Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reflection: Wearing My Brother's Hand-Me-Down Genes

It seems my brother and I are destined to go through life liking the same composers and wearing the same legs... and also maybe, somewhere in the recesses of memory, loving the same book.

I was thinking about my brother -- both the similarities and the differences -- as I wrote the last post. Not much of a reader, my brother loved just two books in his adolescent years. One of them was The Young Unicorns, by Madeline L'engle. My brother and I arrived at an independent conclusion a year or two apart: that book was special - it was the book. I'm not sure whether our mutual devotion came down to shared experience or shared genes. I would say we each carried that book with us through the years, but it's not quite true. (First I lifted my brother's copy; then it fell apart.)

Dance music was big when we were kids, but neither of us like it -- except for one song, the same song, "To the Beat of the Rhythm of the Night". It was independent conclusion we both reached -- possibly during the year we actually lived apart. And then there was the matter of a certain composer, whose name I forget. The conversation began with a discussion of a 'classic' Air Supply song... The statement, " 'Out of Nothing at All' doesn't sound like any other Air Supply song," causes some people to look at me like I descended from some other planet only a few moments earlier. When I made that statement to my brother, he said, "No, it doesn't does it?" and told me the name of the composer.

Then he wanted to know whether I liked a series of other songs... "What about 'It's all Coming Back to Me Now'?" he asked. I told him I loved that song, despite not liking other songs by that singer (whose name I also tend to forget). Same composer, my brother said. He tried to explain what was unique about that particular composer's music, but I already knew.

However much may be different, and there are volumes of differences, there are hints of something shared: In an earlier post (Modeling the Latest in Hypertoic Arm Posture) there is a picture of my brother and me as little kids. Our arm posture contrasted (I was the whacky one) but by gummit if we didn't have the same legs!

And now, I might add, my brother has two little girls with the same hair as that long-ago little girl. The years fly. My older niece started kindergarten this month.