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.