Truth and Lies and In Between

Monday Morning Musings: Truth and Lies and In Between

“a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. . .

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark”

–Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

“. . .

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon. . .

. . .When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.”

From Maya Angelou, “A Brave and Startling Truth”

You can read and listen to the entire poem here on Brainpickings


Here within the pale blue dot

in this place within the speck


in this space, wrought

by nature and time, unchecked,


the days grow colder


the days grow colder,

and the vultures circle


the lies grow bolder

as the sky turns purple


and choppy is the sea


to which the choppy river flows–

do you see?

Delaware River from Red Bank Battlefield, NJ

There it goes,

while elsewhere people flee


retreat from tyranny


retreat, flee, from tyranny

on flimsy ships, in caravans


not criminals, but wanting to be free

yet stopped by wall-builders’ bans


the bans that echo through history


the bans built on lies

about the other we hate


their skin color or nose size

perhaps their rising birth rate—


rouse the crowd, don’t make them wait


no, don’t make them wait,

their blood is pumping now,


so never speak the truth out straight,

and if lies are revealed somehow,


well, kill it—you know how.


You know how journalists die

through censorship—and worse–


rehearse your stories, fly your lies

praise the dictators and yes, truthtellers curse—


while we hope times will get better, and not worse


we watch movies about lies and hate

but also, truth and kindness, the human spirit rising


to help others, to banish and negate

the hate, to uncover the lies, without compromising


and we come to it


remembering history and seeing friends

remembering that someday the cold


will grow colder, but that it will end,

and the lies will grow bolder than bold

but we will love and each other hold


with care, eat comfort food, drink more wine

cuddle under blankets, dream, it’s fine


to remember time was born

in a brilliant cloud


from a void, torn

with a bang, how loud


if no one heard the birthing horn

or saw the light that’s now allowed


to flow and dance throughout all space

within the cracks and every place


where darkness lurks and surrounds

with beauty, hope, and grace


And so, we come to it,

in this time and place


on this pale blue mote, recommit

to seek the light—or at least find a trace.


Sunset over the bay, Cape May, NJ


We streamed two movies this weekend. 22 July about the terrorist attack in Norway. Though certainly a grim subject, we both thought it was done well, without a lot of gratuitous violence. It focuses more on the aftermath, particularly on one survivor and the trial.  We also watched Three Identical Strangers, a documentary about triplets that delves into the moral issues that I won’t go into to, in case you want to be surprised.

19 thoughts on “Truth and Lies and In Between

  1. So much here, so much on this “pale blue mote.” I wonder, among other things, why I’ve not heard anyone pose the question as to why a caravan of thousands of people would risk their lives to travel to a country that they know will try to keep them out. I can only imagine that what they flee is far worse than the Unknown that they run to. They flee the Known, they flee the surety that they will suffer if they stay. So they flee because at least here there might be Hope. I have relatives who retort with “Nobody made them come here.” Well, actually WE did by shoring up their countries’ dictators but we don’t need to be political about this, do we? Can’t we just talk about it in moral terms, as in, “What is your tipping point? What must happen for you to consider removing your family and only what you can carry and risk traveling to a country that does not welcome you, that would refuse you asylum?” We don’t even have to think about fleeing one country to another. What about the Dust Bowl when so many fled starvation in the prairie lands in the Midwest and moved to California? Were they welcomed with open arms? Nope. We are not animals. We have a shared humanity that obliges us (in my humble opinion) to help each other. I just hope we “come to it” and soon.

    • Thank you, Marie. Yes, I agree (obviously). I think many have pointed out that they are fleeing from something much worse–or at least, known to be much worse. It’s just not the point of view of those who want to keep them out. Yes, the Dust Bowl, yes the Holocaust, yes so many fleeing starvation, killing sprees, and whatever throughout history. I hope we come to it soon, too.

  2. I like how you provide a counterpoint to current events, balancing horror with hope on our “pale blue mote.” Your commenters also give cause for pause, particularly 1WriteWay above. Thank you, Merril.

  3. The way you are able to share how you feel in this uneasy, dreadful period of time but give us artisan bread toasted with butter and homemade Madelbrat (“Mommy” cookies); helps soothe us in your Merril-remarkable way. You give us food for thought. We may end our day with a golden moon and toast for hope and peace.

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