Beginnings, Endings, and All There is, In-Between

Monday Morning Musings:

“Maybe the dead know, their eyes widening at last,
Seeing the high beams of a million galaxies flick on
At twilight.”
–from Tracy K. Smith, “My God, It’s Full of Stars

December Morning Moon
Early Morning, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

Before the beginning, there was another,
and perhaps another before that, bangs and waves,
an infinite, endless sea of possibilities—
of if, not when,
light sparks life.

Yet here I am, and here you are,
each the sun of our own universe, surrounded by planets,
stardust in our blood, blinking pulsars for an infinitesimal moment
of time. Beacons, ships in the night, we gaze
at the ghost streams of long-dead stars,

an recreate the twinkling gleams in candles
and sparkling lights adorn trees as winter appears.

Birthday Wine at Blue Cork Winery

We celebrate the anniversary of my birth
leave footprints in the sand, as our ancestors once did,
as they emerged from watery depths–as we do,
each birth the same and different, each life unique,
distinct, and less than a speck.

Ocean City, NJ

It’s all in the perspective. The horizon beckons, but is never reached.
I watch the gulls hover and soar, catching wind and light.

Gull in flight, Ocean City, NJ

As we celebrate, holding fast to dying light, catching fire in
glass and cup, echoing the chirps of stars and gull laughter,
our friends sit a vigil,
and we look to the past, knowing we can’t return—
and if I could put on my younger self’s skin, like a selkie
dons her castoff seal pelt, I don’t think it would fit,
not in this world, and it’s the only one I know,

with shadows looming from the light, imperfectly perfect, gigantic, a pinprick—we dream–a lifetime passes in a second.

December Dune

My birthday was last week. We went to Ocean City, NJ, to take a walk on the beach, which was mostly deserted except for some people walking their dogs. We saw lots of egg casings and horseshoe crab remains on the beach. I had a free glass of wine for my birthday at Blue Cork Winery, and then we had Indian food and champagne (actually a crémant). To continue my birthday celebration a couple days later, we went to the art museum, and then walked to the Christmas Village in Philadelphia. I started laughing when my husband took a photo of me eating a cannoli, and then I couldn’t stop laughing, which made me think of my mom, and made me cry while I was laughing. A dear friend’s mother died on my birthday. We paid our respects on Saturday, and then took a drive to see the house where I lived when I was in high school.

Merril’s Movie Club: We streamed Belfast this week. In this beautifully filmed in black and white, Kenneth Branagh takes a nostalgic look at Belfast, a sort of love letter to a place and time that no longer exists. It’s bittersweet without being too sappy, though set during a time of violence, strife, and intolerance (and I think that’s understood). I liked it very much, and it was a perfect holiday/birthday movie.

Last night, Santa drove through town.

36 thoughts on “Beginnings, Endings, and All There is, In-Between

  1. I love that final section! Funny our titles are very similar 🙂
    I’m running very behind, missed the last couple of days with Sarah’s poems. I’ll get there tomorrow. Had our booster jab today on top of not sleeping and not-working sleeping tablets. I’m drifting…

  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Merril, and thank you for sharing your celebration and your musing 🙂 Your photos are gorgeous. You are truly developing a wonderful eye, especially for Nature.
    I love these lines:
    “and we look to the past, knowing we can’t return—
    and if I could put on my younger self’s skin, like a selkie
    dons her castoff seal pelt, I don’t think it would fit,
    not in this world, and it’s the only one I know,”
    I’m sure my younger much more shy and introverted self would have struggled in this world. Besides, I have less time now for looking back than I have for looking forward 😉

  3. Happy belated birthday, Merril! I enjoyed your musings this evening. Of course, your photos are spectacular! I especially love the one of you standing next to the tree at the winery. You look like a little girl who got her hand caught in the cookie jar…so sweet!

    • Thank you very much, Jill. I’m all windblown from being at the beach–we stopped at the winery on the way home, and since daughter was the only other person there, I did enjoy my free glass of wine!

  4. Belated Bithdayness, Merril!

    It sounds like it was a wonderful time, with some great photos, to boot.

    I especially like these lines:

    “As we celebrate, holding fast to dying light, catching fire in
    glass and cup, echoing the chirps of stars and gull laughter,”

  5. You are deep, Merril.
    Your reflections, the way you express them and pair them with pics shows that aspect of you.
    You are out here, with who you are and comfortable in your skin.
    I am learning this, for me.
    I should be comfortable with me. After all I am happy with me.
    Wonderful post!
    I’m glad you had a fab BD!

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