Monday Morning Musings:

IMG_3958

“Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”

–David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

“Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an’ tho’ a cloud’s shape nor hue nor size don’t stay the same, it’s still a cloud an’ so is a soul.”

–David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

 

Nine people killed in a Charleston Church

on a June day last year,

forty-nine killed in an Orlando club

a week ago this June

innocent people going about life,

eat, pray, love

dance to the music

black, white, Latino, gay, trans, and straight

hearts that loved

no longer beat

no more inhaling and exhaling

sending breath into the air

in and out

inhale

exhale

 

We began as creatures of the sea

perhaps a sea sponge, 640 million years ago

or perhaps a comb-jelly drifting through the ocean,

we emerged from the sea

a cross between fish and reptile,

walking as if on crutches,

moving between sea and land

what compelled us,

creatures of earth

to leave the sea

to breath the air

inhale

exhale

 

And yet, the sea calls to us still

a longing for the rhythm of life,

rocking on the waves

that soothing lullaby of motion,

we tell tales of mermaids and selkies

creatures of both sea and land,

fantasy, or secret desire

to live between these worlds?

We’ve been sprinkled with stardust,

sparkles in our genes,

perhaps we have relatives on distant worlds

who swim in other oceans

whose breath sparkles as they

inhale

exhale

 

My husband and I spent the day on the beach

we walked, leaving footprints behind us

that filled with water and vanished

removing all signs that we had strolled that path

we splashed in the surf,

causing ripples in the water,

like those we create each day, existing

rippling time,

watching the seabirds soar above us

their wings wide and white,

I thought of angels,

like those shielding the mourners in Orlando,

like those who stood at the funeral of Matthew Shepard.

I watched those birds,

wondering about the fathers and mothers

protecting their young ones

do they listen for their breaths

as they

inhale

exhale?

 

We read our books

and watched the waves,

a beautiful day,

the sky bluer than the sea

almost cloudless as we arrived,

but then clouds grew

blooming like flowers,

floating like creatures in the sea

or like the frozen breath of giant beings

formed as they

inhale

exhale

 

Father’s Day,

neither of us with a father any longer,

but he a father, and I a mother,

our children began as cells, multiplying,

growing arms, legs, brains

swimming in an amniotic sea

listening to my heart beat

and my breathing

in and out

till they emerged,

tiny and perfect,

and breathed on their own

and walked upon the land

inhale

exhale

 

Do souls cross the ages

as clouds cross the sky?

do we wander through space

after we die?

do we visit oceans on distant worlds?

Do we breathe,

absorbing stardust and infinity

becoming luminous, as we

inhale

exhale?

 

As oceans are made up of drops

so each one of us is a drop in the universe

each drop is inconsequential,

each drop is unique and important,

the universe is composed of such paradoxes

and so we float and swim

and we drift, we walk on crutches

and we fight to survive

we breath

inhale

exhale

but when the sea calls to us

we return

carried by tide and time

to the sea that gave us life.

 

IMG_3940

Ocean City, NJ June 19, 2016

 

On Saturday night, “Father’s Day Eve,” I called it, I made pizza, and we watched the movie Cloud Atlas, based on the book by David Mitchell. Somehow we missed it when it was in the theaters. It’s not for those who like straight forward narrative, but we loved it. I would definitely watch it again. All of the main actors play multiple roles, changing gender and ethnicity. I haven’t read the novel, but I have read David Mitchel’s The Bone Clocks, which also told multiple interconnected stories over time.

Looking back, I discovered that my Father’s Day post last year discussed my father, his life, his death, and how he loved to take us out to eat. I also discussed the Charleston shootings. If you want to read it, you can find it here.

 

The idea of animals walking as if they used crutches, came from this article.

You can read more about the angels here.

 

 

 

The Jell-O That We Swim In

PIA17567-800x600

“Different Flavors of Black Holes” Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Yale University

 

Far away, in distances

measured by the speed of light

over a billion light-years

black holes collide and then merge,

rippling the space-time sea with waves,

distances shift, a small change

a bounce along our space-time

flexible, wiggly Jell-O,

flavors of the universe

in spectrum colors streaming,

cosmological redshift

 

In another galaxy,

music plays, people dance, laugh

multi-colored stars mingle,

then worlds collide, and death spirals

black density traps the light

until it vanishes, mostly

but for faint trails, streaming hope

rippling the space-time sea

like gravitational waves

 

In this article about the second finding of gravitational waves from black holes, researcher Gabriela González, said of space, “It’s like a Jell-O that we all swim in.”

Here is the sound of two black holes colliding:

 

 

 

Strawberries

Monday Morning Musings:

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love

I wanted to write of strawberries

we feasted on them,

farm stand fresh, luscious

their scent perfumed the room

earthy-sweet,

tasting of sunshine and promise.

My daughter and I ate them,

picking at them from a bowl,

putting them in a salad,

eating them baked

mixed with other berries,

under a crust of oatmeal, flour,

and brown sugar.

We sat companionably,

talking and watching TV

sharing the characters’ lives and our own

proposals, marriage, diamond rings,

we laughed,

we watched the cats

and drank coffee,

a summer afternoon,

with summer heat and summer flavors.

And love.

 

When the girls were young, we picked strawberries

and had strawberry shortcake for dinner,

a special treat

sun-browned girls in berry-stained clothing,

laughing at dessert for dinner,

the food was eaten long ago, but the memory is still sweet

sweet with the love of family

And love is love.

 

Not long ago, a friend’s son, a little boy,

hugged her so hard

that he cracked her rib.

Another friend said it’s a reminder,

a reminder that our bodies are fragile,

though we think we’re strong in body and mind

and we love hard and fiercely,

no matter the love

because

love is love.

 

we’re all strong

we lift weights

we’re determined

we fight cancer

and sorrow,

but in a second,

bones shatter

poppy-red blood splatters floors

or fields

final breaths exhaled

in battles

or hospital beds–

no more sunshine or promises.

Sometimes love hurts

but it doesn’t kill,

not like hatred.

And love is love.

 

I wanted to write of love and memories,

of strawberries sweet on the tongue

like kisses

I wanted to write of life,

of spending time with people I love

of happy June days

of wine and desserts

of hugs so hard they take your breath away

I wanted to write of strawberries today

but there are fifty people dead in Orlando

their bodies stained not by berries, but by blood.

But still

love is love.

“We’re on this Earth for such a short time. Let’s try to get rid of the hatred and the violence.”

Christine Leinonen, mother of one of the Orlando shooting victims

 

IMG_3884