Sweet Inventions from Chaos Comes

Monday Morning Musings:

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos,”

–Mary Shelley, introduction to Frankenstein (1831)

“We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold ― because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.”

–Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from an interview with journalist Lynn Sherr

 

It is the night before Rosh Hashanah, but even so, we gather together at the table, old and young, to celebrate the holiday. We miss sisters and others who are not with us, but we also enjoy the extra room to spread out. And isn’t that the way life goes—filled with small moments of joy and sadness? We toast L’Chaim! We wish for a sweet year,and hope for the best, as we eat slices of the round challah and dip apples into amber pools of local honey.

Golden honey streams,

sweetness graces our table–

a wish for the year

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I’ve made enough food for the neighborhood (because what if there isn’t enough?). We have pumpkin soup, salad, brisket, turkey, and noodle kugel. Yes. more wine, please. My great niece and nephew tell us about the start of their school year. Our younger daughter talks about her new students. We discuss truckers, nursing (my son-in-law’s future career), long hours, unions, and pay. My husband and I have recently watched the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and we all share our admiration for her, Notorious RBG. We all wish her a long, healthy life and sweet year. Please stay on the court. We pass plates around, then clear the table. I pack up food for everyone to take home. (Yes, I have more challah in the freezer. I baked six loaves.)  It is time for dessert!

 

Another year comes

harvest moon follows bright sun

green leaves change overnight

 

We walk through wet city streets. Rain and more rain. But still, I find rainbows.

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Thirteenth and Locust, Philadelphia

 

We see a play. Four black men in—where? An afterlife of some sort. The bardo, perhaps. The set is a white space with an incline. There’s a trap door from which they emerge. They need to remember. They need to help one another. They need to make this place a home, a safe space. The playwright says his “guiding principles as a writer” are to “be wild and precise.” The play is both. It is full of physical movement—demanding of the actors who run, tumble, and even dance. There is humor and despair, but this play could only be about black men. “I was eight, when I learned I was scary,” says one. “I can’t breathe,” says another. There’s a toy gun. Games reflect the truth. We watch, as though behind a police interrogation mirror. They see us, but we only watch, never do anything.

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rhythmic breaths, out, in,

times’ losses and gains balanced–

some truths heal, or not

 

It is still raining. We walk and talk. A mural depicts people of many races gathered together–eating and drinking.

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Philadephia Murals, Spruce Street

 

It is hopeful. We go inside, sip wine and beer. Discuss the play.

Our Italian cheese arrives with local honey. Somehow, that seems a fortuitous sign. There is sweetness in the world; there is sweetness sitting here. The sun will come out again. There is no void. The building blocks are all around us. We harbor stardust in our DNA. We can invent new lives and new worlds in our imaginations. We can create beauty and truth from chaos. Behind the clouds, the moon still hums. I fall asleep to the sound of soft cat snores beside me–and we both dream. Past and future merge.

L’shana tova,

a wish extended to all

more laughter than tears

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I’m linking this week’s musing to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge, since he asked us to write about autumn wind, spring wind, or Rosh Hashanah.

If you like Haiku competitions, there is still time to post your haiku and comment on others on this Vita Brevis post.

Pure Haiku is also looking for submissions by September 21. More info here.

We saw Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames at the Wilma Theater.

 

42 thoughts on “Sweet Inventions from Chaos Comes

  1. What an enchanting post, Merril. I loved tagging along with you and your family through your lively dinner and outings. This is a great time of celebration. May you always be happy together.

  2. A joy as always Merril, you give us so much that it feels we are part of the family as we read and look and listen, so much beauty, so delicate, so well told. L’Shana Tova to you all, here’s to that stardust in our DNA, beautiful ⭐️

  3. “We walk through wet city streets. Rain and more rain. But still, I find rainbows.” This made me cry. Sometimes our rainbows are faded and wet and stepped on – but we can still find them.

  4. The last picture of the continuing generations is awesome. L’Shana Tova to you and your family. There’s something about Jewish traditions that intrigues me – unfortunately, I haven’t had any Jewish friends close enough to me to get an invitation. Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Some New Year beginnings are more elaborate than others.
    We took it slow this year with a train ride in a dining car to Paradise.

    Many sweet blessings for the New Year to you and yours. 🙂

  6. I really like this post. That little thing you said about “We miss sisters and others who are not with us, but we also enjoy the extra room to spread out”, just made me smile.

    I also watched Notorios RBG, she is indeed a rock star. A good new year to you and yours:) Nice work!

    Pat

  7. Pingback: #Haikai Challenge #51 (9/15/18): Milky Way (amanogawa) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga – Frank J. Tassone

  8. Pingback: Wandering in and out of Light – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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