Someone to Love is the Answer

Monday Morning Musings:

“Then we’ll break the moments. We’ll split them over and over and we’ll have all the time in the world.”

–I.G. Zelazny (On a sign at Grounds for Sculpture)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Make someone happy

Make just one someone happy

Make just one heart the heart you sing to

One smile that cheers you. . .”

–from Jule Styne, “Make Someone Happy”

 

Almost forty years wed

together pretty much

from that ninth-grade dance

(sideways glance)

when you stood whispering to your friend

before approaching to say–

Would you like to go to the dance with me?

Certainly,

we’ve trod on toes

and missed some steps,

I’ll concede,

but mostly we’ve agreed

and danced

knowing where to place hands

there

and there

(hold my heart).

Laurita Inn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inn at Laurita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When did it start–

moving from shuffle to waltz

and tango in the night–

mostly delight–

of course, there’ve been fights,

but then an embrace,

a dance,

not a race,

with time to

pause–

look at art

Grounds for Sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stroll hand and hand,

understand

the need to

rejuvenate

feel the sun

relive, rewind–

Remember that time?

Lovely, yes–

Let’s have some wine,

Laurita Winery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and dance together,

waltz in a circle,

not in a line,

because the path curves and wanders

Longwood Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

so, we can ponder–

how old is that tree?

Longwood Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and listen to nature

and a voice that soars

Audra McDonald at Longwood Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

here outdoors

Longwood Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

complimenting

the music of the heart

(ready, start)

we continue the dance

you and me

one, two, three–

See?

There we go,

fumbling

gliding

sometimes slipping and sliding

onward the show,

(more years)

more things to know.

 

 

Our 40th wedding anniversary is later this month. Our VERY wonderful daughters gave us an overnight getaway to the Inn at Laurita, where we stayed in the “Shall We Dance?” room. We also had a wine tasting at the Laurita Winery and a massage at the spa. Thank you, thank you, girls!  The next day we visited Grounds for Sculpture. We were fortunate to have absolutely perfect weather. Last night, on Father’s Day, we saw Audra McDonald at Longwood Gardens. She said she was going to sing selections from the great American songbook. Well, I could listen to her sing anything. She said that “Make Someone Happy” serves as a sort of mantra for her. I loved the mashup arrangement of “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” (Rogers and Hammerstein, South Pacific) with “Children Will Listen” (Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods). And she sent us off with the reminder to think of all the wonderful children and to “remember your humanity.”

Here’s Audra McDonald singing “Make Someone Happy.”

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and History

Monday Morning Musings

IMG_4188

With Susan Weidener at my poetry workshop for her Women’s Writing Circle

 

“Prose is words in their best order; poetry is the best words in their best order.”

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Herodotus says, “Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects.

–Mark Twain, A Horse’s Tale (1907)

“I dream a dream that dreams back at me”

–Toni Morrison, A Mercy

 

It was a weekend of poetry and history,

ancient arts,

poetry, the word

derived from the ancient Greek, “I create,”

the forms,

honed over centuries,

the sea metric cadences of Homer,

the structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets,

the beauty of its language and rhymes,

discussing love and mortality,

the spare words of Emily Dickinson

magic with dashes

varied styles,

reflections on nature and life

best words in best order,

words in place and time.

 

I teach a workshop

with these ideas in mind—

to provide some guidance

to give my knowledge

(such as it is)

to women who want to

write their lives, their history, in verse

to help them find the best words

to capture the magic

to help them release it

in the right order.

 

We sit in a hotel conference room

large windows covered partly by pleated white shades,

in the lobby desk clerks laugh and flirt,

but in this room

we sit round the table

with a candle burning,

enlightening light,

coffee and water at hand

(nourish the body

as well as the soul).

I give the women prompts

and they create magic,

the right words come

in the right order.

 

“How did it go?”

my husband asks me,

he offered to drive me,

drive me

to the workshop

and home again.

Though I would have done it,

I was grateful for his gesture.

“It went well,” I reply

I feel good.

As we travel home,

I gaze at the traffic and cornfields

bright white clouds

fat, puffy sheep

frolicking across a field of blue,

Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Are they more real because I’ve recorded them?

I wonder.

We journey home to New Jersey

and I think of how these women have inspired me

and given me confidence in myself

my abilities to create,

to share the right words

the best words

in the best order

 

IMG_4191

The next day,

My husband and I go to the movies,

Anthropoid,

a film about an historical event,

the plot to kill Reinhard Heydrich,

Architect of the Final Solution,

“Butcher of Prague.”

It is a true story of bravery and courage,

though fictionalized,

the men are humanized here,

they are not stone figures, no,

not larger than life,

their hands shake on triggers,

they love,

they feel regret.

And was their sacrifice worth it

in the end

when thousands were killed in reprisal,

the town of Lidice razed?

Something to ponder,

the costs of war

morality and immorality,

how to fight evil.

Still, no one can discount the bravery

of these seven men,

ordinary men

who did the extraordinary.

I think of Herodotus

(In my head,

his name pronounced

in Ralph Fiennes’s The English Patient voice)

telling history as an entertaining narrative.

There is a line,

but sometimes a story is richer

and somehow more true

for being told as fiction

by using the best words

in the best order.

History is not simply the lives of the great

or of defining moments,

floods and plagues,

wars and assassinations.

There are ordinary men and women

who lived through each of these moments

who survived

or died in cataclysmic events

that change the world

or fail to change it.

It is important to tell their stories, too.

And what of me?

And what of you?

What about our lives?

How do we tell our own histories?

I ponder this,

searching still to find

the best words

and the best order.

 

Susan G. Weidener, Women’s Writing Circle

Where you can find information about the groups and her books.

Also, find Women’s Writing Circle on Facebook

And Susan Weidener on Twitter

 

Here’s the official trailer for Anthropoid (be advised that the movie gets violent).