The amazing, painful, and wonderful thing . . . is that the fleeting individual lives of all living things, including human beings and their stories, have such absolutely significance in the scheme of things.” – from House by Roberta Bondi
I spend my days walking this farm where I am now living, again, with my dad. I wander through leaf-strewn forests. I kick back decades of debris to find brick. I touch the hearths of cabins from the 19th century.
I spend my days digging back through centuries of family – mine, theirs – linking my people back to an Angolan man named Emmanuel, trying to link their people back to the gravestones I can touch but they don’t even know exist.
I am an archaeologist with no training, a genealogist with only digital tools. I am writing a book.
The whole shape of this thing seems unwieldy to me, like one of those cloud monsters from the old Star Trek. I can’t quite get hold of it, but that’s exciting. If this was too easy, it would be worth doing.
I have no idea where this project is going; I have no idea of structure or shape or chapters. I have no idea where I will be when it’s done. But I feel with all of myself that this is the right journey for me. I’ll keep you posted on the trip.