Is it?

Monday Morning Musings:

Early Morning Sun on the Delaware River, West Deptford, NJ. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Is it in my blood
to see the color and the light?
To find delight in dappled ground,
cerulean sky, and honeyed beams
spread all around?

A beautiful spring morning, Delaware River. ©️Merril D. Smith

To take some of that and this,
and make a dish, a story, art—
to lose my heart in joy, or fear
being apart, and sail
aboard an anxious ship on
shadowed seas, yet sing the songs
of moon and stars?

I wish I could know—
the ones who came before—
when in living with the making do,
was there room for questioning and for beauty, too?

Did they sigh at rippled water, and see within
the upside-down,
and all around, the spirits, shadows, flowers, trees—
the families?

We gather bits of ours—in hummingbird hover
midway between here and there,
under a clouded-feather sky,
ask what if we did, ask what if we didn’t, and wonder why—
but there are no answers, no words for what might have been,
only recalling what was—her laugh, the words she said—
and what is–here, now, us–a thread,

connecting yesterday, today, tomorrow–joys and sorrow,

we wait to see what the future brings, heart-sung, our wishes fly, bird-winged on our sighs.

I consulted the Oracle, and she gave me the phrase, “It is in my blood,” so I went with that. I’ve been thinking of my ancestors lately. In my grandparents’ generation, I know of artists and musicians, but art and music were not considered things one should do as a career. Slowly, we’re emerging from our Covid cocoon. We saw our daughter on Friday, and my sisters yesterday. We forgot to get a picture to mark the occasion, so we’ll have to do it again. The photo of my mom showed-up in my FB memories.

44 thoughts on “Is it?

  1. Beautiful musings, Merril. Beautiful images, too.

    I’ve been pondering my ancestry, too. I don’t know if there were artists or writers or musicians, other than my father who used to paint (and then destroyed almost all of his paintings in a fit of rage — all but one which I have because my mother somehow saved it and sent it off to me).

    • Thank you so much, Robin!
      That’s so sad about your father. That must have been scary for everyone.
      There are stories–perhaps not true–that my relatives told my artist ancestor, Abraham Hankins before he “made it,” that if he wanted to paint, then get a paintbrush and paint this wall. 😀

  2. You are definitely an artist, in both words and photography… We all have our differen talents 😉
    I love the phrase the Oracle gave you and how you took it and ran. Lovely all around.

  3. Merril, your photos get better and better. These are good questions. I do believe our parents and grandparents knew better how to just keep going in the face of adversity. I love the photo of your mother’s art exhibit. How wonderful that she got that acknowledgment and affirmation while she was still alive. (K)

    • Thank you very much, Kerfe!
      I think you’re right about previous generations. They had to live through a lot of horrible things.
      Yes, it was lovely that my mom could exhibit her work then.

  4. Your river is looking resplendent in these photos! I like to think that my ancestors had room for questioning and beauty, too. I love the photo of your mom with her painting. That must have been a very special exhibit.

    • Thank you very much, Liz.
      I know my grandparents’ generation were very practical. Well, they were immigrants, and persecuted before that, so it’s understandable. It was interesting to look back at that photo of the exhibit, and to remember that that was when she could still get around.

  5. So much ‘is in the blood’. You have inherited some bright bits 🙂 I love that ‘anxious ship’ such an unexpected phrasing, but it fits so well. The message is a cheerful one.

  6. I ask these questions too, not just of my ancestors, but all those who came before us. They felt what we feel now: saw what we see now. Experiences life’s joys/sorrows/pain and all that love. Are they in peace now? Are they in the flowers and hummingbirds and blue sky and even the clouds, part of us and part of the universe, as we will be? Oh, Merril, you always get me musing along with you. ❤

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