This last week has made me think about kinship...
(it's been an odd week for that, in fact)
...especially the kinds of reliance and expectations of support one can have, or expect, or pay lip service to, or even deny even while one relies upon them.
Someone recently tried to tell me that they didn't rely on anyone, and that no one else should.
They managed to pronounce this in all seriousness when the 'enough' I know about their life is in fact just enough to know they have a really solid home-made family around them, upon which they intimately rely for all the good and bad times.
Now I have learned a few things in my time (mostly excessively geeky, and really only interesting to a few people), but one thing I have learned is that the days when I would wake up a full hour earlier than I had to for school in the morning because I hated relying on people so much are done and dusted. I've learned that sometimes it really is okay to need people. But also that sometimes the most surprising people are the ones there for you in those moments.
And that's not just okay, it's a constant source of strength and happy astonishment.
Someone else told me today that they think that sometimes the things people say, whether there is genuine malice or intent to hurt (or homophobia, sexism or racism) behind the speech, ought to be spoken out against, because it does damage, because it's not my responsibility to sugar-coat it, and everyone ought to be able to hear that sometimes, despite all intent to the contrary, they really have just got it wrong this time.
And it made me think about my family, and how at times I feel like the necessity of this has handed me my relationship to them, regardless of how I've felt about the issue.
Also, the way that a couple of people close to me have had children, and despite all evidence which might have suggested the contrary, it has balanced them out and made them infinitely saner. Or the opposite - the slight manic tinge of insanity associated with some forms of parenthood, or the total ineptness which spells to the world 'i don't get kids' (even if it's their own).
Also the kinds of home-made family you get in communities - for me, in women-autonomous spaces. Like the Sugar Spokes, an all-ladies riding crew who have the least amount of stranger danger, cliqueyness and pretensions I've stumbled across in a long time - thanks for putting up with me, ladies! Or the VRDL, ladies close to my heart for years who I've recently re-fallen-in-love-with, and am boot-camped and dying for contact drills... (great bout this evening, rollergirls!)
Well, it spells out many things. And makes me ponder.
I seem to have arrived at this.