76 responses »

  1. All that glisters is not gold–I’m quoting now from one of my mercantile plays.

    Happy holiday, dear Cynthia.

  2. Ahhhhhh, do you perchance feel freer after the holiday passes???????
    Oh, do you really recognize that none of us are truly free while stuck in this mortal coil?

    • Ah..Cindy…I’m too old to wish my days away (what remains of them!) but the holidays come and go and all I know is that the thought of “independence”—the word—however loud it is proclaimed, is a word that has become nearly meaningless to me, in what I see as our thoroughly inter-dependent journey called life.

          • well, you know, I don’t go for this kind of thing….and Lilly hates this holiday with all the firecrackers in a Triduum of Terror…. The grace of the day for me has mostly been feeling gratitude for the 95th birthday of my mother. As a child, I always thought, in the tiny colonial town of Framingham, all the fireworks and picnics were in her honor.
            Interestingly, I have had three good friends who have departed their earthly bodies on this day also, different years, of course.
            Interdependence Day it is to me also…. hope you are well, Cyn.

            • What a precious thing, to think all the celebration was in honor of your mother’s birthday! Poor Lilly….Chloe isn’t bothered by fireworks, but our previous dog, Gracie was petrified by them. With the losses and memories that accumulate over the years of a long and full life, holidays become especially poignant and, for me, quieter, less frenetic, especially now that I am alone. The local fireworks are visible from my living room, so I can “enjoy” those chrysanthemums of fire from my recliner chair! Mobility is still compromised and pain is a constant companion, but the real problem about that is losing patience, irritability and bouts of depression. As Bette Davis said: getting old is not for sissies! Thank you for all your visits and comments here, Julie, it means a lot. And happy interdependence day!

  3. I guess it depends on whether dependence is viewed as good or bad. And then as you think about that, this poem really takes on depth. Aren’t you the sneaky poet!

  4. I feel particularly un-independent this year.

    So happy for marriage equality–I am–but driven by concern for gay men–not women. When will women–all women–be free? Now, feds will cover drugs, surgeries for gender adjustment but not for women who have birth-related damage. Some American women with prolapse being told to walk around like that. With fistula, told they have to pay their share of very pricey surgery.

    No independence is right.

    • Freedom and independence….big words and thorny ideas, though they are not synonymous. It all depends on whether one believes it possible to exist, without affecting or being affected by someone or something else; your up is my down, and vice versa, on the seesaw of life. πŸ™‚ No such thing as an end of the seesaw independent or free from the other end.

    • Thanks, Betty. I always did see fireworks as instant disappearing flowers up there in the sky, whereas my brother insisted they were shooting stars. Throwing the reader a curve is a nice way of putting it, but it was one of those lines that threw me a curve first! Hope you’re enjoying the holiday!

  5. This made me sad – not anything to do with the 4th July, which means nothing to me – but the idea of watching those bursting stars moving randomly and freely and of you not feeling physically free to go anywhere at will. I guess the upside it that your imagination reaches new heights and we, all over the world, get the benefit.

    • Your insight into the genesis of this is right on target, Hilary, thank you. I do think what each of us does, however small it seems, may have effects in the larger world–we always hope beneficial—somewhat like what the chaos theorists call the butterfly effect.

  6. Cynthia, even your shortest of poems resonate loudly and very meaningfully. I’m not exactly sure how you were meaning this poem to come across to the reader, or if, in fact that matters, but this poem punched me in a very deep place, and as Im already in agony from falling so the punch was felt harder! I’m talking of course of the independence. Hang on a minute and if you’re free I may call round with cake so we can have a good natter about our various feelings on the subject of independence and lack of it with all it entails 😊

    • Dear Chris, I know that you know that I know that you know just what that word means in a most poignant way….probably the most real way, and the one that matters most. It’s not philosophical or theoretical at all, and yes, there’s nothing for it but to know the inter-dependence of empathy and human kindness…and eat cake!

        • Okay. I’ll get out my best china tea cups, and my grandmother’s teapot…and maybe polish up the french press, in case we feel like coffee. Now I’m laughing: here we are, neither one of us ever likely to travel to the extent that would actually realize such a visit, but having a great time imagining the thing. I can almost taste those cakes! Thanks, Chris, you’ve made my day. πŸ™‚

    • You’re right, Frank, it is a very powerful word and I guess a lot of wise philosophers and scientists—from buddhists to chaos theorists– keep mentioning how inter-dependent it all is.

  7. Hi Cynthia,we are witnessing an ecliptic time the patriotism and July 4th ,it’s Spirit never fails.We celebrate independence of what America stand for. America the Beautiful.Jalal

    • Yes, Jalal, spirit is what it is about; and those like you, who have experienced life in places that are not so bountiful are given to remind us of that. I hope you are enjoying the holiday, with your usual indomitable spirit!

      • Indomitable spirit never let me down .We are having the grand kids over to swim and grandma and grandpa will do the cooking.Happy and blessed 4th.of July.

  8. Love your description of fireworks as “chrysanthemums”, a perfect choice of what sparkles in the sky. So true, hard to feel independent, whether we recognize it or not – we are more tied and connected to most everything and everyone than any of us ever expected. Here is to the spirit of independence – happy 4th weekend Cynthia!

  9. Canada kept the monarchy, from George right to Elizabeth, quietly shed slavery along with the rest of the Empire around 1830 by Act of Parliament, never fought for independence but rather nurtured its dependence until finally enacting its own Constitution in 1982 while keeping its historic ties with Great Britain. As a result, July 1st, Canada Day is no big whoop. Sure, people light fireworks, and yes, people wave a little flag. But then it’s done and a beer later half the country hits the hot tub and the other half just go to bed. The American part of me says, ‘how boring’. The Canadian half of my brain says, ‘when it comes to nationalism, thank god for boring’. Your poem hits the spot, right between the two lobes.

    • What a good perspective you have, Lance, with your American and Canadian parts. The celebrations are louder on this side of the border, but I’m not sure the younger generation really knows what we’re celebrating. It’s all about parades, backyard barbecue, waving flags, wearing red, white and blue, swimming, and fireworks. Did I mention it’s also about more than one beer? I agree with your preference for “boring” when it comes to nationalism. At this moment, as I check into my blog, I don’t feel at all “independent” from my friends over the border or across the sea!

  10. All the good words have already been said by others so I’ll say only that you certainly know how to pack a sneaky punch.

    Oh, and your description of Fourth of July celebrations these days is all too horribly similar to our Australia Day. It’s all just booze and barbies.

    • My twisted mind had fun with your comment this morning ,(It’s morning here) and all because of the word “barbie.” My immediate association was with Barbie, the doll. Then I realized you meant barbecue, and I was remembering the ad from the 1980″s with Paul Hogan—“Crocodile Dundee”—saying “slip another shrimp on the barbie.” (I learned later that Aussies say “prawns” not “shrimp”, but that TV ad had the effect of significantly increasing the desire of Americans to visit Australia. So next time Barbie shows up at the barbie, let’s just slip another shrimp/prawn onto her….(.maybe I shoulda stood in bed)….Thanks MoSY!

      • It’s nearly morning here too (technically). Gosh, you made me laugh. πŸ˜€ Really, either definition of barbie would be relevant, when I think about it. That would be Tasteless Aussie Flag Skimpie Bikini Barbie. :-/

        I am relieved that you already know that we don’t say “shrimp”. We also don’t drink Fosters. Damn Paul Hogan.

  11. And so the world turns, not so Cynthia? Comments from all over confirming our interdependence – I only wish we could all truly see that and drop the need to enforce our cultural/racial/national/religious, etc., etc., etc., boundaries and differences.
    Imagine a day to celebrate our diversity and our shared humanity, now there’s a day I would light the chrysanthemums’ fuse and dance through the dark and the light! πŸ™‚
    Thank you for another thought provoking and pleasurable read dearest Cynthia. And if cake is in the offing between yourself and Chris, I would add some slices of Mozart (the cake and, yes, the music!) and carrot with delicious icing!
    Alas, for now, in cyberspace! πŸ™‚
    The lottery awaits! πŸ™‚

    • But you must join the tea party, Rob, extending it now from North America to England to South Africa. That will make it the largest sparsely-attended, nattering tea party ever. The Mad Hatter and March Hare will have nothing on us! And ah.. the multiple layers of chocolate ganache in Mozart cake, and carrot with cream cheese frosting….wonderful. I’ll bring some of my real cinnamon sticks from Sri Lanka. You bring the music. πŸ™‚

      • It’s a done deal, Cynthia! No time or date required – rather a constant jabbering of special souls and poetic people unifying through the Universe! Ah! Sounds like heaven! πŸ™‚

  12. We went to bed early and missed the fireworks. You poem reminded me that I only enjoy them when with others – particularly children. Is that dependence?

  13. You capture the melancholy of fireworks beautifully here, Cynthia. I would wish you a belated happy 4th of July, but that is not quite keeping with the spirit of your poem – so can I wish you a belated deliciously melancholic 4th July instead?

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