Note: No, I’m not related to Susan B. Anthony — I just thought this picture conveyed that stern ancestor look that was common in photos of that era…
I’ve been thinking a lot about the ancestral connection to this tight core of muscles currently unwinding. I mentioned a long time ago that I’d seen a connection between my ancestors’ lives and poverty consciousness pervading the current representatives. Thinking about the tight jaw and locked up head muscles I’ve kept re-running an old scene about which I was told.
My father’s mother had died on New Year’s Day 1933 and the next December his father died. Dad was seven at the time of the first and had turned eight by the time of the second event. Some aunts and uncles and his oldest brother and wife (she’s the one who told me the story – and how guilty she felt) sat around in my father’s presence and fought over who had to take him. In the past I just thought of that as unbelievably cruel and nasty and felt uncomfortable that I was related to such people.
Later, when I’d done enough research to figure out that our branch of the family, after initially succeeding in the New World, hit hard times somewhere mid-nineteenth century, I connected their attitude to poverty consciousness and the Depression. Now, when I feel into those tightly held muscles I feel the tension and anxiety of people living always on a financial edge. As far as I’ve discovered everybody on both sides of my family arrived here from Ireland and England in the 18th century as very poor people. Some branches of my family did exceedingly well and some succeeded for a while and then went back to being poor but I see that tension and fear of poverty in both.
Kreig (Bodypatterning creator) and I have been talking about the hold that ancestral patterns can have on your body. [Kreig, who's more interested in science than I am, tells me there's good stuff in Rupert Sheldrake and David Bohm on this – I have to see if there's an “Idiot's Guide”...] so I’ve become very interested in the connection. When I see that story unfolding with my dad standing there, bereft and frightened, and all these uptight stingy relatives being too concerned about their own lives to be kind to a little boy who’d just been orphaned, I almost feel the tight holding in their muscles. It was the Depression and they were not doing well and I’m imagining them as terrified that they might lose the little they had. I can see it in my dad’s jaw and I remember it in his sister’s and her daughter’s, etc., so I’m guessing that I’d have seen it in their aunts and uncles too.
I’ve been finding this component harder to work with than the emotional component involving buried memories and feelings from my own life. I’m really glad that my interest in family history has given me some pieces of information that tell me something about my ancestors’ lives but obviously I can only guess about the physical patterns that have been passed down through the generations. I’m interested in any stories you have to tell about how your ancestors’ physical ways of being have impacted your life.
This is for AlphabeThursday for which the letter is “S”.
- Healing Journey Monday: Emotions and your muscles (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)