Oh, Sibling Day. This was the first year that, through the power of Facebook, I discovered it existed, and it still passed before I knew when it was. It was yesterday. Do card companies make cards for this holiday? Answer unknown. According to the ever-helpful Wikipedia it is about 15 years old, and though not a federal holiday like Mother’s Day, has been embraced by 39 states. Go marketing!
Though I’m not a great observer of nouveau holidays (I barely manage the traditional ones), I do really appreciate my siblings. My full siblings (I also have two half siblings) are my connection to my parents, my childhood and my memories of where I’m from. And because I won’t ever have biological children of my own, my sister’s children are the closest thing to my genetic legacy.
I feel particularly lucky that, at this juncture, we all live in the same city, even though that city is Los Angeles where it’s easy to let two to six months go by without someone in person. My sister tries to combat this with a standing dinner invite to her family’s house twice a month. Even with typical conflicts we usually manage to gather other once a month, hang out, see how much taller her kids have gotten.
About a month ago I also had a really special experience hanging out with my brother (and believe me, I would not use “special” in this way if it weren’t the most accurate term I could think of). I hit him up to help me record some stuff I’d written. I was going to read it myself, but after I tried it, it seemed better if the voice was male, so he did the reading as well as composing background music and producing the audio.
I seldom get to work my brother in the studio, but I love to, because it is the best time to see him deeply focused and, I think, happy. I believe that being a musician and storyteller is his truest nature. (When he was only two or three, he used to sing himself to sleep at night with long narrative songs about characters from TV shows he watched. I can remember listening, and even at the age of seven or eight noticing how music just poured from him.)
Though our training is really different, and our personalities are different, my brother–my sibling–is the closest thing I could have to a male mirror of myself. We have a similar sense of humor, which became clear as we edited the piece. We also have a similar cadence and rhythm to our speech, so hearing him read my work felt oddly familiar.
I had brought in two poems and one piece of prose. At the end of our session, I felt like only one of the pieces worked–but I was really happy with that one piece. I would post it here, but we submitted it for a contest, so I’ll wait until they announce the winners first (even though I’m pretty sure it would be safe to do so. I’m fond of it, but it’s a pretty beginner-level poem, so I don’t think we are in big danger of winning). The whole experience made me think of how I’d like to collaborate with him more in the future.
In honor of that fact, his website is the first to be added to my “links I like.” Soon to be followed by many more, but for tonight, because it’s late–just my sibling’s. Happy Siblings Day!