Connections

Monday Morning Musings:

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“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.”

–Emily Dickinson

“Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in.”

August Wilson, Fences

Snap!

Thumb and finger strike,

connection made.

Snap!

Synapses fire,

memories triggered.

Snap!

Fingers, feet

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,

(powerful performances),

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—

a bracelet,

matching bracelets,

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

connecting them

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.

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New Year’s Eve, 2016. We are linked, heading into 2017.

 

We can build fences,

or walls,

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.

But, snap!

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,

Snap!

feel the beat,

move your feet,

dream of tales as old as time

and of now.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Picture Not Worth a Thousand Words?

Cover of "Anne of Green Gables"

Cover of Anne of Green Gables

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Do you share my outrage? I refer, of course, to the new book cover for Anne of Green Gables featuring a buxom young woman with blond hair and a come-hither expression. (She’s also wearing a plaid shirt that is just wrong for the turn-of-the-century story, as well as being just wrong.) As anyone who has ever read the book knows, Anne has RED hair. This is not simply a question of me being disappointed because a fictional character does not appear as I imagine her. I mean it bothered me that Inspector Lynley had dark hair in the BBC series instead of blond hair, as Elizabeth George described him, but I got over it. Anne’s red hair, however, is of such major importance to the story that it is almost a character in and of itself. Moreover, when Anne of Green Gables begins, Anne is a child of about ten years old. She is described as skinny and freckled with two red braids—hardly the sexy young woman on the new book cover.

I’m not certain when I first encountered Anne, but the book I read over and over again had a dark green cover without a picture. It’s possible that there had been a dust jacket that was lost long before I found the book. It had probably belonged to my older sister, and I decided to “borrow” it one day. I did that quite frequently. I first read Anne as a pre-teen, and then I read it many times throughout high school, and even as an adult. When I needed something to cheer me up, I would read favorite sections—the chapter about Anne accidentally getting her best friend drunk (not as racy as it sounds), or the one where she tries to dye her RED hair raven black, but instead turns it green. I read several of the other books in the series, as well, which follow her journey from student to teacher, to young wife in her “house of dreams,” and finally to her life as a mother of several children.

Anne has continued to play a part in my life. When my daughters were young, we watched the Canadian Broadcast Company’s version of Anne of Green Gables. Megan Follows was a perfect Anne—with RED hair. We laughed at her adventures, and we cried when a certain major character died.

The spunky and imaginative Anne (the “e” on her name is also important) also helped me to make a dear friend after we realized she was one of many common bonds we shared. As Anne would say, we were “kindred spirits.”

Apparently, the criticism of the new book cover has been so harsh that the book, created through Amazon’s CreateSpace platform, has been taken down. Well, we all make mistakes, and sometimes we learn from them. As Anne remarked, “But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice”.