Where was I?

Five Rhythms

Life’s big distractions come in many shapes and forms. Some of them are challenging, like a change of job; some are joyful, like a new addition to the family; and some are grim, like a medical emergency or a death in the family. In my case, the distractions haven’t been anything too dramatic, and in various ways they have been both difficult and pleasant.

The less pleasant issue has been a second bout of adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as frozen shoulder. Having had it in my right shoulder a few years ago, I’m familiar with how it progresses and how long it usually takes to heal. So, while I know that it most likely will eventually heal, the constant nagging ache and occasional excruciating stabs of pain have just worn me down over the last few months. Even with pain killers and heat patches, it’s disturbed my sleep, made me wary of even simple things like getting dressed or reaching for the salt with my left hand. It’s interrupted what had become a steady, regular practice of daily exercise. It’s been a bummer.

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My Story (Part 3)

With my father at The Enterprise pub, 1986

I ended the last “episode” with a reference to my immaturity at the time that I went to college in my late teens, and that sense of not having properly, formally grown up has stayed with me ever since. I’ll sometimes have a vague feeling, something like what is these days called imposter syndrome, as if I’m a child who has somehow managed to wangle a seat at the adult’s table. Over the years, I’ve put it down to the idea of never having experienced the rite of passage from childhood into adulthood, the initiation and transition from boy to man.

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My Story (Part 2)

I have a terrible memory for most things. I marvel at friends who can remember every day, date and detail of events from decades ago, when I can barely remember what I did last week. What bothers me in particular is the extent to which I seem to have forgotten about my youth. I have certain episodes that I “remember,” but more in the repeated telling of them than in actual, clear, playback-in-my-head memories. When I meet up with old friends whose memories are more reliable, I find myself being corrected on how things really happened.

So, with that caveat out of the way, here’s how I remember my early teenage years.

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My Story (Part 1)

My dad and me

( I realise as I write this that it is a largely self-indulgent exercise. It’s probably not going to be of any help, let alone much interest, to anyone who doesn’t know me. My story isn’t really all that dramatic, though at times it may have felt dramatic and certainly was traumatic to me. But I feel that if Father Lessons is going to be about anything, it has to be about openness and honesty. So for what it’s worth, here goes…)

I was your average middle class boy growing up in Ireland in the 1960s and 70s. I lived in the idyllic North Dublin suburb of Malahide, at the time still a fairly sleepy seaside town but just starting to grow rapidly as travel in and out of the nearby Dublin Airport really started to, ahem, take off. My father was a pilot with Aer Lingus and we were among the early wave of airport and airline staff families to move in.

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