Circling, Caught, and Bound

Monday Morning Musings:

“There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:”
–Jane Hirshfield, “For What Binds Us

The stars are sleeping beyond the grey
our sun yawning without thought of dawning—
our pale blue dot revolves and spins, and we,

Setting Sun at Heritage Winery

held fast by what we cannot see, bound to
that spin, and to each other

circling like restless dogs, seeking a trace
of affinity

within the infinity of time
and space, magic, grace,
the universe surrounds us

with light. We pass through rays,
scatter spectrums with our beating hearts
then take

a souvenir, hold that light within
carved, like initials on a tree,
a memory of what was, a star–

its dust drifting through our veins
and soaring on soft wings
from sky to earth to tree

Robins at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

caught in the sea of eternity,
lost, found, cherished, bound.

Tall Pines State Preserve

I couldn’t decide what to write about today, so I gave myself a challenge to use the words passing (or a form of the word) and souvenir from the two excellent movies we saw this week, along with some inspiration from Jane Hirshfield.
Passing (Netflix) is a new movie based on the 1929 novel by Nella Lasen. Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga give terrific performances as the two main characters. The women were childhood friends who meet again by chance in a New York hotel where both are “passing” as white—Thompson’s character Irene temporarily, and Negga’s character Clare who is living as a white woman married to a bigoted White man. John openly declares his hatred for Black people in front of both women. Clare’s reemergence upsets Irene’s carefully composed life and dreams.

The Souvenir is a 2019 movie, starring Honor Swinton Byrne as Julie, a young well-to-do film student who becomes involved with an older man (Tom Burke) who manipulates her, pulling her into a toxic relationship. Early on, he gives her a print of the 1778 painting The Souvenir by Jean-Honore Fragonard, which they also see in a gallery. The painting is based on a scene from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s book, Julie, a 1761 best-seller. (I didn’t know this when I saw the movie.) Julie’s mother in the movie is played by her real-life mother, Tilda Swinton. So, this is the second thing I’ve watched recently with a mother and daughter playing a mother and daughter. The other was Maid. The movie is the director, Joanna Hogg’s, semi-autobiographical story .
The Souvenir: Part II was recently released.

During the week on a spring-like day we sat outside at Heritage Winery.

Saturday morning, we took a walk at Tall Pines State Preserve. It was a golf course turned into a preserve. The sun was going in and out, but it was beautiful with autumn colors at their peak. After we got home it got cloudy, rainy, and windy. We didn’t see any coyotes or other wildlife other than birds.