k is for kin

A little more than kin and less than kind...From Hamlet, of course.

I used to make a pun about kin. My Icelandic heritage, you know, compels me to prize family  and leads me to genealogical  relationships.  Cousins are duly recognized and their affiliations carefully documented.  Icelanders, Western Icelanders included (the latter term given by Iceland to all who have Icelandic roots, however far back), count cousins and figure out where they perch on the family tree.  I have a cousin in Iceland, for example. We call each other cousins having once figured out that Hebba's grandmother was my grandfather's first cousin. Maybe.  Anyway, Hebba and I are cousins, so there.  Here in Canada, my first cousin married a woman who is the daughter of her mother's sister (or brother?) who had a daughter who is her first cousin - and so, mine too. I call her cousin Gail and I feel a real kinship with her, so much so that I say (here's the pun) that we are kith'n'kin (kissing cousins).. 

In one of his books (I'll check which one) Kurt Vonnegut presents a character who wins an election on the slogan  "Lonesome No More".  It beats "Make America Great Again" because it doesn't eliminate anyone. As I remember it, when the candidate wins, he sets up a giant, computer-operated system linking people by flower names (fauna, too I guess, because a huge number of people was involved). Thus, all the Daffodils are related, no matter where they are or were born.  When people thus categorised, came together, they found they had a lot in common with whomever their floral relatives were.  ("We jonquils are much alike.")  

We all are.  I like to believe that. No matter what our early influences are or the circumstances (good or ill) of our provenance, we are, I hope, still human.  Somewhere, deep in there, we are all kin. 

As Auden said,   "We must love one another or die."


[Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! is a science fiction novel by American author Kurt Vonnegut. Written in 1976, it depicts Vonnegut's views of loneliness, both on an individual and social scale.]