Beautiful Things, Tiny and Huge

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Monday Morning Musings:

“And the dreamt-of is someone who did

Something we can’t quite put

Our finger on,

But which involved a life

We are always, we feel,

About to discover.”

–from Mark Strand, “Dreams”

“One hot afternoon during the era in which you’ve gotten yourself ridiculously tangled up with heroin, you will be riding the bus and thinking what a worthless piece of crap you are when a little girl will get on the bus holding the strings of two purple balloons. She’ll offer you one of the balloons, but you won’t take it because you believe you no longer have a right to such tiny beautiful things. You’re wrong. You do.”

― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

 

November comes

with days dimmed and dreary,

the time between bright azure skies

and crisp-apple air

and the frosted evergreens of December.

 

I search now for the golden glow–

and color where I can find it–

the tiny beautiful things

in the world around us,

and the tiny beautiful things

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I hold within my heart,

memories,

the touch of lover,

the soothing weight of sleeping infant soothed,

milk-breathed, dreaming–

 

my own dreams

range, joyous,

or disturbing,

a discovery, if only I don’t. . .

wake

 

to find it gone.

What was that thought,

that brilliant verse I dreamed?

That something,

that tiny beautiful thing?

 

Gone,

popped, a balloon-thought

a bubble floating off into space,

yet, a place within me

that I may find it again,

someday,

 

some nights

in November,

we eat comfort food,

cocooned in blankets

and we watch Netflix–and cats–

 

find the tiny beautiful things

that make our lives less tiny

more beautiful,

we hug our loved ones tightly

trying to protect them

 

(another shooting,

another one, we say

and shrug, tsk, another day

of more hate and evil rising–

into space–)

 

so, I long for a Star Trek world

where brave captains with moral compasses

that never flicker from True North

guide us with bravery and compassion,

never forgetting

 

who they are

and what must be done

to find the light

to sail us through the stars–

those tiny, huge, beautiful things–

 

to bring us home.

 

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Our shadows travel the ages–Dock Creek, Old City, Philadelphia

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I saw this rainbow sky over Philadelphia when we were returning home from my mom’s.

 

We saw Tiny Beautiful Things, a play based on Cheryl Strayed’s book, and adapted for stage by Nia Vardalos.  Our older daughter and her wife were in Philadelphia for a wedding, and they spent yesterday and last night with us. We watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager, and I said that I wished Captain Janeway was Earth’s leader right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waking Dreams

Monday Morning Musings:

“Something nameless
Hums us into sleep,
Withdraws, and leaves us in
A place that seems
Always vaguely familiar.”

–Mark Strand, “Dreams”

“All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.”

Edgar Allen Poe, “A Dream Within a Dream”

 

My daughter and I talk–

sleep paralysis

she says,

waking to plunge into the terror again

not being able to move, or scream

in the terror of the dream.

 

And I think of the young people caught in a school

and those elsewhere—the whirlpool,

the vortex of contradictions,

fight or flight,

rehearsing what to do if caught,

a nightmare over and over again

until some finally scream, “Enough! Be seen!”

we need to flee the terror of this dream.

 

I was child,

practicing the duck and cover drills

ridiculous, tilting at windmills,

but I remember being terrified,

petrified that my parents would not come for me

before whatever we had to flee–

a world ending with both bangs and whimpers—

no tears,

just fear,

and no way to wake

from the terror of the dream.

 

And so, how can anyone say these young people are tools,

they have seen the violence in their schools,

they have been forced to practice,

to dance with fear,

to hold it near,

and should their dreams die

before they’ve had a chance to fly?

 

We see a movie

about grief and guilt

from wars, built

stronger, lasting, flowing through generations,

the absurdity of life–

the solitary camel ambling to the checkpoint gate–

the soldier who dances the foxtrot with his gun

fun arising from boredom with surrealism fused-fate

that keeps us dancing and returning to the same spot—

caught–

as if in a dream.

And though the movie is set in Israel

where “the fallen” fall so often

that those who bring the news are prepared

to deal with the grieving and the scared–

they come with drugs and instructions,

attuned to this production,

the result of the war machine,

the resulting grief and tears it brings–

still what happens there,

could happen anywhere

where there is war

and where dreams are launched

with guns and bombs

prayed over with psalms,

and where they fall from the sky

to die.

 

We walk and talk

the day is still cool,

but the seasons are cycling

through the year—

and spring is near.

We see a wedding, groom and bride

attendants by their sides.

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Though the fear is in abeyance here

the nightmare lasts,

we must lift our voices to put it past.

to see the light,

to see the sun,

the hopeful dreams, caught and spun,

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Can we celebrate our fate,

move towards love, not to hate,

unparalyzed, with dreams awake,

wear hope like a perfume?

We arrive home–

to find some daffodils have bloomed.

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We saw the Israeli movie Foxtrot. Trailer here.