Monday Morning Musings:
“He supposed it was always that way with the dead; they slid away before we knew enough to ask them the right questions. All we could do was remember them, as much as we could remember of them, whether it was accurate or not. Walk the same streets that they’d walked; take our turn.”
Emma Donoghue, Akin
Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, January.
January mornings are slow to wake–
the sun lifts his sleepy head
so slowly from his bed
extending his rays over river and sea
while gulls gather on the shore
and I watch sun and gulls
while walking into the day,
the clouds lifting, rolling tides
that flow into tomorrow
carrying echoes of yesterday
I remember yesterday and look to tomorrow
(the present never is, can never be)
no predictions, we don’t know what comes,
only what was and what might be
as the world circles
some remember yesterdays of horror
survivors, tattooed numbers on their arms,
scarred bodies and souls–
they ask us to never forget–
the tides ebb and flow, days turn to night
within neighborhoods and nations
the pretense– we didn’t know what was happening,
the fear and shame of discovery.
But I have been privileged—
my ghosts mostly benign,
though I hear the ghosts of six million call,
and I wonder how we can ever forget
a world of hate
that hasn’t vanished
where people were—are–
trafficked, enslaved, murdered
simply because they exist.
Is there another timeline
where we are not destroying our planet,
where we don’t say a leader is crass,
but I like what he’s doing–
where facts still matter, where the secrets are exposed?
I watch the river
carrying ghosts and memories
out to sea, out of sight
and the birds hover and land
and fly away again
that flitter through my mind,
the trivial and mundane,
the weighty and bizarre,
mixing like water and dust
raining through my brain.
What will evaporate?
What will stay to form a river
words onto a page?
Reflections on Delaware River at sunrise. Red Bank Battlefield. 2020
My daughter and I watch the movie
(laughing and wiping tears from our eyes)
and I think of all the movies we’ve watched
sometimes over and over again–
it seems so long ago now
where she played Little Women with her Barbies
giving Amy, the youngest, like her,
superpowers—and a car—
that she teaches Jo to drive
and in the past
both daughters saw the real Amy’s drawings
still on the walls over a hundred years and many wars later
this past, what I remember, my daughters
existing with the past of the old house—both moving on
At Orchard House, Concord, MA.
as we do.
We drink wine
talk of books, travel, life
time slows for awhile,
we laugh enjoying ourselves and each other–
the crescent moon smiles
her secret smile
as we drive home
into our future
remembering the past.
My musings are a bit late today because my editor had a few final queries about my book, and naturally I had to answer them right away. Last week, Adobe Acrobat ate the page proofs I had worked on, and I had to re-do everything.
Merril’s Movie Club: My younger daughter and I finally saw the latest movie version of Little Women. We both loved it, though we wished older daughter was there, too. The casting is perfect, and we both liked the way the story went back and forth in time. We visited Orchard House when our girls were little.
My husband and I finished the Icelandic drama series, Trapped, which we enjoyed very much. There were many secrets and memories in this series, which also touches on political and social issues.
I finished reading Emma Donoghue’s novel, Akin over the weekend. It’s about a man about to turn eighty who suddenly finds himself caring for his grandnephew and taking him to Nice—where he uncovers family secrets from WWII.
We visited Almathea Cellars.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day—the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.