Genealogy and ballistics

My wife has developed a keen interest in family history. She has been telling me things about my family, parts of which she has so far traced back to the early 17th century, that I had not known previously.
For example, the reason that I am here today is not because my ancestors were big heroes during the Revolutionary War, but because they were good at running away.
There was a father and two sons. The father was arrested by British military, escaped and built a new house somewhere else because after he ran away they burned down his old house.
The older of the two sons, he was in his twenties, also ran away when he and his 17 year old brother were arrested. He later built a house on the site of the one that had been burned down.
His younger brother does not seem to have escaped, and his branch of the family tree appears to end there.
So basically, I am here because of running.
My uncle, a direct descendant of those guys, was athletic all his life. When we played softball in the field between our houses, he was pretty good. As was his sister. My sister too.
My uncle had a good throwing arm.
For example: Once he was up on a ladder picking pears in the field, and I was down on the ground pestering him. I was a little kid. I don’t remember what I was doing, probably throwing pears up at him, because when he got tired of it he gave me a head start and I dashed across the field to my house.
It was about ten miles, IIRC. Incredibly far, at any rate, for a little kid. Maybe fifty meters. Maybe less. I ran and ran and ran. I started to laugh when I reached the edge of the field, figuring I was safe so far from my uncle up on his ladder.
But in the instant before I ducked under the electric fence to run through the trees into my house, a big rotten pear hit me in the small of the back. It was a perfect shot. It got me right where my pants met my t-shirt. The pear had the right consistency – rotten yet firm enough to survive such a long throw at a velocity so great that half went down my buttcrack, and the other half went up my back all the way to my shoulder blades.
I ran crying to my mother, out of shock more than pain.
My uncle showed up seconds later, explaining and laughing at the same time.
My mother laughed too.
Everybody laughed but me.

On abundance

Pronoiac Rob Brezsny linked an article on F*c*book today and for some reason I clicked on the link and read it.

The title was, “Scarcity is a Myth“. That must be why I clicked on the link, because the idea of scarcity vs. abundance interests me. It was written by Tara Stiles, of whom I had not heard before, and who seems to have a business involving yoga.

Immediately, I prepared myself to scoff at the article, because it was a listicle by a beautiful young person. I am tired of listicles, and I am tired of young people imparting wisdom to me.

But I read the article. It consisted of Five Rules to Enjoy Abundance.

All I could find to disagree with was her claim that scarcity is a myth. In fact, scarcity is not a myth. Scarcity is a fundamental fact of life. This is not all bad. Life is scarce, thanks to death, but were it not scarce, it would have no value.

That is the function of scarcity, imparting value, maybe.

But it is a fact that there is a lot of artificial scarcity going around, manufactured by various people for a variety of reasons – political, economic, habitual, psychological.

We do have way more scarcity than is really necessary, this I believe.

But the Five Rules to Enjoy Abundance? I read them with my late uncle Phil in mind. I have mentioned him here before. Uncle Phil made the world an abundant place, and taught those of us who loved him how to do it ourselves.

It turns out the Five Rules were also his rules.

These are the rules: humility, thoughtful action, support, landscape, and joy. Tara explains them a little in her article, go read it if this interests you. They are good rules. I learned them from my uncle, and I try to live by them. Beauty and youth do not preclude wisdom after all. I apologize for ever thinking they could.