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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Siblings are forever

Siblings are forever

When we were about 12, me and my sister invented a new hobby: cooking poisons. We'd snoop around our parents summer house and collect all kinds of venomous substances: berries, mushrooms and plants we hoped were unhealthy, pellets of farming fertilizers, household cleaners and chemical strippers, decaying fruit and anything past the expiration date, preferably with a mold on it. Then we'd pour it all in an old paint can and bring it to boil over a little bonfire we'd made in the garden. I am not sure whether we strived to completely wipe out the Earth's rat population or whether we were hoping that magically, as a by-product, we'd synthesize a purely organic carpet cleaner. But fussing around a smoking fire like a pair of tribal charmers is always fun and nothing brings kids together like watching a bubbling kettle containing potentially the most lethal toxin known to mankind.

My sister is two years younger, has two kids now and a business selling cutting tools from abroad to Czech masons. As we were sitting by her pool and grilling something that looked like a Shish Kabob with some exotic rice seeds in it, I remembered our poison cooking days and realized that siblings have a very special position in our life. They represent an element of constancy. We share memories with them that go waaaay back into the past. And from that past they weave along like a red thread providing a portable reference point - the origin of the coordinate system onto which our life is plotted.

All your other peers are transient in a way. You can renounce your close friends, you can break up with your girlfriend, you can divorce your wife. But there is nothing you can do about siblings. So you really only have one choice - to cherish and cultivate this relationship, this phantom umbilical chord. Because if you poison it, there won't be any spare siblings to pull out of the hat.

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