We Are

This Ancestor piece that was in Creative York’s 100 under 100 show was named in honor of a song by Sweet Honey In The Rock that mom and I both love.

(It’s probably the “wrong” approach for an artist but I was a little worried it might sell ~ it’s a piece that’s been in two Ancestor-focused ceremonies and I wasn’t sure I’d be okay with it going somewhere that wouldn’t be honored/resonant.)

Recently an internal shift has happened with the Ancestor forms.

It no longer feels like I’m… I don’t know, sneaking into my mom’s art supplies or something. It feels more like something handed down that I have a genuine grasp of/on, albeit still with small hands. Now the urge to express it over and over in a thousand different ways is pretty intense.

I want to weave it. Carve it. Paint it. Embroider it. Collage it. Sew quilts with it. Shape flowering pathways with it so vast that the form is only visible from above.

It has taken root.

It is breaking through the surface of rich, black soil.

It made sense on so many levels that it resonated so deeply and felt so right to make the marks over and over but something has changed.

“Stepping into” it isn’t exactly right but it’s close. It feels like… like I’m wrapped in it, and it permeates the same space that I do. It feels like a physical prayer, a preverbal conversation, a salutation, like receiving and sharing a blessing.

It makes me feel *so* close to mom and to so many people whose existence led to my own. Connected to all these glimmering Silver Threads in some great weaving. I’m the last of this particular matriarchal line and it feels.. I don’t have the words.

But I do have the feeling and I’m honored and awed and immensely grateful. ~*~

Anyhoo. This was certainly longer than I intended to tap out while getting some gas in the middle of driving all over the place, but I’m glad I took a minute. 💚🌳💚

Here are full lyrics to the song:

WE ARE

by Sweet Honey In The Rock

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

We are our grandmothers prayers

We are our grandfathers dreamings

We are the breath of the ancestors

We are the spirit of God

We are Mothers of courage

Fathers of time

Daughters of dust

Sons of great visions

We are sisters of mercy

Brothers of love

Lovers of life and the builders of nations

We’re seekers of truth

And keepers of faith

Makers of peace wisdom of ages

We are our grandmothers prayers

And we are our grandfaters dreamings

We are the breath of the ancestors

We are the spirit of God

We are mothers of courage

Fathers of time

We are daughters of dust

And sons of great vision

We are sisters of mercy

Brothers of love

We’re lovers of life and the builders of nations

We’re seekers of truth and keepers of faith

Makers of peace and the wisdom of ages

We are our grandmothers prayers

And we are our grandfathers dreamings

We are the breath of our ancestors we are the spirit of God

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

For each child that born

A morning star rises and sings

To the universe who we are

We are one

https://open.spotify.com/track/5HAROBJ3m7yyRajMUrAMnh?si=ZtavLWswSwGcI60rS6A79w

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