February 15, 2012



My 13 year old is married to someone I‘ve never met. Yes, on Facebook, where she and her 400+ “friends” create their own families. Friends appear as siblings and parents, identifying their core relationships amidst hundreds, and also just for fun. Small wonder, many of these kids are raised by Boomers who often consider their friends to be their family of choice.

My own friend/sister recently described her relationship to a mentor, identifying the impact of their relationship with “I’m definitely on her tree.” Which got me to thinking about my own tree. Who am I related to not by blood, but influence, thought, passion, and interest? Millions are devoted to identifying their ancestry online and to the new season of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?. I am not so curious about my bloodline as my spirit line; though sometimes the two are the same. So I had some fun with my genealogy of choice. Here are my results.

The spirit of these imagined ancestors live in me. Who lives in you? Whose tree are you on?

Great Grandparents:
Virginia Woolf
Bertrand Russell
Peggy Guggenheim
Rabindranath Tagore

Ella Fitzgerald
Marguerite Duras
Katherine Hepburn
George Balanchine
Robertson Davies
Walker Evans

Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Sidney Poitier

Bob Fosse
Jean Luc Godard

Mary Tyler Moore
Ali MacGraw

Cindy Sherman
Wendy Wasserstein
Jhumpa Lahiri

Robert Longo

Sam Shephard
Carole King
Fran Liebowitz
Diane Keaton

Comments (3)

  1. February 15, 2012
    amie said...

    I love it. I have often thought of certain friends as soul sisters, and as certain elders as my spiritual mother or father. Thank you for the inspiration and permission to create my own spirit line.

  2. February 16, 2012
    Mom said...

    I would love to have been Jackie married to Harry Belafonte..he was the most gorgeous and talented I could dream about.

    • February 17, 2012
      aftert11 said...

      In case you are wondering how your blood relatives might react, here is the response from my mother.
      -Susan Fried Perl

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