That urge to know which union brought us forth, that “who am I”, haunts, even as we are prideful of uniqueness. Honoring forefathers brings relief.
We are, at birth, what our immediate two ancestors put on our biological table, our hereditary nugget. The arch of the eyebrow and action of the knee-joint are mine, through them. We roll dice with another, at the instance of our own begetting, to pass half our nugget to the next generation. Usually, by then, in the scheme of things, it has changed only in imperceptibly small ways. We worry if we encountered toxins, or were close to radiant Chernobyl, and now, modern technology. Generational luck, too; famine vs plenty, pandemic vs health, rural silence vs city din. All that is hard stuff, easy to get to. So, will it be his eyebrow, or hers?
At the same time, the ethers hint that life essence seeps through transferable material, ever evolving, to be delivered to “me”, at birth. It primes our most inner bureau, as though we know something already. A zip file of echoes. Our drawers fill, layering over it, as we respond to each life experience, in real time.
We wonder on mental affliction, on predilection, and on musing. From whence they come, and where they go. Personality, senses and feelings. We fold the lot in, adding beliefs, ideas, actions, consequences and edits. Soft stuff.
We strain to open the drawers as our days increase, even as they are ever filling. It seems they are not only for our personal use. Rather, they update our nugget to improve its instinctual base; that is, to inform our next in line, of our most effective confrontation, to our environment. What worked, and what did not.
Most of us are nurtured at our biological table, where our bureau fills in that association. This scenario has been interrupted for many. They were born illegitimately, or not, were adopted, or not, but in any case, they mature under other wings. Their bureau fills, in association with this other table. By virtue of strong, persistent presence, of over two critical decades, or so, “other” may whisper atop one’s zip. In the arch of the eyebrow, no. In that part, floating where eyebrow has no significance, maybe and probably, if this resonance of spirit, exists. In this same sense, a childless loved one, held close through maturation, would go on. Inklings of being; banked.
The interrupted are unwitting agents of change and often harbor fierce “who am I” anxiety. Zip has to recognize unexpected fill. Those on the concurrent sideline don’t get it. Just accept me, as I do you, they wish. The next generation comes with assimilated zip, and wears the result of the interruption, with ease. All one.
So, was that double genealogy? No. Just idle thoughts, mixed with some facts. Double genealogy is not complicated. It simply means that if one wants to understand their interrupted ancestor, one must gather double detail.
My grandfather was adopted, which came as a surprise. The first inclination was to identify his biological past. That passed quickly, because everything he loved in life, was of his adoptive family. Their ancients were his legends of life! Tales, told at his kitchen table, would be of their people, now his. When I sat on his knee, they became mine. How could I not love them dearly? They were, after all, who I had come looking for.
In the end, his biological tree was also uncovered and appreciated. The highlight of discovery, though, was that of my great-grandmother, Maggie. She ladled me her soup and brought me to sweet tears, seating me, by my Grandad. She had been the Mum of his central stage.
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