Saturday 15 July 2023

Making sense of from whence we came

Who are they who bore us?

I have always been fascinated by the BBC TV series, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ which in its 20th series still intrigues me with plot twists and revelations in genealogy, history, identity, identification, and context of the lives of the participants.

In fact, it was interesting to learn that not every apparently famous person today qualifies for insightful research of their pasts, whilst others might be able to dig back almost a millennium to their auspicious or notorious roots.

It has left me wondering what entertaining piece of knowledge I would acquire if I decided to research my own genealogy, though my father has quite studiously researched much going back up to 6 or so generations, I have not been able to review his work to any detail.

In the grand scheme of things

In terms of encounter, I had a paternal great-grandmother on his maternal side into my twenties with whom I had many a conversation and repartee, my paternal grandparents were literally not that engaging, beyond greetings, not much else transpired. My maternal grandmother was a stalwart, a widow from an early age, my maternal grandfather had passed on over 4 years before my birth.

In meeting and greeting her, she would laud each one of us with our individual Oríkì, affirmative poetic praise of our progeny and destiny with the kind of fluency that it stuck in memory, at least the first two lines do, the rest, I need to determine. Spoken in a dialect that even with my knowledge of Yoruba I am yet to unravel meaning or import, but its rousing cadence suggests a meaningfulness that gave me a relationship I did not have with my other grandparents.

Of knowledge and memory

Yet, I write this to reflect on attachment and detachment that exhibits between my current familial ties, for which the forming of identity and how I identify remains a work in progress. For some things, there is a simple explanation, and for others, I might just be clutching at straws to make sense of how I belong.

If not for Facebook and the advancements in technology, many of the people with whom I share consanguinity, I would never have known or met. Quite a good few of those I have met, I can barely remember by face or by name. They belong in the deep recesses of memory sometimes irretrievable when brought to my notice that I either feign acknowledgement or admit a failure in recollection.

Having written all this, the purpose for which I commenced this blog has not been fulfilled, it would seem the right form of words to address attachment and detachment are yet to be realised. I have had this on my mind for a while, it might yet find expression in the next blog. Who knows?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are accepted if in context are polite and hopefully without expletives and should show a name, anonymous, would not do. Thanks.