Thanks, Jack.
Mike Essig

my personal “identity” is my own personal fiction, or, if you prefer, work of art.

I love that statement. Sorry if I misread your fine poem, Mike. In my recent genealogical research, I have been quite happy to have traced things all the way back to the 16th Century and discovered not a single Lord or King anywhere. Mostly farmers — and more than a few preachers, which shouldn’t surprise anybody who reads my stuff on Medium.

I can’t see that they have much to do with the current version of Mike Essig.

And that may be true, but it raises the question of whether the truth is that ancestry has nothing to do with the current Mike Essig, or whether it does, and the current Mike Essig just can’t see it. I don’t pretend to know the answer. It’s a big question I’m working to answer for myself. If you had asked me a month ago, I’d have agreed with you 100%. But today I’d say that my “work of art” has been colored for 50+ years by the 16 Crayons in the box I was given growing up in small town America (German German German… American American American…), and I’ve just been handed the 120 pack. So, will my next “work of art” be “truer” than the old one, or just a more colorful “personal fiction?” I don’t know. But the fun is in finding out…

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