May 29, 2009 - Obsessed!

29 May 2009


I was called "obsessive" last night, and I'm not quite sure if the name-caller was using a correct slander of the word. I'm still puzzled as to why this person used this specific and chosen word. It may have been that in the course of the discussion, as I was attempting to be, what I thought, logical, it must of been the only word that came to their mind. It certainly couldn't have been in reference to my pursuit of genealogy. The individual is likewise "obsessed" with genealogy. And as the word was repeated a number of times I began to wonder how words and phrases at most time can mean different things, to different people, especially in this age of emailing, Twittering, online chatting, and blogging.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives one definition of obsessive as "excessive often to an unreasonable degree". The Free Dictionary defines the adjective as "excessive in degree or nature." And the Oxford English Dictionary has two thoughts for the word: "1. obsessed with someone or something"; and "2. affecting the mind continually and disturbingly".

As the context of the discussion was regarding genealogy, I can say that I am obsessive. I suppose the "unreasonable degree" and "disturbingly" parts of the definition are in the eye of the beholder. I would tend to agree about the unreasonable and disturbing parts would be in place if there is a chance of me causing harm to someone else... that is, if my obsession could cause some sort-of physical harm. The nice thing about technology today, one can change programs or turn off his PC. And communication, and conversation today has become more and more one-sided... sort-of let me get my thoughts out to the world of electronic wires and sound-waves. Today's lonely communication is not an interaction of ideas and thoughts, but a spewing forth of rational and, at a given times, irrational thoughts keyed in multiple fonts and pitch sizes, with the hope that there may be somebody out there in the tangle of digital and optical wires who will agree with me, the author.

I am obsessed with genealogy. I can also recognize those whose eyes "cloud over", so-to-speak, when I begin talking about my ancestral finds and stories. I'm sure at times they would just press a Delete button, if they could. I am guilty, and if words are the "weapon"... double-guilty.

My obsession is that I would like to find out from whence and when my great-great-great-grandfather James Smith arrived at the island of Grenada. I am guilty. I am possessed as well. It is a question that now began burning in my core a short while ago and, if you understand, I need to find the answer. I am obsessed!!!




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