Monday Morning Musings:
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
–L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
–T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”
“Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in.”
August Wilson, Fences
Thumb and finger strike,
feel the beat
New York streets
When you’re a Jet
You’re a Jet all the way
My sister and I listen to the album,
vinyl disk spins,
we watch the movie,
only later do I learn it is
Romeo and Juliet, updated,
and that famous play,
with its star-crossed lovers,
is based on older stories,
tales as old as time,
that connect us with the past.
So many movies, so little time before the old year ends,
we see Fences,
the sins of the father visited on the son
generation after generation,
connections through pain and history.
I dislike Troy more and more as the movie goes on,
while recognizing the source of his suffering,
and feeling sorry for him
and Rose and the children.
I ask my husband afterward
if he thinks he would have been a different father
if we had had sons instead of daughters.
He says yes, he thinks so,
that he would have been harder and stricter
like his father
who was a good man, but stern,
I was scared of him when I first knew him,
and amazed the first time I saw him laughing with his brother.
My father-in-law was so different with his grandchildren,
softer, gentler, singing Sesame Street songs.
I think of how he connected differently with his children
and his grandchildren,
the special bond he and my young nephew had.
On New Year’s Eve,
I think of people all over the world,
celebrating the new year.
I see photographs of fireworks,
Sydney and Hong Kong,
long before nightfall here.
We celebrate more quietly with a group of friends,
Chinese food dinner,
a tradition going back decades,
before and after children,
the where and how changing over time,
food and friendship
amidst the Christmas decorations and lights,
we discuss our families,
see photos of grandchildren,
and worry about what the election will bring.
Our friends talk of selling their houses and moving,
not because of the election,
but because we’re getting older
(but better, of course
with years of wisdom now)
we’re still us, though greyer and heavier
about our middles,
and we still connect
in the way of old friends,
with jokes, hugs, and glances that can reveal more than words.
One friend gives each of us—her sister-friends—
I think of how bracelets
have been worn since ancient times,
good luck charms,
amulets for long life and happiness,
tokens of friendship.
charms linked to one another
as we are connected through our bonds of friendship,
as words connect thoughts in a sentence,
expressing ideas and actions,
taking us into the new year and new worlds
describing our past, describing our future,
connecting them in clauses,
independent and dependent
as we are,
free to make choices,
to keep people out or keep them in,
but also, dependent on those around us
not to destroy our lives, our souls, our planet.
We can build fences,
but are we protecting or defending?
It’s a myth that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space,
but the lights of cities do glow like beacons,
lights connecting us in the dark,
connected like the water flowing from river to the sea,
the message in a bottle circling the globe,
Help! Find me. I’m lost.
The connection is made.
Who sent the message?
Is it too late to help?
The holidays are over, the clock strikes, we turn the page.
It’s a new dawn, with new words,
but still linked to the past like a bracelet.
Open the door,
peek over the fence,
feel the beat,
move your feet,
dream of tales as old as time
and of now.
I wish everyone a happy and peaceful new year. We may be in for quite a bit of turbulence on this journey through 2017. So buckle up! Have that wine and chocolate handy. I appreciate all of you who read my posts, and I love the friendships and connections I’ve made here. Welcome to my new readers, too! I hope you’ll stick around to see what the new year brings here on Yesterday and Today.