Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We are such stuff...

Some of us excel at abstract thought, formulating theories and insights, seeing connections. Others have an affinity for gathering and retaining information. Too few stand firmly in both fields, windbreaks against ignorance and misinformation. My brother is one of those.

He has borne the over-watering of my admiration with good humor. December 8 is his birthday, noted last year as well, and he appeared on August 20 as one of the smart men in the post ANYTHING-CAN-HAPPEN-THURSDAY.

2010 has not been an easy year for him. An anticipated sabbatical became the venue for battles unscheduled and further health challenges followed. Throughout, he allowed the experiences to be his guides, those teachers that appear when the student is ready, which is to say what we survive makes us either stronger or stranger.

His capacity for interpreting facts and locating their proper context leaves me wide-eyed and gaping, pondering the unpredictable routes down which our DNA leads us. Hidden in the immigrant roots of our family tree is at least one other mind as balanced and far-ranging. I don't think it was Uncle Grover.

What a soup we are, setting forth with the handful of coins tossed in our direction, Jacks in the Beanstalk looking to make our best bargain with what we've been given. We can only work with what is, the hope being that we squeeze every possible mile out of this one fill-up.

Happy Birthday, Mike. You continue to take the old Ford wagon onto byways we never imagined. I will not be surprised when your goggled self appears from the future to report you have mastered time and space.

16 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn

Your brother Mike sounds a lot like my son Tomas whose birthday is 6 December (He just turned twenty-one but is a wise old soul ; )). . . Sagittarians are our philosophers and teachers, abstract thinkers, travelers in as many ways as it is to be a traveler. They seems to understand the intricacies - and some of the mysteries - of our universe. . ."

Birthday blessings on your brother, and on you, his sister.

I came across two other Carl Sagan quotes this morning - "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe..." and "Every one of us is precious in the cosmic perspective. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another..."

Love
Claire xo

Kass said...

What a wonderful human being you have described here.

Happiness to you both in celebration of the day!

Laoch of Chicago said...

Good wishes to your brother.

grrl + dog said...

.... as dreams are made of?

is that the quote?

Artist and Geek said...

Marylinn-I recently gave a friend a birthday card that said: You're one of a kind....One in 6 billion.

Happy birthday to your brother.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - A belated happy birthday to Tomas who does sound like a kindred soul Saggitarian. I am awed by the degree of caring, let alone understanding, of the mysteries and the simple facts of all that exists.

I have let Mike know to look here for good wishes. Thank you.

We do well to seek Carl Sagan quotes, for perspective, for truth and for the reminder of our own value. Will be in touch. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you for your wishes. I believe I have spoken of him truthfully, accurately.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - How kind, thank you. Your generous thoughts are appreciated.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - Yes, that is the quote...from Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST. There is a bit more to it but I couldn't remember that part. And it seemed to connect with the previous star post, all of a piece.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Artist and Geek - Thank you so much for your good wishes. I believe it matters to be seen and known for whatever makes us gloriously unique, even if we have a hard time recognizing it in ourselves.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Someone once said that celebrating birthdays is wonderful... until you turn 11. I disagree; celebrating that you have survived yet another year on the planet is significant. A birthday allows you to stop and take stock of that; appreciate and celebrate life.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - I agree. It is no small thing to have completed/survived another year. Sometimes I stop and think of my number and feel momentarily shocked. We look up and find we are very different than we once were...and yet, not entirely.

Here is to the appreciation and celebration of life. Very much.

Donna B said...

Marylinn...happy Birthday to your brother Mike. He sounds as interesting as you are.

I agree with Robert the Skeptic...brithdays are a GREAT opportunity to celebrate!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Donna - Thank you very much. Milestones need to be acknowledged, especially with celebration.

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn - I happened upon this article a day or two ago and pass it on. . . you and your brother Mike might find it interesting (Carl Sagan and his 'we are made of star stuff' are referenced at the close of the article)

L, C xo

http://www.naturalnews.com/030698_astrology_scientific_basis.html

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - Thank you for this, which I will pass along to Mike. Since we are both winter - or near enough - babies (December and February) it would be interesting to think about the implications. More true in my case, the slower actions, though he is a great fan of summer and sunny days, not so much cold and cloudy. We will explore. xo