Archive | January 2014

Animal Totem on the Grocery Shelf

[Elle’s story]

Thinking that my journey into family history would be safer with a guiding spirit, my best friend Kera dragged me along to a shamanic lecture complete with guided meditation experience.

Our spiritual journey was to take us to a place of our heart’s desire, first soaring above the earth…but my fear of heights had me grabbing the top of the first pine tree I saw. Thus tethered, I didn’t journey far from my backyard. I’m a parochial kind of girl so that worked fine for me.

Once we settled into our new location we were to allow an animal to approach us, then enter the animal and live life, see the world through the animal’s experience. My experience was more orthogonal. I wished I had seen an owl. Owls mystify me.

The lecturer brought us back to our chairs.  I squirmed as Kera turned to me, her hazel eyes full of bliss.  She’d seen the owl.  Dammit, I wanted the owl; she has all the luck.

“What did you see, Elle?”  Her voice was breathy with excitement.

I grimaced.  “I really tried, Kera.  Really.”

Her lip started trembling and it was confession time.  “A cracker.”  I mumbled.

Zap!  Her bliss, previously melting was now replaced by horror.  “Was it at least an animal cracker?”  Tears started forming in her eyes.

“Nope, just a plain old square cracker.  Hey, at least it will be easy to find my totem guide.”  I plan to pick up Triscuits next time I shop; set them by my research notes for strength…or snacking.  I’ll have to be happy with a totem that curbs my hunger.

This entry was posted on January 10, 2014.

Do I Really Want to Know?

[Elle’s story]

Researching family history starts out fun and easy. Given names and approximate ages one can find a lot of information online, and so leaves on the family tree appear. It’s spring time and excitement is in the air.

Until the first storm clouds appear on the horizon. What is this child’s name on the 1920 census? That name has never been heard in conversation at the occasional family reunion.

What will questions about this new person bring forth? Who might be harmed by the knowledge? What dreadful things from the past might be hauled out of the attic of someone’s heart or mind? How would I feel about bringing up the questions? How will I feel about the answers?

This entry was posted on January 3, 2014.