"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Friday, May 8, 2009

5/8/09: Sisters

This is the day I officially checked out of New York, and began looking west. Also, this is the day that Chris and I swapped positions from where we were in New Mexico! I now knew what it was like for him to be sedentary at our place while being anxious to get on the road east. The energy in the house was a bit odd. Not negative or unwelcoming as much as it was as though there were "opposing polarities" between Chris, Mary, & I and Musty. He was cordial, but it also was apparent he would like to have his house back, free of these misguided, spiritual vagabond kooks! Who could blame him?

As Monday’s marathon Greyhound ride drew nearer, this was probably a contributor to the familiar feelings of agitation; the same as Cape May. This time the friction was subtly growing, rather than suddenly appearing, and it was becoming blatantly apparent that I was, potentially, significantly off-kilter. Yet, I was still at a loss to identify it. I hoped that Wendie’s arrival that night would interject some much-needed, new, positive energy to the situation. She most certainly did that, but in an unexpected ways for me.

After picking her up at the airport, the three of us stayed awake until the wee hours chatting about all sorts of life things. Telling stories. Sharing experiences. It’s clear that she is someone who has a lot going and is willing to ask questions, and seek answers. I could physically feel the connection that exists between she and Chris, and it was nice to watch siblings that are that close. It drove home again, however, the admittedly juvenile feelings that I'd had six siblings withheld out of either selfishness, or cowardice; with two or three of which there seems to be developing a bond, even at this point in our lives, as we finally get to know each other. Yet, I wasn’t so much jealous as simply happy to see it on display between Chris & Wendie.

Seeing and hearing all this over the weekend slowly snapped into focus the fundamental purpose for my upcoming trek to Michigan: Getting to know the available members of that side of my “family”, and actually meeting the mythical “St. Shelly” for the first time. My mother always spoke glowingly about her, even though she was only a little girl when I was born. As a result, meeting her is something I have wanted to do for 30-years.

It is mind boggling to think that all of this “family stuff” has manifested just since February. It is particularly odd since I now have nothing to do with the two sisters with whom I was actually raised! Adding to the oddity, I had lost touch 8-years ago with the two sisters I HAD met from my father’s side, until a chance run-in on Facebook in January. The sole reason I was now in touch with Shelly was, once again, chance. She “happened” to be visiting, and in the same room with Pam while I was chatting with her one night, and “pounced” on the computer. You are forgiven for asking, “Why would she have to pounce on the computer?” In fact, I have asked similar questions often during the 15-years I have known Pam! (and Kim)

Yes…15- years. Things that make you go…hmmmm! There are many of these “hmms” directed squarely at me. Over the last few months, I have finally begun to get answers thanks to Shelly. Lynn has helped a great deal, too, although probably without knowing it as we have only traded a pair of emails. Yet, a scant five months ago, I had only a few pictures a name, and 20-minutes with my father in a mall's food court. Now, thanks to Shelly’s patience and hard work, I have names, pictures, and nearly 400-years of history and a sense of where I have come from; a heritage beyond coded, biased anecdotes and watered down hearsay. I still have two brothers with whom there's no contact, but oddly they don’t seem to play a role in anything.

Yes, the Michigan Pilgrimage will be quite significant beyond the traditional reunions with old friends and familiar places. I doubt much about it will be “familiar!” Not a lot happened on this Friday night that most would find interesting and “travel journal” material, but it would slowly play a significant role over the next few days and go a long ways toward a solution to a much-needed Mother’s Day Revelation-of-the-Obvious.