The Show Goes On

Monday Morning Musings:

“Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances.”

― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

― Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

 “Some birds sing when the sun is bright/my praise is not for them/but the one who sings in the dead of night/I raise my cup to him.” (“I Raise My Cup”).

–Anaïs Mitchell, Hadestown

Linger here,

in the never-always


one thing,




only this,

who, if not when,

the sunshine dazzling,

as laughter

the bluest sky,

and dreams rising

to dance in the clouds.



Long days

in the approach of summer solstice

long weeks of dread

and anticipation,

of entrances and exits,

of missed cues

and dropped lines.


We cherish intermissions

to drink wine in the golden glow

sunsets all the backdrop needed

a show in itself

A Girl and Her Puppy, William Heritage Winery

as the show goes on

as daughters comfort me,

and I try to comfort my mother,

life circles around and around

and around and around–

We talk of pets

and medicine and Pride,

and love is love is love is love is love–

walls come up,

walls are torn down,

sometimes Mother is wrong,

sometimes Mother is right. . .


The mockingbird sings

in the dead of night,

a solo turn

in nature’s theater,

I raise my glass to him,

the show goes on.



It has been a long week. My mom is out of rehab and back in her apartment, but she needs a lot of care. There have been visits, and endless phone calls, texts, and emails. We had glorious weather this past weekend–cool nights, sunshine-filled days. It’s raining today.

We haven’t been to the movies lately, but I take my Merril’s movie club seriously, so I can recommend  I Am Mother on Netflix.  My husband and I both liked it, and it kept me interested after a long, exhausting day with my mom. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where Mother, a robot, is raising her human Daughter. I watched the Tony awards last night. (To be honest, I watched most of it, but I couldn’t stay awake to the end.) Hadestown—which looks like such a Merril play—won best musical and seven other awards. Here’s the Broadway trailer.








42 thoughts on “The Show Goes On

  1. I love the way you anchor the sky to earthy preoccupations. It’s all so wild and changing. Why do we want to tie it up in rules and certitudes? Sending moral support with your mother and hoping it eases into something less exhausting for all of you.

    • Thank you very much, Jane. I appreciate the compliment and the kind thoughts!
      That’s funny how you mentioned about the sky. For some reason, I was obsessed with the sky this weekend, and I guess it came through. 🙂

      • I sit in front of a window that looks due west. I see meadow (very high now), a hedge of blackthorn, wild plum, elm and oak, then a lot of trees, then the sky. I can understand how you’d be obsessed by it. I am too. It changes all the time, and so fast!

      • Oh, that sounds lovely. It’s just suburban houses here, but when I’m sitting down in my usual chair in the kitchen where I work, since I’m so short, all I can see are trees from windows in front, to the side, and in back of me. But I saw a lot of sky elsewhere over the weekend. 🙂

      • I’ll have to post a couple of photos from the two windows.
        Funny, I imagine you as quite tall. Most people seem tall to me (I’m 5’2″). I’m glad you’re short too, means we see things from the same angle 🙂

      • That is so funny that you imagined me tall. I thought we had discussed this before. I’m only 5 ft., and for most of my adult life I only weighed about 100 lbs.–now unfortunately, much more. Everyone towers over me–husband is a foot taller. I used to wear my daughters’ cast off clothing. 🙂

      • Someone I can look down on! It shows how misconceptions have a hard time dying. Whatever you told me, my brain obviously refused to believe it 🙂 None of my immediate family are giants, but they’re all taller than me. I’m still wearing son’s cast off clothing from when he was fourteen and some of mine from when I was in my twenties. Strangely, my weight hasn’t changed in thirty years—still 103 llbs. I put it down to worry.

      • I exercise to try an build up a bit of muscle. I showed off my biceps to second daughter when she was here a few weeks ago. She just looked blank and said “that’s not a biceps, that’s just the muscle that holds your arm together.” How to crush a mother’s pride…

      • They are biceps, and they’re spectacular, Jane! 🙂
        I go to the gym nearly every day, and I walk. I definitely have bigger muscles than I had when younger.

      • Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 All my muscles shrivelled away after my first baby and I never got them back. I do my exercises in the privacy of my bedroom. It’s only semi private because Finbar lies down on the rug to watch, and Trixie invariably lies down on the exercise mat between pull ups. Animals are funny.

      • Ha ha! I should be thankful that Trixie doesn’t like human contact. She’ll get in the way of humans (and dogs) to make them move out of ‘her’ space but not join them in ‘their’ space.

  2. Like Jane says, you tie in earthly preoccupations with an upward look, a healthy balance, I think. Best wishes as your family cares for your mother. I have been down this road and understand the physical and emotional toll on all concerned. 🙂

  3. Ditto what’s been said about your poem. It’s bittersweet, much to enjoy in life but much to shoulder through as well. My thoughts are with you as you try to ensure your mom’s comfort in this next stage. I hope you can find time to attend to yourself as well ❤️

  4. Those skies say it all.
    So glad your mother is at least back at home, but of course, that doesn’t end the worry and care needed.
    I saw Anias Mitchell a few years ago at the Rubin Museum, and she sang some of the songs from Hadestown. I like her a lot in general, and so pleased for her success. I don’t go to theater much, but that would be one on my list. (K)

  5. Beautifully done, Merril. I finally have my TV hooked up so I might be able to catch a Merril suggestion or two… if my work hours stop being so crazy.
    Happy your mother is back home but I know that almost means more work for you all to help her. Sending you virtual hugs.

  6. That third quote is particularly powerful… it feels like you are living up to it through intense times…the cloud photo is stunning. Happy to hear that your mother is out of the institution.

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