My neighbor Joe and I slowed down a little yesterday and met in the street that separates our houses. Our meetings are never deliberate, but when they happen, they are pleasant enough.
Joe said he was just back from a couple of vacation months in Canada. He was packing the car to return for a couple of more months after which he and his wife were headed to Sicily and a trip that would help Joe fill in some of the blanks in his lineage.
Mostly our conversation centered on lineage and Joe's gathering of information. Joe obviously took it seriously. I had a hard time being quite so enthusiastic. As I said to Joe, I had done similar research in the past and invariably ran into a brick wall: To know where or when someone lived and to know what they did for a living and the offspring they sired ... well, it's interesting up to a point, but then I always get stuck wondering what a person's favorite color might have been; what cheese excited his/her palate; whether they ever tried bigamy or robbed a bank; what made them angry or sad; what a best friend did for a living; what vanity was most appealing ... you know, the human stuff.
I can sympathize with a clinging to lineage, but in the end, I am not interested. If you knew where you came from, what, precisely, would you know?
This is not so suggest that lineage be ignored. It is merely to suggest it does not hold much water when adored.
Yes indeed -- mother, father, sister, brother and on an on into the unfathomable past ... and the toilet bowl still leaks whether the king or scoundrel provides a backdrop. Intellectually, this is fun, perhaps. But I am interested in the personal seriousness anyone might be willing to apply.