Friday, August 28, 2009
Ghosts of an Ancient Past
I'll be honest - I want to meet my ancestors.
I wonder who they were, what they looked like, how they lived, and what physical or personality traits (due to genetics, that is) we share.
And it is a funny thing...in addition to German, I have Scottish and Ukrainian ancestry, but I feel no affinity with those lines. Like, nothing. I feel as "Ukrainian" as I do Aztec, as Scottish as I do Maori. There is just nothing there, even when I try to make myself feel some resonance...
For some reason, I only feel German, and only ever have. Maybe it is because my grandpa - whose parents immigrated to Canada from the Magdeburg area - was a practical, sensible man; the world seemed to make sense when he would talk. But I have no clue.
What I do know is that - I don't know how to explain this exactly - I feel like I have glimpses inside of me, and they all seem to be set in northern Europe. They include fires at night, chilly temperatures, a certain kind of piny, smoky scent in the cool air, northern skies and constellations, Germanic sounding words, beautiful long songs, and stories, and hard decisions, and furs, and forests which look just like those I've seen in that part of the world...and the glimpses seem to come from a long, long time ago.
One part of the emotional content of those glimpses is the feeling that the world makes sense. For a fleeting moment, I can see and smell and feel something...feel that I loved and was loved; protected and was protected; respected, and was respected back; and the animals and forests and stars, and my people, all fit together. I understand it all...
Another part is a feeling of vigilance, a kind of enervating fear if you like - of predators, human or animals, who might harm those I am responsible for protecting. Another part is some sense of heroism or glory...And I have a woman, a wife, who is all mine, and I'd give my life for her...and we have children.
Do I sound mad? I am not worried if I do, for I feel that I have no control over those glimpses. They are just part of who I am, and who I have always been, and I cannot make them go away. So mad or not, it doesn't matter.
The truth is...I don't know what to make of these glimpses. They seem real, but I suppose, cannot be...They come to me far more often than I would ever wish to admit to; and the truth is, if I could, I would go to that place, and stay there. But I can't.