Magic Lives in Our Hearts

Monday Morning Musings:

“That was how evil spoke. It made its own corrupt sense; it swore that the good were evil, and that evil had come to save mankind. It brought up ancient fears and scattered them on the street like pearls. To fight what was wicked, magic and faith were needed. This is what one must turn to when there was no other option.”

–Alice Hoffman, The World That We Knew

“Grey Rock centers on the idea that human curiosity is stronger that gravity. I believe that art, which has no boundaries, can influence dialogue.”

Playwright and Director of Grey Rock, Amir Nizar Zuabi


I am here

in the space between–

sunrise to my front

and moonset to my back,

in between past and future


I sit

holding the moment

in my thoughts,

where it remains

though the earth continues


its revolutions round the sun,

turning on its axis.

We gaze at the moon

with longing,

a part of us


that rock

I see rising silver

then gold–

not grey

like the sodden clouds


Taken from the Commodore Barry Bridge


blown away by the wind.

Windswept our dreams fly


we all have the right to dream

the Palestinian man in the play


dreams of building a rocket,

sending it to the moon.

He loves his daughter,

he loved his wife,

and love is magic


the people in the novel find,

though evil is real,

it is all around them–

the Angel of Death is kept busy

but love has its own power.


And so,

we talk as we walk

through city streets

reflecting the past

as we think about our future.


Pennsylvania Hospital in a window reflection.


Spring by David Guinn Philadelphia Mural Arts 13th and Pine


There is beauty,

there is magic,

all around us–

are we blind or too afraid

to see it,


Finding signs of spring

hear it call

in the trill of birdsong

the tumbling crash of waves

the humming of the moon

and the music of the stars


floating down to us.


it shimmers

and echoes in our hearts,




a dream flying

into orbit,

a thing of magic and beauty—

and here around us.


I fear we’re in scary times, but we can’t lose hope or the ability to dream.

It’s the start of birthday month here with more to come.


We saw the play Grey Rock by Amir Nizar Zuabi and a Palestinian cast performing in English. It was commissioned and produced by the Remote Theater Project. It was also part of Philadelphia Theater Week. We both really enjoyed the play, which was funny, tender, and moving.

I read Alice Hoffman’s The World That We Knew. It is magical realism mixed with Jewish folklore and history. It is set during the Holocaust, and it involves the bond of mothers and daughters. There is a female golem and birds. A heron also figures prominently in the story. As you might suspect, I absolutely loved it.

No movies this week, but we watched Season 1 of Counterpart on Prime. J.K. Simmons is wonderful, and he gets to play two characters, in this spy thriller that involves parallel worlds.


31 thoughts on “Magic Lives in Our Hearts

  1. I love this one, especially

    hear it call

    in the trill of birdsong

    the tumbling crash of waves

    the humming of the moon

    and the music of the stars

    floating down to us.

    That novel sounds like my kind of thing too 🙂

    • Thank you!
      I’ve read a few of her books, but I really loved this one. I did keep thinking about you because most of the story takes place in France. I didn’t know about Izieu and some of the other places.

  2. There are so many things I love about this post, Merril.
    There is beauty,

    there is magic,

    all around us–

    are we blind or too afraid

    to see it

    So true! I love the table your husband made for his mother…it’s gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your words are lovely as always. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately — I was writing a new MS about a woman who survived the Holocaust — story takes place in 1968 — and there was a lot of yummy Jewish holiday food in there to research and include! 🙂 I hope you’ve been well! ❤

  4. You find words that connect us to the wonder around us. I admire how you take in the beauty of the moon, stars, signs of spring, etc. which we tend to forget in this scary, insane world. Invaluable reminders. I thank you for those! xo
    P.S. What an amazing table your husband made for his mom! 🤩

  5. I’ll just second what Poet Rummager said … and simply add that I also appreciate how you remind us all of the beauty around us. These are scary times and trying to be positive seems to take a Herculean effort but every so often I see something–a young ibis, a hawk, a turtle, colorful clouds–and I’m reminded of what still gives me joy.

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