Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Family resemblances

Last week I went to a festival where I didn't perform. Not even a storytelling festival: the William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence, KS, home of the late playwright William Inge.

My sister Mary and our friend Joyce Slater went down for a specific reason: we wanted to meet the featured playwright, Tina Howe and see her current work-in-process, "Luncheon on the grass." The reading was great--I can't wait to see the play when it's done! Tina is our second cousin (our grandfathers were brothers), but we'd never met. Our extended family is huge, so that's not uncommon. It was big fun to meet Tina, even briefly.

Every time I meet a long-lost relative, I'm amazed at the power of our genes and our family culture. We look related! On this side of the family, many of us have this big rectangular smile and deepset eyes. On the other side, we look Dutch. The resemblances transcend the physical. We often seem to have a similar outlook on life, similar sense of humor, similar ways of speaking. In our family, on both sides, literature and arts are valued. Many of us dwell in the impractical world of ideas. We're able to make our livings, and our lives, from those ideas. Daydreaming is in our job descriptions.


Anonymous said...

I can't leave this uncommented-upon. The family resemblance thing goes farther than the Howes', so I see in our children pieces of both sides of the family.

Your cousin Ronny, now living in Charlottesville, Va., met a first cousin who lives in Virginia, and she couldn't get over the resemblance. Of course, there was also admiration on both sides! CEH

PriscillaHowe said...

I agree completely with Ronny about that resemblance--when Disa walked up to my house two years ago, I had an immediate response of "she looks like us!"