Exploring Other Roads

Monday Morning Musings:

“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics. Nor all logic. But is somewhat beauty & poetry.

–Astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889

“In the middle of the journey of our life

I found myself astray in a dark wood

where the straight road had been lost sight of.”

–Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto I

 

PIA21891_SaturnRings

“This image of Saturn’s rings was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.”

 

This wild, verdant world

home, a pale blue dot

it travels,

we travel,

through time and space

never a straight road

explorers, we send you out

on a thirty-year mission

(here, bombs and missiles)

there, you meet your fiery death.

Did you have last thoughts, I wonder,

as you plunged

compelled by forces beyond your control

mission completed

no more floating tin can

our eyes and ears

seeing what we cannot see

 

what if you could speak your mind–

would you share our wonder, or

cry at the beauty of the rings of ice?

The eye of the beholder,

the hard problem and reality,

what do we actually perceive

(with our limited senses)

And yet

And yet

And yet–

we have music, art, poetry

the imagination to see beyond

to wonder if there are ghosts flitting around us

and what it is we cannot see

 

We, who are constantly seeking

asking who we are

and what is out there

(the truth?)

yet so limited by greed, ignorance, fear.

the artificial borders of nations

when the world dies,

will it matter that we are American, Russian, or Thai?

or that we believe in one god, many, or none?

that our skin is olive-tinged, milky-white, or the color of café au lait?

We follow straight roads to disaster

when perhaps we should try a different path—

a scenic route

create a new map

wonder

We eat pita and hummus

Vietnamese takeout

homemade pizza

multicultural dining

in a xenophobic world

admire the science and math—

dough that rises—a chemical reaction—

but the first time someone made bread—imagination!

Could a space alien creature appreciate the perfection–

melted cheese, tomatoes, basil, and crisp crust?

We drink wine,

admire the color, taste smell

created by another chemical reaction,

We watch science fiction

and imagine what could be,

perhaps better, perhaps not,

(oh, but we could use those Star Trek captains)

perhaps there are other timelines and dimensions,

worlds we cannot see,

Cassini has traveled—not a straight road—

to see rings and moons

a wonder of science and determination

But I see the beauty of those rings,

imagine how they might sing

 

I read and write

about the terrible things people do to one another

dominating bodies, looking for control

we watch a documentary about Vietnam

fights over territory

nations looking to control

the falling of dominos

in senseless violence

bombs, death, and destruction

time going backwards in film

filled in by imagination,

fast forward

and where does the road lead?

look at the science

look at the logic

look at the road

and check for a course correction–

But

look for the poetry and art

the beauty in the stars

listen for the humming of the moon

 

IMG_6565

 

Golden Ships of Dreams

bierstadt_albert_the_golden_gate

Albert Bierstadt, “The Golden Gate,” 1900 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

On the strange river of my mind

float golden vessels, unguarded,

sailing to places uncharted,

they glimmer, shimmer,

carrying words and dreams that brighten

then grow dimmer,

as waiting to dock

in an unknown land

filled with wondrous creatures

and glowing sand,

I wake and try to understand.

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were:  Guard/Strange/River/Land/Mind

Words Remembered

A child’s first words,

delightful dawning

apperception of sounds

communication beyond smiles

and touch.

 

First words

followed by more,

sentence streams.

 

Sister talk,

talk and play,

play creating new worlds

from their imaginations.

The Barbies,

each with her own name

and personality

lined up on bathtub rim

they play there for hours,

creativity more than cleanliness,

whimsy in the water

(I’ll never know what “a cup of Margaret” is

but how marvelous the mystery that lingers.)

listening to them then

listening to them now,

both existing

like an overdubbing in my brain

the babbles turned to words

the words turned into essays

and then to college theses

words spoken and sung

at home

and on stages

(shy little girls becoming confident women with strong voices)

words that both girls now teach to others

and use in caring

words of love

words magical

words memorable

words spoken and unspoken

words lost in time

remembered in my heart

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© Merril D. Smith 2016

 

This is in response to the The Secret Keeper’s Writing Prompt

This week’s words: child/talk/home/time/play