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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2237459-The-Yin-and-Yang-of-a-Name
Rated: E · Essay · Personal · #2237459
Who you are may surprise you.
Many years ago, my avocation required learning the basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A central concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are two aspects of energy that both oppose and enfold each other. Yang is sometimes described as hot and rising or male, while Yin is described as cool and descending or female. However, the philosophical lesson is that neither is absolute nor separate from the other - Yin always contains some Yang and Yang always contains some Yin. This concept presents itself to us every day if we are alert enough to recognize it.

On a May afternoon in 1960, I arrived in this world and was presented the name of David Thomas Sollis. Within less than two years, my parents separated, and my last name started to wander as my mother searched for her lost happiness. When I was about 10, my mother married Kenneth Clinton Lang, a master machinist, military veteran, and (unknown to us) hardened criminal. As I grew through my teenage years Ken taught me how to run a machine shop, rebuild a car, and stand my ground when challenged. He also taught me to be self-reliant and never give up. At 18, I entered the U.S. Air Force as David Thomas Lang and, owing much to Ken's instruction, scored high enough to be assigned as a Nuclear Weapons Technician. Shortly after finishing my training, I found that Ken and my mother were divorcing - I also found out that my stepfather was not who I thought he was. In the process of the divorce, he took the considerable fortune my mother had amassed as well as most of her property and assets. He then proceeded to torch one of her houses for the insurance, was caught, convicted, and returned to the life of a prisoner from whence he came.

Many years later, while serving as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, I received a phone call - the voice on the other end was not familiar "Hi David, this is Jack...your father." At 36, I suddenly had a father again. Jack was the polar opposite of Ken. Jack was a kind, generous, loving, insecure man who brought light to the world as a lifelong Freemason, a lawyer, and a man who always helped those in need. He taught me to tolerate weakness, abide criminals and cowards, and forgive myself and others.

Today, at 60, my byline takes many forms. But, in the final reckoning, I'm David Thomas Sollis-Lang...a little Yin, a little Yang.

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