Monday, April 25, 2011

Slight Nobility

Over the Easter weekend I got to sneak out of the cold and grey Chicago April which seems to refuse the coming of spring. Although a brief trip, I was amazed by the spread of vegetation in the North Carolina landscape, and it's ability to perk my creative mind just by the intensity of the green. So green it hurt at first sight. Unfortunately the trip was short lived. We were first supposed to fly out Friday at 2pm but after delays and delays our flight was cancelled and the next flights there weren't until 6am or 9:50am. Naturally not wanting to be up at 3am to get to the airport we opted for 9:50am.

We got see my grandparents whom I hadn't seen since 2002, at my father's funeral. There were a couple of attempted trips over the years but nothing that didn't fall through. It was pleasant to see them, and I certainly enjoyed reconnecting to the genealogy which my grandmother has been quite passionate about pursuing over the years, having visited a wealth of genealogical libraries through out the world, dedicating hours of research. She had prepared a gargantuan book of her findings for us to take with us, dating our ancestry back to 300AD. She traced us back to William Brewster, came over on the Mayflower, John Harper who ran a tavern after the revolution, Amos Wheeler who died in the battle of Bunker Hill, back farther to William the Conqueror, Lady Godiva, King Henry II who was a central character in The Lion in Winter, Charlemagne, Pepin the Short. On top of that I have the blood of old Viking ancestry and a variety of old Irish kings before the first millennium. My mother had recently seen the show "Who Do You Think You Are?" where they document the quest of movie stars to dig into their ancestry, and apparently Gweneth Paltrow was recently on there and learned of her ancestry to William Brewster. An old distant cousin...perhaps I'll have to hit her up for tea and reminisce on our mesh of distant relatives, haha! The thing is, ancestry is so intertwined and complex like a burst of staircases bleeding into one another, creating new off shoots of stair cases, anyone can really be traced back to these old rulers overseas and find they have a pinch of their blood and DNA, but not everyone takes the time to do the homework, and the fact that my grandmother has done so, and has the proof of records to determine our ancestry to some of the above mentioned, and more, is quite exciting, to me.

Our current culture seems to dismiss the deeper past lives of our blood line. We sometimes embrace from the occasional reminisces of the immediate departed family members whom we have pictures with. The bloodline is interesting thing to take seriously. Although it does trace the claims of kin to property (to some this has greater urgency, particularly when thrones are in question) it is perhaps the only physical thing we leave behind that was actually a part of us, part of our own unique chemistry. The propagation of the species, of a clan of folks. Blood brothers. Many tribal religions place great importance in their ancestry, and in fact believe the spirits of their ancestors to continually have a presence in the way the cookie crumbles in their lives. If so, I got an interesting bunch on my side. In fact, I'd like to be more open to the idea, as you know my fascination with ghosts. If I see the ghost of a naked Lady Godiva trotted down the street on horseback then I know I'm making progress.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

It's cool to learn about ancestry. I guess my mom is a Daughter of the American Revolution, or whatever, and I guess we're both Vikings because of all my Norwegian history.

The Igloo Oven said...

It's fun to be viking. We should pillage some villages sometime and escape by boat.