My DNA Story. Pretty cool, right? I spit in a tube and made a map of my world. When the data came back, much of it was a surprise. Much less German than I expected. More of every bit of the United Kingdom. More Native American. And who the heck did I get the Norwegian and Swedish from? Is that you, Great Grandma Mary?
And now I wonder what it REALLY means. All I know is my life and my experience. Save the times when I have been an ass (few, I think, hope), I have never been ashamed of who I am. I feel like my life is a fine line drawing that just got a sweet watercolor wash. Vibrancy.
I am connecting dots, perhaps making sense of the mystical. I like to think my Native DNA called me to Southern Colorado, and has been calling me to New Mexico for the whole of my life. The Irish, Welsh, English, and Scottish might also explain my deep affinity for the velvet green and gunmetal skies of Portland. Then again, I don’t know.
What DO I say of it? The Native that is virtually invisible in me, that only my DNA sees. That is like the Native stories I read – the struggle to be seen and invisible at the same time. Invisibility has the perk of not being abused, ridiculed, or assumed to be, drunk, poor, or BOTH. I don’t imagine my life changing much. I will not be flying flags, participating in pow wows or St. Patrick’s Day parades.
I read somewhere that family is like a rope, each person a knot. Upon death, the knot loosens but the section of rope remains connected. Maybe my need is for the rope only. To feel it in my hands: smooth, rough, imperfect, bound. To say “Grandma.” To perhaps, imagine my Great-Great Grandfather Bill, whose occupation on the 1880 census was COWBOY, lasso-ing my family together for my eyes to see, the whole and the parts, and appreciate it for the disparity and beauty. My human story. Yes, as the tears well, I do believe that is so.