I wrote this poem after reconnecting with a cousin that I hadn’t seen since I was little. In our conversation, I noticed that we had a lot in common, though we hadn’t really grown up together. It made me wonder, what is it that makes us who we are? What is our choice and what is predetermined by our great- great-great grandparents. What do we hand down through generations? I thought back through the generations of pain, heartache, loss, creativity, ideas, talents. I asked her something along the lines of, “Do you think that maybe to be an artist, one also must suffer?” It made me wonder what my family would look like without all of the suffering? Would we lose all of the creativity and drive? Is that what fuels the fire? What paints canvases and plays to concert halls? Is that what inspires the magic? I don’t know.