Monday, July 30, 2012


"...some principles, no matter how cliched they sound, really do mean something.  Hard work is its own reward.  Integrity is priceless.  Art does feed the soul."
                                                                            -Marcus Samuelsson (from Yes, Chef: A Memoir)

The above quote set me to thinking about my brother, Michael.  I started reading Yes, Chef on the plane over to Europe, but am only getting around to finishing it now.  It's a fabulous read.  I was struck by the quality of the life this man lives every day.  He's done a lot.  Some of it remarkable, some of it inspired and some, admittedly, stupid.  But everything with passion that is always guided by a strong moral code.

And this is what brought Michael to mind. 

Right now, he's plunged headlong into researching our family tree.  Nothing by halves, Michael has, in a few short weeks, researched our roots back almost 450 years to our patriarch, Georg the Elder (born 1552).  The tree Michael has constructed now spans 15 generations, and contains 346 individuals (I'm thinking he hasn't bothered with inconsequentual things like sleeping lately).  This is how Michael does things -- meticulously and correctly, but always with passion.

I will always feel wistful that Michael and I have so little shared history.   For much of our childhood, we were apart -- he with our grandparents in Austria and I with my mother in the US.  Not surprisingly, we came out of this with vastly different lives. 

That said, it is a source of wonder to me every time we come together, how much we truly are kindred spirits.  We look at each other and see our alter-egos.  That's about the coolest thing I've ever experienced.

I do believe that we would give Georg the Elder reason to smile.


No comments:

Post a Comment