This meme popped up in my newsfeed this afternoon from a page I follow for Netflix’s The Last Kingdom, which is just wrapping up filming on Season 4, based on The Last Kingdom series of books by Bernard Cornwell. It got me to thinking about myths and legends.
Every mythology has The Three Spinners, The Fates, spinning our fate out until one of the snips the cord. As Uhtred, the protagonist in the books says, “Wyrd bið ful aræd”. (Fate is wholly inexorable). More on it’s translation and meaning here: https://anglosaxonpoetry.camden.rutgers.edu/2017/06/08/wyrd-bid-ful-araed-the-wanderer-line-5b/
I’ve always loved World Mythology, so much so, that I took two semesters of Mythology in high school. Sadly, we mostly studied Classical Mythology, you know, Greek and Roman gods. Not so much the earthier, often darker mythologies of the Norse, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish. You know, the more interesting ones, the ones that whisper to us.
Waxing poetic on the second part of this meme, “the ‘spirits of my ancestors walk about in my bones”. Well, that’s just a fancy way of “the essence of who they are is in the mitochondria, both male and female, that they have passed down to me, making me, uniquely “Me”. Change one gene…and life changes and diverges, same as it ever was.
Now, the science is beginning to say that the life experiences your grandparents had, good and bad, influences and minutely alters their DNA. Those changes become part of our parent’s DNA, which we inherit, then pass on to our children, along with any changes to our DNA, and so forth, on down generationally. Micro evolution writ large.
Think personality and physical traits, like when the great granddaughter looks identical to the great grandmother at the same age, balding, height, hair and eye color, etc.
It’s like a great scroll, unfurling, back, back, back into the mists of antiquity. The Story of Me, the Story of You, the Story of All of Us. It’s quite a story, and it’s still being written, forever.
And THAT, Kids, is how my brain spent the better part of an hour this afternoon. Turning a meme into a “mini TED Talk” on Existentialism and Life Science, with a light dusting of Philosophy .