|Ordinary Angels (M.A. Reilly, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, 2008)|
A word uttered still fails to encompass the whole of meaning. I think of this as I read the word adopted in the opening to Darcy Moore's post, DNA and My Ancestral Tree. He writes:
I was adopted as a baby. My adoptive parents made no secret of that fact but never had any information they could share about my ancestry. I often wondered what my ancestors had experienced and where they originated. It made me sad that I would likely never know. It was not something I talked about and if the topic came up I was very philosophical about it all.
Darcy chronicles what he learned about his deep ancestry by participating in the Genographic Project. I was fascinated as I read. Imagining the whole time that I too might participate in the project. Spend $150 and this slight fee might enable me to name a past I cannot name today.
Meaning is never stationary, never stable.
Language allows us to know partially.
Sometimes it is too hard
Decades ago I traveled with Rob to Ireland and while there we spent one morning at the Joyce House--a place in the Republic where birth records are kept. I went there armed, knowing my name at birth: Olivia Muldoon, and the year, date, and place of my birth (Stamullen, Ireland).
I knew as much as I could, and yet I found no record.
When I was leaving, a man working there stopped me and said that about 50% of the records were never collected as registering a birth was voluntary at that time in Ireland. He said this with such kindness.
Later that day, after we left Dublin and travelled to Grange I wrote the following poem.
Each requires its own sense of time.