4 March 2017
In many cultures, the teaching of heritage and cultural practices is carried out by members of the extended family, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. In certain cultures, this relationship and teaching is formally recognized, and in cultures with matrilineal descent is referred to as the avunculate, sometimes called avunculism or avuncularism, a social institution where a special relationship exists between an uncle and his sisters’ children. Several Native American tribes practice a form of this, where the uncle is responsible for teaching the children social values and proper behavior while inheritance and ancestry is reckoned through the mother’s family alone. Modern day influences have somewhat but not completely erased this tradition.
Thinking on this especially today, as I watch my sons interact with their sister’s baby son, my GrandPerson Max <3. Thinking on it too, as it’s the weekend of my lovely daughter’s birthday, and my own brother, Bill, now gone on to the next life, was present and there for her literally from the moment she first drew breath. He remained a constant source of Love and education for all of my kids until he left us. My daughter Lia couldn’t say ‘Uncle Bill’ when she was small; it came out ‘Opie Gill.’ So now her brothers are not just ‘Uncles’ to her son, but ‘Opies.” Important job they have ❤ And I have no doubt they’ll honor it well.
Make art about extended family, about aunts, or uncles, about those elders from whom we learn our culture.
5 March 2017
Spent the day with my sons, two wise and funny young men. The two things that impress me about both of them are: 1) their shared sense of honor, and 2) their shared insatiable curiosity. They are both always–always–learning something new, or seeking to learn something new, or thinking about how they can learn something new.
Make art about learning, about loving to learn, about the magic and mystery of curiosity.