THE ALLURE OF THE UNKNOWN – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Unknown


I got a note from a reader about an article I wrote more than five years ago about blood types. I’m a B+ from an O+ mother and an AB+ father, which cannot, in theory, produce me. But it did and there’s no doubt who my parents were.

It turns out that unexpected blood types just sometimes “pop up.” Why?


Unknown.

There is more we don’t know about blood types and where they come from than we do know. The article is titled: DESCENDING FROM THE GOLDEN HORDE – B+ AND ME  and it is the most popular article I ever wrote. Especially since I wrote it more than five years ago and it’s still widely read today.

I got a letter yesterday from what turns out to be a first cousin. Or is it second cousin? I’ve never worked out the first, second, third and how many times removed thing in familial relationships. Regardless, she’s a pretty close match and is the great-granddaughter of my grandfather’s sister. This came with pictures and everything and damned if we don’t all pretty much look alike. Not exactly the same, but similar enough to form a congenial family portrait.

I didn’t even know this branch of the family existed. If my mother knew, she never mentioned it. I never knew my grandparents. They died when I was too young to know anything except how to walk. When you don’t know your grandparents, you lose a lot of history.


Unknown.

The older I get, the more I realize how little I know. The more I learn, the more yawning the unknown gets, too.

Maybe that is why so many people enjoy ignorance. If you don’t know anything, you don’t need to recognize how much more you need to learn to lose your ignorance. No matter how much you know, you always need to know more.

Ignorance is so easy. You just assume what you know (or think you know) is everything there is to know. Then carefully avoid learning more. If anyone intrudes on your ignorance, you can run screaming with your ears covered lest your lack of knowledge be devastated by the intrusion of previously unknown information.

Meanwhile, I have a whole unknown branch of my family branch to explore. Call me crazy, but I find the unknown the most alluring part of my universe.

Send down the Mother Ship! I’ve got my bags packed.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

4 thoughts on “THE ALLURE OF THE UNKNOWN – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. There is the unknown and then there is the unknowable. Research and time might eventually help us convert the unknown to the known. But we can never know the unknowable, which is why we make up answers, (i.e., deities) as answers to the unknowable.

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    1. I don’t much worry about the unknowable. Not anymore. When I was a LOT younger, I was fascinated by faith and god and gods. Now, I know what I don’t know and can’t know. Eventually, I’ll die. Either I’ll discover there IS something ‘out there,’ or there isn’t anything. Which is to say I will move on from knowing nothing to not existing. In the meantime, I try to reason my way through life using information, facts, evidence, and science. It’s as good as I can do and personally, I think it works pretty well.

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      1. “I try to reason my way through life using information, facts, evidence, and science.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a president and many Republicans in Congress who felt that way?

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  2. …. and off she goes reading your former article (no, not today, not time for it – but I will).
    The thing about ignorance is that one can perfectly well live a whole HAPPY life in that blessed ignorant status. My Ex-husband, a per-se good person is one of them. Before I married him (I was nearly a child bride), my parents told me: He is a very good person but you won’t be happy with him for long. You are not living on the same ‘planet’…. Which is the very best way of getting your child to do exactly what they didn’t want to happen, namely to marry that guy. (They did learn though, none of my three following siblings heard the music I did….). After nearly 25 years I realised that he didn’t WANT to see the bigger picture (of nothing!). He was perfectly happy to live in his ‘protected environment’ or in what I called his ‘little private garden’, ignoring the wide, large, wonderful park outside his boundaries. What really gutted me was that he was much happier than I was… Always questionning and trying to understand everything – not him…. Me.
    And the blood group – THAT should have told me something too. I’m a rare O negative and my poor baby’s blood had to be completely ‘exchanged’ after his difficult birth because, hear, hear, my blood group and my then husband’s didn’t agree… It wasn’t the only thing! If I understood correctly I can give blood to anybody but only can get my own group…. Sometimes, even though blood is thicker than water, family (husband and wife) are far less compatible than friends…. So, your tale here is exciting but not THAT surprising! I shall mark your former post for another day.

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