Don Henley – Taking You Home

Just because I love the song and it is of the love of a father for his children

Don Henley – Taking You Home

Just because I love the song and it is of the love of a father for his children

A Boy’s Life


I read A Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon over the Christmas of 1991. In looking back through my old journals I found this extract which I think is worth sharing.

“I have seen many boys come and go,” she said. “I’ve seen some grow up and set roots and some grow up and move away. The years of a boys life pass so fast Cory.” she smiled faintly. “Boys want to hurry up and be men and then comes a day they wish they could be boys again. But I’ll tell you a secret Cory. Want to hear it?”

I nodded.

“No one,” Mrs Neville whispered, “ever grows up.”

I frowned. What kind of secret was that? My Dad and mom were grown up weren’t they? So were Mr Dollar, Chief Marchetta, Dr Parish, Reverend Lavoy, the lady and everybody else over eighteen.

“They may look grown up,” she continued, “But it’s a disguise. It’s just the clay of time. Men and women are still children deep in their hearts. They still would like to jump and play, but that heavy clay won’t let them. They’d like to shake off every chain the world’s put on them, take off their watches and neck ties and Sunday shoes and return naked to the swimmin’ hole, if just for one day. They’d like to feel free, and know that there’s a momma and daddy at home who’ll take care of things and love them no matter what. Even behind the face of the meanest man in the world is a scared little boy tryin’ to wedge himself into a corner where he can’t be hurt.” She put aside the papers and folded her hands on the desk. “I have seen plenty of boys grow into men, Cory, and I want to say one word to you. Remember.”

Remember? Remember what?

“Everything”, she said. “And anything. Don’t you go through a day without rememberin’ something of it and tuckin’ that memory away like a treasure. Because it is. And memories are sweet doors Cory. They’re teachers and friends and disciplinarians. When you look at something, don’t just look. See it. Really, really see it. See it so when you write it down, somebody else can see it too. It’s easy to walk through life deaf, dumb and blind, Cory. Most everybody you know or ever meet will. They’ll walk through a parade of wonders, and they’ll never hear a peep of it. But you can live a thousand lifetimes if you want to. You can talk to people you’ll never set eyes on, in lands you’ll never visit.”

She nodded watching my face. “And if you’re good and you’re lucky and you have something worth saying, then you might have the chance to live on long after – ” she paused, measuring her words. “Long after,” she finished.

******************************************************
The words resonate more strongly for me now than they did way back then when I was a 34 year old father of three. Though even then I was searching for the boy that had been locked away by the expectations of myself and others. I wonder if I ever did actually take the time to walk that parade of wonders, in keeping my journals I am thankful that at times my eyes were open and the voices of my children as children echo strongly from the pages of those books. I will always be grateful that I took the time to record some of the things they said and did at the time they were said or done. There is of course no recapturing the lost moments.

I recognise in the voice of Mrs Neville the feeling that at times I do want to return to the bedroom of my childhood, with it’s vintage car wallpaper and venetian blinds, and the safe feeling of being tucked in at night by Mum or Dad. Where the dust motes floated in sunbeams and the steam from the paper factory could be heard late in the still of the night. I wish the man I am now could revisit the homes of his grandparents and soak up the smell of freshly baked scones, or hear the laughter from the crowded kitchen table as another game of cards were dealt. Or be licked on the face by a dog and not care. Or splash in puddles of water on unmade roads, and fall over in the schoolyard skidpans and gaze in wonder at fireworks as if for the first time.

I am thankful for all that has gone before. I look forward to rekindling my wonder, to the things that were once simple pleasures. I am grateful for this world now which does mean that I can connect with people all over the world and with them continue to explore this journey.

A Boy’s Life


I read A Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon over the Christmas of 1991. In looking back through my old journals I found this extract which I think is worth sharing.

“I have seen many boys come and go,” she said. “I’ve seen some grow up and set roots and some grow up and move away. The years of a boys life pass so fast Cory.” she smiled faintly. “Boys want to hurry up and be men and then comes a day they wish they could be boys again. But I’ll tell you a secret Cory. Want to hear it?”

I nodded.

“No one,” Mrs Neville whispered, “ever grows up.”

I frowned. What kind of secret was that? My Dad and mom were grown up weren’t they? So were Mr Dollar, Chief Marchetta, Dr Parish, Reverend Lavoy, the lady and everybody else over eighteen.

“They may look grown up,” she continued, “But it’s a disguise. It’s just the clay of time. Men and women are still children deep in their hearts. They still would like to jump and play, but that heavy clay won’t let them. They’d like to shake off every chain the world’s put on them, take off their watches and neck ties and Sunday shoes and return naked to the swimmin’ hole, if just for one day. They’d like to feel free, and know that there’s a momma and daddy at home who’ll take care of things and love them no matter what. Even behind the face of the meanest man in the world is a scared little boy tryin’ to wedge himself into a corner where he can’t be hurt.” She put aside the papers and folded her hands on the desk. “I have seen plenty of boys grow into men, Cory, and I want to say one word to you. Remember.”

Remember? Remember what?

“Everything”, she said. “And anything. Don’t you go through a day without rememberin’ something of it and tuckin’ that memory away like a treasure. Because it is. And memories are sweet doors Cory. They’re teachers and friends and disciplinarians. When you look at something, don’t just look. See it. Really, really see it. See it so when you write it down, somebody else can see it too. It’s easy to walk through life deaf, dumb and blind, Cory. Most everybody you know or ever meet will. They’ll walk through a parade of wonders, and they’ll never hear a peep of it. But you can live a thousand lifetimes if you want to. You can talk to people you’ll never set eyes on, in lands you’ll never visit.”

She nodded watching my face. “And if you’re good and you’re lucky and you have something worth saying, then you might have the chance to live on long after – ” she paused, measuring her words. “Long after,” she finished.

******************************************************
The words resonate more strongly for me now than they did way back then when I was a 34 year old father of three. Though even then I was searching for the boy that had been locked away by the expectations of myself and others. I wonder if I ever did actually take the time to walk that parade of wonders, in keeping my journals I am thankful that at times my eyes were open and the voices of my children as children echo strongly from the pages of those books. I will always be grateful that I took the time to record some of the things they said and did at the time they were said or done. There is of course no recapturing the lost moments.

I recognise in the voice of Mrs Neville the feeling that at times I do want to return to the bedroom of my childhood, with it’s vintage car wallpaper and venetian blinds, and the safe feeling of being tucked in at night by Mum or Dad. Where the dust motes floated in sunbeams and the steam from the paper factory could be heard late in the still of the night. I wish the man I am now could revisit the homes of his grandparents and soak up the smell of freshly baked scones, or hear the laughter from the crowded kitchen table as another game of cards were dealt. Or be licked on the face by a dog and not care. Or splash in puddles of water on unmade roads, and fall over in the schoolyard skidpans and gaze in wonder at fireworks as if for the first time.

I am thankful for all that has gone before. I look forward to rekindling my wonder, to the things that were once simple pleasures. I am grateful for this world now which does mean that I can connect with people all over the world and with them continue to explore this journey.

A Boy’s Life


I read A Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon over the Christmas of 1991. In looking back through my old journals I found this extract which I think is worth sharing.

“I have seen many boys come and go,” she said. “I’ve seen some grow up and set roots and some grow up and move away. The years of a boys life pass so fast Cory.” she smiled faintly. “Boys want to hurry up and be men and then comes a day they wish they could be boys again. But I’ll tell you a secret Cory. Want to hear it?”

I nodded.

“No one,” Mrs Neville whispered, “ever grows up.”

I frowned. What kind of secret was that? My Dad and mom were grown up weren’t they? So were Mr Dollar, Chief Marchetta, Dr Parish, Reverend Lavoy, the lady and everybody else over eighteen.

“They may look grown up,” she continued, “But it’s a disguise. It’s just the clay of time. Men and women are still children deep in their hearts. They still would like to jump and play, but that heavy clay won’t let them. They’d like to shake off every chain the world’s put on them, take off their watches and neck ties and Sunday shoes and return naked to the swimmin’ hole, if just for one day. They’d like to feel free, and know that there’s a momma and daddy at home who’ll take care of things and love them no matter what. Even behind the face of the meanest man in the world is a scared little boy tryin’ to wedge himself into a corner where he can’t be hurt.” She put aside the papers and folded her hands on the desk. “I have seen plenty of boys grow into men, Cory, and I want to say one word to you. Remember.”

Remember? Remember what?

“Everything”, she said. “And anything. Don’t you go through a day without rememberin’ something of it and tuckin’ that memory away like a treasure. Because it is. And memories are sweet doors Cory. They’re teachers and friends and disciplinarians. When you look at something, don’t just look. See it. Really, really see it. See it so when you write it down, somebody else can see it too. It’s easy to walk through life deaf, dumb and blind, Cory. Most everybody you know or ever meet will. They’ll walk through a parade of wonders, and they’ll never hear a peep of it. But you can live a thousand lifetimes if you want to. You can talk to people you’ll never set eyes on, in lands you’ll never visit.”

She nodded watching my face. “And if you’re good and you’re lucky and you have something worth saying, then you might have the chance to live on long after – ” she paused, measuring her words. “Long after,” she finished.

******************************************************
The words resonate more strongly for me now than they did way back then when I was a 34 year old father of three. Though even then I was searching for the boy that had been locked away by the expectations of myself and others. I wonder if I ever did actually take the time to walk that parade of wonders, in keeping my journals I am thankful that at times my eyes were open and the voices of my children as children echo strongly from the pages of those books. I will always be grateful that I took the time to record some of the things they said and did at the time they were said or done. There is of course no recapturing the lost moments.

I recognise in the voice of Mrs Neville the feeling that at times I do want to return to the bedroom of my childhood, with it’s vintage car wallpaper and venetian blinds, and the safe feeling of being tucked in at night by Mum or Dad. Where the dust motes floated in sunbeams and the steam from the paper factory could be heard late in the still of the night. I wish the man I am now could revisit the homes of his grandparents and soak up the smell of freshly baked scones, or hear the laughter from the crowded kitchen table as another game of cards were dealt. Or be licked on the face by a dog and not care. Or splash in puddles of water on unmade roads, and fall over in the schoolyard skidpans and gaze in wonder at fireworks as if for the first time.

I am thankful for all that has gone before. I look forward to rekindling my wonder, to the things that were once simple pleasures. I am grateful for this world now which does mean that I can connect with people all over the world and with them continue to explore this journey.

Driving

I got my drivers licence when I was 19 years old – I think – I say that because I don’t think I was one of those who rushed out when I turned 18 and got it straight away. For starters, I didn’t have a car, secondly, the whole process of learning to drive was a terrible ordeal. I can’t remember Dad taking me out for lessons, I do remember what a terrible passenger my mother was, so sitting next to her whilst she was trying to teach me was close to a fate worse than death. I clearly remember, one time, after I’d had my licence for a few years and was driving her somewhere, pulling up the car throwing her the keys and telling her to drive herself.

Now I have three of my kids with licences and I have some sympathy for my mother. Son number one’s first lesson was in a new housing estate at Narooma one Christmas and the very first time he turned the engine on with the steering wheel on full lock, lifted the clutch and spun the wheels in the gravel shoulder, catapulting us straight towards a ditch and barbed wire fence, forcing me to yank on the hand break, I knew it was going to be an experience.

I visited the US back in 1991 and on the way home in the car my youngest gave me a running commentary on where her brother had nearly run off the road because he was talking, or looking at his watch, or adjusting the rearview mirror. None of that was too bad, but then she said, “And that’s where he nearly ran over Evan Higgins”, a neighbours kid who in trying to cross the road had waved to my son. Unfortunately he felt the obligation to wave back and in taking one hand off the wheel forgot to straighten it as he came around the corner, veering directly at the kid who was trying to be friendly.

I wasn’t that great a driver when I look back. Like most I did some stupid things like the time I got Mum’s HT Holden up to 100 miles an hour on a country road near Corowa one Christmas.

When I joined the police force I had to do a number of specialist driving courses and it was only then that I actually learnt how to drive defensively, but at speed and safely. The best course I did was just before Pope John Paul II was visiting the State and I was chosen as one of the drivers for the visit. We learnt all sorts of fun stuff like hand break turns and reverse 180’s, stuff that at the time gave you a great deal of confidence in your own ability.

But, I’ve also learnt that it is a skill that needs to be practiced and we often lapse into lazy bad habits when we drive. How many of us, have drifted off on occasions, gone into auto pilot only to wake up and wonder what happened over the last few seconds. Dangerous things that need only a little tilt of the X factor to end in disaster. I’ve had my share of near misses, nearly got cleaned up by a Semi trailer one day when it crept over double lines onto my side of the road. I have been t-boned once by a bloke who was reading a Melways [which is a Melbourne Street Directory] balanced on his steering wheel at the time. It was his bad luck that the car I was driving and the one he hit was full of five uniformed coppers, all of whom fortunately, were able to walk away from the car with a few minor cuts and bruises.

Driving

I got my drivers licence when I was 19 years old – I think – I say that because I don’t think I was one of those who rushed out when I turned 18 and got it straight away. For starters, I didn’t have a car, secondly, the whole process of learning to drive was a terrible ordeal. I can’t remember Dad taking me out for lessons, I do remember what a terrible passenger my mother was, so sitting next to her whilst she was trying to teach me was close to a fate worse than death. I clearly remember, one time, after I’d had my licence for a few years and was driving her somewhere, pulling up the car throwing her the keys and telling her to drive herself.

Now I have three of my kids with licences and I have some sympathy for my mother. Son number one’s first lesson was in a new housing estate at Narooma one Christmas and the very first time he turned the engine on with the steering wheel on full lock, lifted the clutch and spun the wheels in the gravel shoulder, catapulting us straight towards a ditch and barbed wire fence, forcing me to yank on the hand break, I knew it was going to be an experience.

I visited the US back in 1991 and on the way home in the car my youngest gave me a running commentary on where her brother had nearly run off the road because he was talking, or looking at his watch, or adjusting the rearview mirror. None of that was too bad, but then she said, “And that’s where he nearly ran over Evan Higgins”, a neighbours kid who in trying to cross the road had waved to my son. Unfortunately he felt the obligation to wave back and in taking one hand off the wheel forgot to straighten it as he came around the corner, veering directly at the kid who was trying to be friendly.

I wasn’t that great a driver when I look back. Like most I did some stupid things like the time I got Mum’s HT Holden up to 100 miles an hour on a country road near Corowa one Christmas.

When I joined the police force I had to do a number of specialist driving courses and it was only then that I actually learnt how to drive defensively, but at speed and safely. The best course I did was just before Pope John Paul II was visiting the State and I was chosen as one of the drivers for the visit. We learnt all sorts of fun stuff like hand break turns and reverse 180’s, stuff that at the time gave you a great deal of confidence in your own ability.

But, I’ve also learnt that it is a skill that needs to be practiced and we often lapse into lazy bad habits when we drive. How many of us, have drifted off on occasions, gone into auto pilot only to wake up and wonder what happened over the last few seconds. Dangerous things that need only a little tilt of the X factor to end in disaster. I’ve had my share of near misses, nearly got cleaned up by a Semi trailer one day when it crept over double lines onto my side of the road. I have been t-boned once by a bloke who was reading a Melways [which is a Melbourne Street Directory] balanced on his steering wheel at the time. It was his bad luck that the car I was driving and the one he hit was full of five uniformed coppers, all of whom fortunately, were able to walk away from the car with a few minor cuts and bruises.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Father

I was talking to a colleague yesterday who is struggling bigtime with personal issues at the moment. I’m not sure exactly how old he is, but older than I he must be because he has children to his first marriage who are in their 30’s.

For a number of years he has been a visitor in his own house, sleeping on the couch, cooking and doing most of the housework, but unwilling to leave the family home for the sake of his kids. In recent months he moved from the couch onto a mattress on the floor of the study and over that time his wife gradually packed up everything belonging to him and placed it in boxes in the study.

A few weeks ago he decided to finally leave and his children have not spoken to him since. He is lonely and depressed and I can empathise to a degree.

He admitted that he is going through a grieving process but the major issue for him is that issue with his kids. He is bewildered and hurt and I think a large part of that may be due to what his wife is saying to them. Fortunately for me, whilst some of the issues may be the same, that has not happened in my situation.

Of course children are going to all react differently to these sorts of events, and at some stage we should expect sadness, anger and hopefully one day acceptance. But I can’t help thinking that people assume a few things about how the man in the situation will react and cope. One thing we discussed yesterday is that women often have a much bigger support network than a guy. That they have people they can talk to and talk through issues with. For blokes, though, we are often expected to grin and bear it. To actually be open and speak about how you feel is something that is not encouraged. In fact if you do, you risk ridicule and ostracism in some quarters, or at the very least have people think you are a bit strange.

Because feelings are hidden it is often difficult to even find someone in the same situation to talk to anyway. The public face is very different to the private one. Yesterday the conversation began quite innocuously and moved into what might sometimes be called a D & M. Pretty unusual for blokes, but I did find it valuable for myself to understand how someone else was dealing with a similar situation. It also helped to be able to talk about it with another male rather than a female.

It does not matter who is to blame for a marraige breakup and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to sheet blame upon someone else. In a sense, everyone is a victim, irrespective of whether they were the initiator or not, and that is particularly true when children are involved. Any parent who suffers the ultimate hurt of losing touch with their children, even if that is only for a short time, will know what I mean by that.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Father

I was talking to a colleague yesterday who is struggling bigtime with personal issues at the moment. I’m not sure exactly how old he is, but older than I he must be because he has children to his first marriage who are in their 30’s.

For a number of years he has been a visitor in his own house, sleeping on the couch, cooking and doing most of the housework, but unwilling to leave the family home for the sake of his kids. In recent months he moved from the couch onto a mattress on the floor of the study and over that time his wife gradually packed up everything belonging to him and placed it in boxes in the study.

A few weeks ago he decided to finally leave and his children have not spoken to him since. He is lonely and depressed and I can empathise to a degree.

He admitted that he is going through a grieving process but the major issue for him is that issue with his kids. He is bewildered and hurt and I think a large part of that may be due to what his wife is saying to them. Fortunately for me, whilst some of the issues may be the same, that has not happened in my situation.

Of course children are going to all react differently to these sorts of events, and at some stage we should expect sadness, anger and hopefully one day acceptance. But I can’t help thinking that people assume a few things about how the man in the situation will react and cope. One thing we discussed yesterday is that women often have a much bigger support network than a guy. That they have people they can talk to and talk through issues with. For blokes, though, we are often expected to grin and bear it. To actually be open and speak about how you feel is something that is not encouraged. In fact if you do, you risk ridicule and ostracism in some quarters, or at the very least have people think you are a bit strange.

Because feelings are hidden it is often difficult to even find someone in the same situation to talk to anyway. The public face is very different to the private one. Yesterday the conversation began quite innocuously and moved into what might sometimes be called a D & M. Pretty unusual for blokes, but I did find it valuable for myself to understand how someone else was dealing with a similar situation. It also helped to be able to talk about it with another male rather than a female.

It does not matter who is to blame for a marraige breakup and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to sheet blame upon someone else. In a sense, everyone is a victim, irrespective of whether they were the initiator or not, and that is particularly true when children are involved. Any parent who suffers the ultimate hurt of losing touch with their children, even if that is only for a short time, will know what I mean by that.