Monday Morning Musings:
“Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.”
On the inside, looking out
as the earth comes alive
white-flowered and robin-trilled,
miasma, they once believed,
now we know a virus drifts and sits—
stay far away, wear a mask,
and wash your hands—
“Out damned spot! Out—”
in collective panic, guilt,
and a truthful reminder
of scientific fact,
facts, a dear commodity
often ignored, as if invisible,
against the gaudy lies,
pink flamingos standing on one leg.
But now the world is upside down,
will we value the invisible
in the after
as we never did in the before?
Stop, take a breath–
remember the dreams.
“My mother told me this story,”
I say in mine.
It is not a true story
of my grandmother,
but it is a story of women,
of carrying on,
of working and making do,
my inner me reminds me
of this—but also to dream, to smile.
My mother visits with my dead father,
she walks an imaginary pet dog
through hallways she cannot walk,
beyond time and space,
we reach out
in our virtual Shabbos dinner–
holding our friends
and loved ones however we can.
The world outside blooms, trees hold wisdom,
and the river still flows,
carrying ghosts and dreams.
I hope all of you and your loved ones are well. Sending virtual hugs to all of you! And cookies. I baked these Hamantaschen yesterday.
Merril’s Movie Club: we watched three totally different movies this week. All on Prime.
The Handmaiden, a Korean movie (in Korean and Japanese) inspired by Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, with the setting changed from Victorian London to Korea in the 1930s. It is sumptuous, beautifully filmed, and erotic (NOT a family film) with sly, fun plot twists.
The Invisible Man. This new version with Elisabeth Moss is a fast-paced thriller (not horror). If I had seen it in the theater, I probably would have jumped in my seat more than I did. It is also about domestic abuse, which if you want to get all metaphorical, is often an invisible crime. It costs $20 to rent, but I had that much left on an Amazon gift card—plus we’re not going out to the movies.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco.This was one I had thought about seeing when it was playing in Philadelphia. I would definitely watch this one again, and of the three, my husband and I liked this one the most, and we thought if we had gone out to see it, we would have had a long post-movie discussion over wine for this one. Watching the trailer for this one just now, I wanted to see it again. It is inspired by the main character Jimmie’s real life story. Perhaps it is a true-to-life fiction about dreams and lies. Nearly the entire cast (including the street corner Greek Chorus) has San Francisco connections. There are weird random bits within this movie that somehow just fit in–I suppose like when you walk through a city and see strange sights and people.
We also watched the Netflix series, Unorthodox, which is inspired by Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir. This is an excellent four-episode series—we watched two episodes each night—in Yiddish, German, and English about a Hasidic woman from Brooklyn who leaves her life and goes to Berlin. Israeli actress, Shira Haas is outstanding as the main character, Esty. Haas had to learn Yiddish for the role.