Monday Morning Musings:
“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
—Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969. Often misattributed to Hemingway.
“To light a candle is to cast a shadow.”
–Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea
“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. . .
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.”
–T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
It’s a stressful week, we burrow in—
in restful verbs and tasty nouns,
lighting candles in the night,
casting shadows against the bright
light and darkness
without one, is the other missed?
I journey in place
(I hope with grace)
flowing, risking with rhyme and meter,
thinking of a double feature–
traveling without moving
wondering if I’m improving
if it’s soothing. . .
to stay in my pajamas
listening to public radio,
interviews with Nathan Lane and Laura Marling,
unsnarling the day’s news with Michel Martin–
I make dough and bake pizzas
enough for us and the shadow figures, too—
of course, wouldn’t you?
I mean, if they should they care to join us,
we’d have enough
and so, we dine,
drink some wine
watch a movie of two families, white and black
see, there’s no going back,
when time moves forward
we go onward,
even while people are wandering
out of place
lost in space–
well, you can take the boy from Mississippi,
but what happens when he returns a man?
People don’t understand
the legacy of poverty and hate,
and racists don’t want to debate
truth seen in a black and white–
it’s easier to fight.
So much to consider,
and some of it makes me bitter,
I think about the six million dead,
those who never got a chance, never fled
wonder if my family’s genes were among them—
forced to live in shadows, in nightmares
or rather, left in there
suffering and forced to die
their cries reverberate
we light a candle in their memory
the sorrow of their journeys,
their souls shout out
but what do my words create–
and what good is an epitaph for them or us—
is what time was forever thus?
Perhaps to foist a new beginning,
or to change the end
when life circles round,
we can start again.
Holocaust Remembrance Day was on Saturday, January 27. We watched the movie, Mudbound, on Netflix.