture.
    I am ever an amateur detective. . .
    The cats, you two cozy and warm, eating while watching Stranger Things, was such a pleasant intermission between serious parts.
    Merril, I liked this wet city side streets photograph!

    • Thank you, Robin. I can see why you thought the umbrella was a green spout. That is Broad Street in Philadelphia, looking south.
      I was pleased with that city street photo, too. I am not a very good photographer, and that is an iPhone photo–Spruce Street walking from the Wilma to Tria.

      • Maybe someday I will come and see this beautiful area, Merril. One never knows!
        I didn’t expect to be brave and head off to see Patrice but I am looking forward to the trip.
        Isn’t this cool? I don’t have to work this Saturday since I already asked for this week off in January. Yay!

  6. I enjoyed jury duty on a domestic abuse case and a traffic serious violation case. I had almost two weeks tied into both together, one and a half weeks for one and half week for the second one. I felt most useful in the abuse one since we laid a fairly heavy punishment on the husband.

  7. Oh, this is a good attitude and best of luck! I liked a few of my fellow jurors. Since it has been years, that is why I felt it ok to say the two cases, Merril.
    I voted absentee ballot for local and state issues and bills today after work. 🇺🇸

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