Monday, February 11, 2008

Through the Winter in a Family Fable

disclaimer Thank you for stopping by, and please consider this particular post a work in progress. I have something clearer to say, but this is a first draft during which I was interrupted. I suspect that the concept will expand when I return to this at some point. disclaimer

Someone at my new job helped me unravel more of the mystery of my family dynamics. In lively conversation, I am learning probable reasons for our quirky behavior that were only explained previously by what I call our family fable.

Before I explain further, many of these thoughts congealed on a foggy winter morning. The fog rose surprisingly over my family property and I wandered around the house near sunrise taking photos. My sister immediately requested an 8 x 10 printout of this one:

Foggy Sunrise in New Ipswich 2

The temperatures fell from a balmy, snow packing temperature to frigid below zero wind chills. And while the weather violently changed, thoughts assembled gently and I snapped puzzle pieces together as I correlate my newfound knowledge into the fabric of my family fable.

As you might guess, I am part of a story telling family. I remember fondly watching my grandmother's work-worn hands move while she retold stories of our family lore. As a child in Worcester, she made dolls from corn cobs. She giggled with friends while nestled safely in the coat closet at church. And from the cozy coat closet, her heart surged with foretold delight when she first saw my grandfather enter the church.

And just yesterday, our family fable continued itself in subtle ways as my niece sat in rapt attention listening to my story of when I changed her diaper while I talked on the phone with my aunt. For me I simply had to multi-task, but for my aunt the event was noteworthy and is repeated again as it works its way into our family fable.

The purpose of the family fable is to celebrate, and educate, and rationalize, and tie us closely together in a sense of family. Why does our crazy Uncle act that way? The family fable offers a common explanation built on a haphazard retelling history. The family fable explains most everything.

And now when I go to work and talk daily with my dear friend, I learn more about family dynamics and I learn plausible scientific reasons for what was only explained by fable before.

I second-guess myself and wonder why the term 'fable' seems so right in this post. Remember our history lessons where cutting-edge science believed that the world was flat? Or in my family, we have rationales for why old crazy Uncle acts this way or that?

Fable fits because as time slides ever onwards, our understanding and perspective changes and our comfortable knowledge today may become amusing fodder in years to come.

However, the universal truth of love continues eternal so we may as well weave our own threads tightly into our respective family fables.