Thursday, September 13, 2018

DNA, Ethnicity, Race Memory

(Remember, DNA ethnicity often does not follow the known political nationality of your ancestors.)

Hey everyone! I'm ancestrally, deeply from the North Sea! Lover of forests, fjords, fish and fog along with cottages, fields, small farms and cozy pubs. :) I've never been far from oceans - in history or my current life.
I got on board early with DNA testing - human origins and ethnicities and migrations are a special interest of mine that tie in with genealogy and history, both mine and that of all people. In the 10 years since i got my first results, many more people have sent in their samples. This means a larger pool of data leading to more accurate information. In going from 4000 samples to 16000 available, my results have changed, along with everyone else's. Refinement! Gone are the 3-5% splinter regions that gave me such interesting flights of fancy. No more Eastern Europe or Caucasus or Finland or Iberian Peninsula. Still nothing Native American - still quelling that maternal family rumor with science. :)
"Scandinavian 14%" has been replaced with Norway 15% and Sweden 5%. No mention of Denmark at all, which is where one set of GG grandparents came from in 1888. But how long had they been there? Could be like the scenario where i was born in LA in a rental house, but my deep family is is SW Iowa. And Denmark is a small country, the crossroads of Scandinavia and Germanic turf.
"Western Europe 41%" has now turned into "Germanic Europe 14%" - encompassing "my" parts of Germany, Netherlands, France and Belgium. "Ireland and Scotland 28%" has decreased to 14%. Aye laddie, we're Ulster Scots, known in the USA as "Scots-Irish" - the Protestants, not the Catholic Irish.
The big new refinement - English Channel country - NW Europe and SE England is now 54% of my ethnic origin, which makes total sense with my ongoing research. Netherlands, NW France, and Essex. In Essex i have verified ancestry to 1280, though the Stone family of Great Bromley, near Colchester.
The more i work on this stuff the more eerie things get - like rubbing for off a window to see a clearer picture. I do believe in race memory - that our ancestors can "vibrate" somehow and connect to us through time and space. To stand where your ancestors stood is a powerful feeling for many people.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Why am i here?

Hello. I'm back.

Meow meow meow, blah blah blah.

I first started blogging at this MeowBlah3 spot back in the '00 years.  Dial-up, 19K, write all morning then upload. No Facebook. Complete sentences. Time to read and react. No "Like" button. Serious comments.

 ..... actually i first started keeping a journal in 1978 as part of my senior advanced placement English class. Mrs. Betty Cornaby is directly responsible for my current refusal to acknowledge "writer's block".

No such thing she'd say. "Class, get out your notebooks and pens and when i say GO, start writing. Write anything. Write "I don't know what to write" and keep your pens moving until I say stop......ready.....GO!"

 ....and 27 black Bic pens would commence to scribbling nonsense.... but after a minute or two actual thoughts would come, you could hear the pen scratchings take on a tone of intent throughout the whole room. Under my own pen a story would start to materialize, usually involving a gig I had recently played or something else related to jazz or bass guitar.  Giggling to myself describing the sleazy manager of the local Eagles lodge......
"STOP"
 Damn! I was just getting going. Not to worry..... like the translucent leader on a new reel of tape, you could just cut out that first part and make the rest into a real song.  I'd finish the writing on the 1 hour bus ride home. I just HAD to see how it came out.
I kept writing longhand cursive doodle-filled journals until I was about 27. Then  I started writing songs instead.

Don't search for those MeowBlah III archives, they're not here. Unlike my journals from the 70s and 80s, they DO still exist, albeit in a secret hard-drive deep under  a mountain, guarded by dragons....

My two cardboard bushel-boxes of spiral-bound journals met their end in the LeisureLand wood stove about 10 years ago in a fit of drunken purgatory. I do now regret burning them, because in the midst of all the nauseous whining there were a few insightful character studies and essays from my tours of BC and Alberta that were quite good. My nights were filled with gigs, my days with walking and writing.

 My previous MeowBlah III blog writings still exist on my outboard hard drive, waiting to have their metaphorical leader tapes chopped and some sort of editing and arrangement applied. No digital wood stove, fortunately. The DELETE button is a terrible thing to underestimate.

In my week here at the artist retreat I've not been able to conjure any new musical notes that excite me, despite all my ranting about tectonic bass and Steinbeckian tonalities to be coaxed out of the mysterious playa dust.

Words, however are squishing through the margins. Having not been seriously published, I couldn't have hoped to get a residency on wordsmithing. Using my music cred to get here to get time to do some writing is just how a creative mind works, eh?