Fathers-and-Mothers Communion

19/09/2013

“It was  the best of times, it was the worst of times”, as the phrasing goes, were it not for the reality of the situation. How far back can you go to go forward while being present? Alas, possibly like so many others I’m able to ascertain my heritage in bits ‘n pieces gleaned from motherly tales and memory., and by them I am amazed at my presence! Consider…

Somewhere in recent history, say 200 years or less, when the world’s population was less cohesive, a mite volatile through circumspection, it was incubating a curious microcosm within its macrocosmic structure. Some of these were spread over the known world, but through strange happenstance these nationalities brushed against one another precipitating hybrids which begat hybrids of their own. I speak of my fore-bearers all whom I’ve yet to be familiar.

Grandmother's Family

During the early years, on the matriarchal side of my family an Irish slave-owner took to wife a favoured slave. She begat offsprings who had the distinct fortune in those times to couple with other nationalities of British, Germanic, Scottish nationalities. The location of these couplings was the Caribbean where such was possible, albeit conditional as circumstances certainly must not have been as favourable as in the 21st century. I became aware of this aspect of my composition having a Irish-Scottish grandfather and a distinctly African-Mix grandmother, in my birthplace, Jamaica.

Now, on the patriarchal side the coupling was equally as distinct, as my fore-bearers were of East-Asian (Chinese), SouthEast-Asian (East Indian) and Central-American (Nicaraguan). My grandfather was decidedly of Chinese heritage and my grandmother of East Indian heritage. It was not until her passing were we enlightened to the fact that her family were Nicaraguan-East Indian. Better late than never, in spite of the addition of Nicaragua like other possibilities  having no effect from it being an unknown.

Patriarchal Grandparents

So, there you have it, a variety of nationalities cross-pollinating on an unknown soil with the indigenous populace in separate and diverse economic classes. One side, the patriarchal, appeared more family oriented, whereas the matriarchal appeared more open and transient. Still, they came together somehow and I was the primary conception, first of a multitude who added to the planets structure with contributions as varied as our backgrounds.

I have no knowledge as to the details of each set of couplings in the distant past. I mean, ask your self the question, given your knowledge of recent history of the past 50 years, how would ‘society-at-large’ engage with an Irish-African couple, one an actual slave-owner and the other the actually owned, slave? At least the interaction would have been less volatile there than on the North American soil called the Colonial United States! Now, how these other couplings occurred and managed may have been accordingly tolerated with social-class values asserted. How do British, German, Scottish, and other unknown nationalities couple within a society with master-slave dynamics and evolve into a culture denominated ‘Out of many, one people’?

The same can be asked of the other side, patriarchal, of the family. How do the Chinese, a rather discriminating culture, couple with an East Indian culture, similarly discriminating? And, keeping secret information, which must’ve been considered ‘important’, until both grandparents were deceased? What could have been the living conditions during such times that my father’s father would downplay his Chinese heritage until after marrying, and taking her maiden-name as the ‘family’ name? It appears the Sun and climate had his appearance looking like a mixture that he could pass himself off as non-Chinese, which experienced its share of discrimination as the East-Indians and Africans with the Europeans being top ‘o the heap! Well, they appeared to have made enough sacrifices to beget a son who was to sire yours truly.

The Father

Equally challenging, if not more so, must have been the dynamics of the African-European couplings which saw the birthing of the other in the pairing of my conception duo. Given the challenges of the times, similar yet with more oppositions, two young people of diverse heritages somehow came to be engaged in circumstances resulting in the conception of this writer.

Their lives were in no means easy, coming from what appears different social structures yet, like their progenitors they were drawn into a coupling scenario which gave birth to two offsprings. The Dynamics was to prove too much to handle and the couple were to return to their singularity, with the female determined to keep the offsprings!

Mother and Children

Her route was most challenging, bourn of troubles unimaginable that warranted choices and decisions that bore discomforting memories for her to this day. No amount of assurances from her offsprings suffices and, as it would appear, she still struggles to make things right in her sensibilities. There are times when we, sister and I, are reminded of her feelings of guilt when we least expected it, all the while hoping the past was long gone. But, like heritage it may be in the DNA construct. Memories were shared together, separately and with other family members while we were separated. Most, if not all will remain in Time.

Father and Children

After all is said and done, there remains the human spirit in living in this dimension and time. The wherefore’s and for what was remain mysteries best left to philosophers, psychologists, and religious folk needing a certainty. I’m unable/unwilling to ascertain/ascribe absolutes considering how I came to be. In spite of being an unknown until recent reflection, introspection and contemplation of the goings on in my life over the decades, I garner only glimpses of who/how I am. Out of the couplings through previous generations, with their unknown dynamics, their intrinsic inequalities that have bearing in concert with nurture and environmental influences have unfolded reflexively amidst a plethora of catalysts resulting in scenarios unsuspected/unexpected.

There is little hope in knowing any ancestral details from what is a word-of-mouth retelling. I am forced to be content/satisfied with current revelations, only knowing the ‘who’ and ‘from where’ with other specifics of interactions remaining a mystery.

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