Embracing your ancestry

There is complexity in the faces of your ancestors

and the jobs they held:

manager, milliner, miner.

The pastimes they enjoyed:

dancing, writing, walking.

The courage in their roles as

activist, parent, glass-ceiling-smasher.

A choice to be made:

dwell here in the warmth

or press further on

to the addictions they fought?

gambling, drinking, fighting.

to the status they upheld?

sexism, racism, discrimination.

to the violence they perpetuated?

invading.

enslaving.

oppressing.

conquering;

upholding the values of a nation

without question, choice, or seeming feeling.

Unearthing all this, will you

return to the warmth

or press further on

to the secrets kept of lives and loves?

to the many paths not taken?

to the shadows in photographs, memories and dreams?

to the records of deeds unseen?

For it is a privilege to have records at all

from where, and when, and who you came.

Will you go gently into the night,

settling beside the glowing fire of your ancestors,

ready to receive their stories,

their flames of truth,

the crackle of their souls

at once known and yet unknown,

the echoes of your past, present and future selves;

Ready to become aware of the within and without.

Ready to embrace the complexity of how you came to be.

Thank you to Gemma Brady and Amelia Donkor for Sister Stories and setting me off on the ancestry path.

Thank you to the stories of my circle members and the links below for the inspiration.

Unspelling white supremacy through ancestral storytelling

Ancestry beyond DNA

Ancestral connection to finding belonging in the age of loneliness

Guide to ancestors

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