Friday, July 13, 2012

First and Second (Family) Chronicles....55:1001

Raglan Castle, Monmouth, Wales
Recently,in sync with getting old and pushing the boundaries of longevity, the idea of resurrection has been in my head.  Resurrection: re-creation;spanning future/ present/ past; beyond the moment; eternal.  I've decided that  resurrection has many forms. 

Grandparent-hood, I've decided, is a form of resurrection.  The world is re-created from the perspective of a very small person. Watching the assembling of a life gives me reason to keep contributing towards the future, restores my belief in Good and Possiblity  (Sandboxes and Resurrections).  And Grandparent-hood means my DNA is out there, physically being born, over and over.  (Or at this point, just "over." Get going, kids).  It means that body / soul,  past / present are contributing to a Future.  And, just as important in timeflow, children are because the past was.

Recently I found another kind of resurrection--geneaology. The Connection Resurrection, I call it.  The  Old Testament books of Chronicles I and II, and all the genealogical lists in the Old/New Testament, list: ancestors.  Specifically enlightening in my newest theological interest has been the nifty website:   I plugged into information and stories and family like I never knew before. Bingo, jackpot, Eyes Wide Open, Research Heaven, Mormon Geneaological Library, Marriage/Death/ Birth Certificates, Census rolls, photographs, stories.  It's official:

I Belong.  

To a long list of DNA.  To a slew of ancestors.  Ancestors who have always been there, and ever will be.  Theres no denying them.  They are Me.  I found a distant (living) relative while googling my father's family name.  He casually opened a door for me which will never close.  I know where  I (parts of me) came from.  I infer from the sheer mass of forebears I found that the odds are good I'll go to somewhere (parts of my DNA will).  I'm a little nexus of my personal little eternity. I am drowned in an ocean of Others Who Are Me.  Looking Backward and Forward (to descendants now forming),  I am Not Alone.

This is a good place to thank iconic American author Thornton Wilder (Our Townfor illustrating this idea in his book Theophilus North.   In a very small part of the story, Wilder wrote about an archaeology student who, on a summer intern dig in Italy, had helped uncover an ancient Roman road.  The student recalled finding the paved road, covered by centuries of earth.  He thought about the thousands of travelers on that road, who had purpose and destinations and cares and joys, and who were now long dead.  The student's comment in the book was that, after that moment, he never again feared death.  All of the people in the world who had died before him, suddenly became real to him. He became part of them.  Life and Death became seamless.

Ancestors do that. Through that distant (living) relative dug up on Google, I unearthed 500 years of a family who survived, suffered, found love /hate/joy/pain and did everything weak little humans do.  And who--to a man and to a woman and to a child--died.  This is liberating.  All those people whose existence points right down to me--and to any who come after me.  I am grateful. I am awed. Two important components of religion.

The Old Testament chronicles, cultures that revere lineage, ancestor worship: looking beyond metaphor, I get it.  They have died, and I exist. Inclusive patterning.

Overwhelming.  Easy.

Balance ...........1,001; 68.5

Woke up this morning in my comfy bed, feeling uncharacteristically cheerful.  This may have been linked to the aspirin I took last night to ease aching muscles due to some age-inappropriate yard work yesterday.  Whatever the cause of this great windfall of optimistm, I lay in bed reveling in The Happy, smiling at the lazy overhead fan, newly painted wall, sun-filtered curtains in the bedroom, and tolerating the cat bumped up against my leg.

I spent some time thus employed--not moving body while mind raced through personal universe at the speed of a Higgs-Bosun particle.  So it was that the pleasant Living in the Moment thoughts eventually wandered over to my other mood: the Dark Side.  The Dark side is not amenable to maintaining a cheerful morning outlook, but it pops in as it will.  So as cat #2 hopped up to join the party and ask for food, I peered into my personal void.  I thought of a friend who is worried about a basal cell melanoma he had removed a week ago and wonder if he got word on its cancerous potential.  I reflected on the strained relationship I have with one of my children, feeling emotionally helpless.  I wondered if the bugs, frogs, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, maybe possums in my backyard were getting enough moisture during the horrendous heat and drought, or if they were accessing the rag-tag collection of bowls and dishes and baths of water I scattered around.  Feeling the weight of this world, I had a cry, disturbing both kitties.  I believe (when not participating in the actual act of crying) that it is excellent tension release.  This morning, I accepted that Happy Thoughts and Dark Thoughts were both in my head.  There is room for both. I decline Giddy and I decline Wrecked.  They both exist and, I made up my mind, they can share space. They can Balance in my life.

So in about 15 minutes jumbled between sheets and kitties, I was called to Joy and Sunlight, went through What the Hell is My Life About, and back to Furballs Who Love and Want Breakfast.  I decided to go forth and face the day, with warm furry bodies and innocent expectation of good.  Their form of love is trusting me:to provide for them.  Provide: daily breakfast treat, regular food, clean water, clean litterbox, daily excursions into the great outdoors, and the occasional rubbing of head and back.  Their form of grief is being ignored all day, not getting breakfast treat, and getting bored.  They demonstrate an accessible lesson in balance.

So before rolling my spiritual and corporeal self off the bed and towards the Light and Fridge to retrieve spitiual nourishment for the Feline Ministry Mission, my form of prayer this morning (my 90 year old Mom regularly informs me she prays every morning, ergo I should pray every morning, so in recogntion of being thought-of daily I accede to her directive in the form of Thinking Thoughts) was to take joy in this moment of my life, recognize the equal amount of grief in other moments of my life, and go forth in balance. 

I reflected, I felt, I conquered.  I balanced the good and bad.  I balanced outlook, cats, and Mom in one fell swoop. 

Great way to start the day.