Read the Signs, the Truth in Love

Monday Morning Musings:

“I want to know what’s true,

Dig deep into who

And what

And why

And when

Until now gives way to then.”

–“It All Comes Back,” Fun Home (the musical, music by Jeanine Tesori, Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel)

“How do you measure a year in the life?. . .

How about love? . . . .

Seasons of love”

—Jonathan Larson, “Seasons of Love,” Rent

 “Nearly everything we are taught is false except how to read”

~  Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason


In and out of rain,

we find ways to spend our days

in theaters, or with wine

time passes–

the summery glow

flowing like the rain

that later comes and wanes

then comes once more

driving us indoors–

but in sunshine

and feeling more than fine

we sit and dine

eat the pizza,

sip the wine

Auburn Road Winery, New Jersey


















wanting to stay

in the moment

in this day

that seems so perfect

in a world weighed

down with suicide

and rules defied

by those should lead

but have no creed–

except desire and greed–

those who raise the false

to say it’s true

and don’t read

except in snippets–

whipping it

up for the masses who follow blindly

where he leads–

despite his misdeeds.

I wish I knew why

or what do

(Read—the facts—what is true.)

But how about love?


We celebrate with friends–

retirement from a job,

but not from life,










there will still be stresses

and strife

though lessened

with time to enjoy,

as she’s now unemployed—

hope springs

and with it, a thousand things

that might be. . . if only

we remember what’s true

and love.

how about love?


We see a fair

magic on the street

and in the air

divers and floating


PIFA Street Fair, Philadelphia

























and people emoting.

we stay for a while

then walk through the city

parts pretty, some gritty,

to see a play

we’ve seen before










but wonderful story,

wonderful score,

the musical version of a memoir—

of coming out and suicide

of being young and older,

still alive,

the story of a father

and a daughter

the lies he told

They discussed books

but she never noticed the looks

he gave to young men he employed

or to boys–

She later read between the lines

things were not fine. . .

time and memories open a gate










to see what was and what might have been.

Families are complicated

to understand the whats and whens

when we relive in our heads again—

but was there love—

how about love?


I watch the Tony Awards,

where the themes of diversity

and inclusion

are not an illusion

though it’s the craft of acting

to make deception real

but we feel

when the students,

witnesses to horror,

of bullets and blood

sing “Seasons of Love”


all the feelings

true and real.

(We all must feel)

How do we measure

a life and love?

Celebrate with pride

do not divide

into us and them,

stem the growth of hate

and celebrate–

bake all the cakes

for everyone.

Don’t shun

the moments

in the sun

but remember

to fight the danger

of those who do not read

and who would cede

our world

to those who should not lead. . .

but be aware–

stop–look for magic everywhere.

Magic in the Streets Old City Philadelphia











I’ve linked this to Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, using the poetry of Jim Harrison to inspire.

This is Day 11.

We saw Fun Home at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia and went to the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) street fair. It’s raining again here in S. Jersey, with a flood advisory in effect.


32 thoughts on “Read the Signs, the Truth in Love

    • Thank you, Sarah. The activities were over several days–lots of down time in-between. 🙂
      I am so riled up about the lunacy here–people who don’t want to bake a cake for wedding where the partners are same sex and the whole upside dumpty-trumpty world. . .

  1. I agree, there is a lot of injustice everywhere you look. I’m uneasy with the notion of love though. I tend to think respect is more what’s needed. There are a lot of poor, uneducated, badly-housed, under-employed, directionless people around who I could never ‘love’ and don’t think loving them will better their situation. But if we were all respected equally as human beings whatever other category we’d put ourselves in, injustice would shrivel away and die.

    • Yes, you are right. I think tolerance and respect is what I’m really thinking, but you know, the song is Seasons of Love. 😉 And I’m just posing questions–like when you think back to your life, was it love or not–not that everyone should hold hands, hug, and sing Kumbaya. But not that groups and individuals should be targeted for hate either. 🙂

  2. It looks like it was a wonderful weekend, Merril. And oh yes, how about love? What a great question. We should all live our lives without in mind. 🙂

    I read an interesting theory about the masses who follow blindly. That it’s not about policy or belief in facts. It’s about social disruption, revenge on the “elites,” and because of that, it’s pointless to bring up facts or point out falsehoods and wrongdoings because they just don’t care. It’s a bit like teenagers throwing a big party before the parents return home. They’re having fun trashing the place (country) and there is no reasoning. The advice was to stop having stupid, pointless arguments, and realize that we just have to get through it. (The theory is from Tom Nichols, a conservative and Republican.) When I look at it that way, it makes sense. It doesn’t make it better, unfortunately.

    • Thanks, Robin.
      Yes, I think there is something to what you say. I think it’s fear, as well. Whenever people are fearful that things are changing–they don’t have job, not because it’s obsolete or because manufacturers can produce it cheaper elsewhere–no, it’s the fault of “them” and not enough school prayer or “Welfare queens.”

  3. A lovely account of your mini-travels. I enjoyed the ‘reading between the lines’. How about love…. I like that you asked that more than once. It’s the only thing that rings true in this crazy world of words.

    • Thanks so much, Luanne.
      I think I might have told you that my older daughter wrote about Rent for her college essay long ago when she was applying. Those kids got me all teary-eyed last night when they sang.

      • I’ll bet they did! What a fabulous song. So cool about your daughter. I’d love to read that essay if she’s sharing! Our families are so connected! My daughter choreographed to that song as the closing number for Dance Production senior year in high school. Plus she’s played both Mimi and Alexi Darling in two different productions of Rent in regional theatre.

      • It was so long ago, Luanne. I doubt she still has the essay, but she got into Bryn Mawr, so I guess it was good. 🙂 This is my older daughter, and she was more into the behind-the-scenes aspect of theater. Younger daughter runs the drama club at her middle school–totally bare bones, no support from administration, meets once a week type of thing. The principal wants her to do a musical next year because the other schools are doing them. She’s totally clueless. Daughter said, ok, if I get this, this, this, and this. . .so we’ll see. It won’t be Rent though. Hahaha.

      • Or Spring Awakening . . . . Wow, that is really jumping in off the deep end! It sounds so fun. When I was a little girl I wrote plays and directed them. I LOVED it. I don’t know why I turned away from that. I think your daughter will have a blast!
        And, yes, that essay MUST have been good!

      • Well, thanks, Merril. daughter and I have a partial play written, and I have one myself, too. I really love the characters, but never get the motivation or time. Too many projects?

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