Descending, Ascending

Monday Morning Musings:

“That though the heart is breaking, happiness can exist in a moment, also. And because the moment in which we live is all the time there really is, we can keep going.”
― Zora Neale Hurston. (2018). Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”.

Descending, Ascending

Each winter she descends,
her mouth red-stained, she rises in spring
like sun and moon

in ancient rhythms
of ancient songs
of stellar light

in unwritten time,
migrations of enlightenment–
the sparkle of sun-silver on outstretched wings,

the shadows shift. You see a peacock array.
Does the clock ever end? Around and around,
you look for a chivalrous nerve in space

to find connections in the liminal.
Mother to child and on. Never forget
you say. Not black-and-white. Prisms. The daffodils rise,

I used some of Kerfe’s Random Words. So. . .this was a strange week.
On, Tuesday, we went to William Heritage Winery in Mullica Hill, NJ for a February/Valentine wine and chocolate pairing, and it was lovely. Despite the woman at a nearby table holding her companions–and us–captive with her non-stop monologues. We learned she had had COVID and worked in the poker room. There had been some rain (and a tornado hit north of us), but when we got there, the sun was shining.
Then later in the week, I spent some time in the ER, entering Thursday morning and leaving Friday afternoon. It turned out to be a “better safe than sorry” situation with observation and tons of tests done “out of an abundance of caution.” I feel fine now, but you will understand why I’m behind on everything. I didn’t feel great when I got home on Friday because I hadn’t eaten since Wednesday at dinner. But I ate and rested, and we had a family Zoom shabbat, and it was wonderful to see my children. While in the ER, I finished the book club book I was reading, Lessons in Chemistry (though I missed the meeting), and then I re-read the entire book of Anne of Green Gables and started Anne of Avonlea. I remembered I had them on my Kindle.

On Saturday morning, I got a poetry acceptance. So, things seem to be looking up!

Saturday night we watched “Descendant,” an excellent documentary film on Netflix. It’s about the descendants of the people who were enslaved and brought to the US from Africa in 1860 aboard the ship Clotilda. The slave trade had been abolished in 1807, though slavery was not. I knew about the ship Clotilda, but not so much about the community of the descendants of the people captured and brought to Alabama. It’s a wonderful, moving documentary that also explores environmental and economic injustice, and includes audio of Zora Neale Hurston, excerpts of her book, Barracoon, and film footage that she shot from her interviews in the 1920s! I also started thinking about the word “descendant,” climbing down from an ancestor. Of course, if you go back far enough—despite what the White supremacists believe—we’re all related. See: this episode of Finding Your Roots or this interview with Henry Louis Gates

33 thoughts on “Descending, Ascending

  1. Wow Merril! Seems you were also descending then ascending. Stay in the ascent and yes, we’ll done on getting done whatever was necessary. Your photos are sublime. Thank you for this lovely post. And for saying about the Netflix film. Will check it out. Be well, stay well –

  2. I am sorry that you had a trip to the emergency room…I am glad that you are home and feeling better. We are on the verge of spring and that is a very good thing! Wishing you blessings…renewed health, sunshiny days, more happy moments spent with friends and family.

  3. Oh, my, I’m glad you’re feeling better. The ER is never a fun place to be, especially if you’re sick 😉 But, yes, better safe than sorry, and at least you got a lot of reading done. You know, instead of trying to catch up, you could just start here and go forward. I keep falling behind with all my favorite blogs … to the point where I simply have to allow myself to move forward and not look back. I hate missing anything, but there are only so many hours in the day 😉 Stay well xo

    • Thank you, Marie! Yes, I did get a lot of reading done! 🙂 I only watch TV when I really want to watch a show, and I just couldn’t scroll through social media. It was sad to hear the people who were in really bad shape and in pain.

      I agree about only so much time. 🙂 It’s mostly the responses to prompts that I can’t keep up with. Thank you for your good wishes. 💙

  4. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been unwell and ended up in the emergency room. But I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    I seem to be encountering Zora Neale Hurston’s name on a regular basis. I think I need to get serious about reading her work.

    Here’s to the new week ahead!

  5. I am behind again, myself. Glad to hear that you are ascending after that time in the ER. No fun, at all. (I’ve been back and forth to the hospital, visiting my daughter who had her bottom surgery on Monday…)
    Though-provoking poem, for sure.
    And I loved the Anne of Green Gables books 🙂

    • Oh wow, Dale! I did not know that was happening with your daughter. No matter how wanted, that is huge. Hugs to you both. 💙
      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I’m feeling much better. And of course, you loved the Anne books–you’re a kindred spirit!

      • Yes. It is huge. She is happy with her choice but still very much in pain (especially as soon as she wakes up). Thank you, I’ll take ’em. 🧡
        So glad you are. Of course! Kindred spirits unite!

      • She has a lifetime of taking care of her new womanhood. It is a huge decision and will require a strict regimen (her roommate is such a bad influence, I am glad she lives in Calgary… That one will not be doing what she needs to, I can promise you that.)
        Kindred spirits – Anne was all about that 🙂

      • Ahh–I did not think about a strict regimen. I suppose there will be . . .Sorry about the roommate. So has your daughter been living in Calgary?

      • Oh that new part of her must be carefully taken care of.
        The roommate is fine. She actually takes care of Ari by calling nurses and such. It’s just her own self-care that is a tad cavalier. She is the one who lives in Calgary. The doctor that performs these surgeries in Montreal is well known and respected. They come from far. My daughter lives in Montreal 🙂 🧡

  6. Yes, time never ends. I think even if we, our sun and the stars do, time continues.
    A lovely write Merril.
    Happy you are safe and not sorry.

    When I was just starting out in the film/tv biz, I worked in the sewing room of the TV series “Road to Avonlea”. Great memories. Michael York was in an episode. I melted when I met him. Made a complete fool of myself.
    I’ve never gotten over him as Tybalt in Zefferelli’s “Romeo and Juliette”.

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