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September 27th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I am often fascinated by people’s ancestry. Who people are, where they come from, and the various complexities of their family. I suppose I developed this inquisitive quality regarding the lives of other people from my mother. Bless her heart, that woman knows how to ask questions and unearth information better than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. There is a joke in our family that if our mother did not work at the bank for 3 and a half decades, she would have made an excellent interrogator. Seriously, the woman can fire off so many questions at you that sweat may begin to bead down from your forehead in the apprehension of not answering a question correctly or to her satisfaction.

When my mother wedded my father, she took on his surname – Polkinghorne. She has carried the name well, even if it is extremely difficult to spell and pronounce (for a vast majority of people). It takes a lot of patience to carry this surname too. Lord knows my father is always to be found under a rock somewhere, operating with the industriousness and resourcefulness of a mad scientist. Sometimes the man can be unintelligible during a social interaction. Why? His head is off in a cloud somewhere; paid to think a creative thought. (Son he said, if I fart a thought for the company I am working for, I get paid). Well good for him, we got to have idea people and we got to have people that have the ability to constantly develop and implement new concepts so new products can be nicely delivered on the shelves of all the stores we love to shop at as part of our daily routines.

Completing a Masters degree in marriage in family therapy has taught me one thing – you got to know where people come from. Where is their country of origin? What did their ancestors do? What did their ancestors suffer through? What did their ancestors persevere through?

When you take the time to genuinely understand who a person is and where they come from, then you can connect with them. This does not mean you have to pelt a person with a billion questions. Yet it does mean that you need to care about a person’s family lineage. People are sensitive. They have feelings. If you do not respect how a person got to be where they are today, how will that same person ever respect you and care about your well-being in the long-term?

As we speak, I am sure my mother is busy compiling information about her family lineage. It’s a complicated story; fascinating one too. Lots of sisters, a horny man who moved on to another wife during the war years. Reclusiveness. Excessive chattiness. Chaotic, fear-driven behavior. Issues related ┬áto space, confidential information, and pervasive intrusiveness. It’s this crazy ball of wild elastics that needs to be jolted with electricity once in a while to keep it all in one piece.

I’m sure we’ll have it all figured out one day eh you Viking…

As for my dad, well, it’s simple. 1299, Pool of the Iron Chief, and something related to the invention of the steam engine. I’ll forgive you one time for referring to my father as a 10-gallon head. After that, you’ll have to face me alone. And as my brother…in-law said {Mom, this kid’s a warrior}. Remember now, I suffer from hyperacousis and I can hear a pin drop from a mile away even with a cool breeze. I heard you bro #2. Sorry for making the house shake – your pain was overwhelming me and I had to share with you how you were feeling inside. Now I know you can make the house shake too; even if it is with a wrong-handed, back-handed blow.

Some sidewinder of a fellow haughtily and rudely asked {Who are you?}

I am Polk-ing-horne. I can make this place shake better than an earthquake.

Now then, tell me, who are you?

I want to know,

Matthew Polkinghorne

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