Pleased to meet you!
We have our own comprehension of the re-created past, our own apprehension of the ever-present, and our own projection of the foreseen-future. It lies often in the immediate contact with another individual. This South Africa reunion (October 13 to 29) brought me very many new friends; gave back old friends; and even revealed a brand new family. And while the microcosm is endemic to the macrocosm, there is the relevant reality of the moment by moment integration of new places, new faces, and old memories. I am, in brief, grown altogether more aware of The Family of Man. It arises in that a name no longer is just a name. No wonder the listing of Biblical ‘begats.’ Just names? No, ancient Souls. Names were, are, and will become people. And therewith my long-held walls of indifference and abeyance and judgemental-ism and self-protection and self-interests have all but vanished. Names have faces, and faces become people, people with a name.
I’ve gained a brand new brother, Johan, eleven years younger than me, seen last but for a week or so when he was 16. His wife is Estelle; their son is Scott. There has also evolved a renewed inclusion of my long-lost sister, Carol, seen only three times since I first met her in 2004 for the first time since she was a baby. Her husband is Pierre, and they have Pierre-son, and Jean-Mali, and Ivan, all grown young men with a mission and a spirit and a soul. There too has been a reintegration after 45 years with my aunt, Meisie, only seven years older than me (being my mother’s youngest sister). Her husband is Clive. I got to befriend, respect, admire, and include their 36 year old son, Stanley (with his soon to be bride, Berdine). Then too, there is Stanley’s twin sister, Betty. And what of Betty’s children and husband? Also, what of the call from Dubai of Meisie’s oldest, Engela, and her husband Jerry, and their son…(?) And speaking of Dubai, that’s where my youngest brother Andy and his wife Elsabe are working, and now there’s their grown-up daughter, Tammy! Then too, what of my brilliant middle brother, Peter, and his wife Brenda, and their Xavier, with his Michele and their Talia and Damon? And then there’s their Peter-son and Canadian wife Laura, and their two-year old, Sean. And their brother, Aaron, is teaching in China (where he’s met a Suzie!) And what of the remarkable 25 month year old, Aiden; Zoe and Deon’s child, who are the… well, what a complicated and complex thing is not this extensive Family of Man? So too, back in Calgary, what of my own lovely Linda and her 26 year old son Keith? Yet, how is it, really, that any one of us can really call another ‘mine,’ or ‘theirs’? Which part of it all is not of the Divine? Which part of it all is not The Family of Man? And which one of the names (any name) is not given dimension by an adjective, like talented, tall, accomplished, beautiful, thoughtful, kind, considerate, caring, generous, and smart? After all, each name has validity beyond the obvious. We’ve not yet mentioned Aunt Joan. An individual’s existence is as full of potential and fragmentation and integration and the sense of life longing for itself as is the next, and we discard, demerit, disown, disavow, and disdain one another at the precious price of our very own making.