Family has become something very different.
Not just from previous years or decades or generationally segregated nostalgia,
but in the way family influences our genes, the daily development of our minds,
the very temperament of our lives. All creatures, us included, are products
of the physical and social relationships of our species, and more specifically,
our immediate families. Products, and yet with every glitch and malfunction
the manufacturer is seldom contacted.
With therapists, friends, coworkers, neighbors sometimes,
we talk openly over bar stools, leaned on counters in office lounges,
even hosting weekly barbecues with entire streets and blocks of familiar strangers,
whose faces are known well, but whose hearts must remain dark.
Even with our closest oldest friends there is a line drawn, in life,
through memory, where we can no longer walk together,
and one must be led by the other.
Family, however, hosts no line, no fence, no division,
like in a forest, the sapling roots have been tangled
with mother and father’s foundation,
competing on equal terms with brother and sister,
in good seasons and dry. In family,
we all lead and follow sometimes,
even the old behind the children.