More unchecked and misspelt ramblings – this time, the subjects is fathers’ day and nasal excavation.
There ‘s that phrase we use : « I can’t quite put my finger on it …. » meaning that things are not what they should be, but we don’t quite know why. I was going to start this post with the aforementioned mono digital phrase, but then I started to think about what it really meant. Talking in terms of that finger that we can’t quite put on things, implies that we actually only have one finger, whereas we really have eight (and two thumbs). Of those eight fingers that we use … the index finger is that digit most solicited. Pointing, prodding, typing, scratching – in the course of any one day the index is an essential tool, and just think of all those places the index goes (a deep and orificial discourse which will doubtless be the subject of a futre post) – and if you have been picking your nowe while you read this, go and wash your hands before you go any further.
That thing that I can’t put my finger on – life – it is hurtling by and I should be hurtling along with it, but I feel like I’m just standing still, while everything around me whooshes past like I’ve got a part as a statue in a speeded up film.
« Ok. » Says the director « you play the guy standing on the street corner doing nothing ; while everyone buzzes round you like bees on speed. » Bees of course have purpose and plenty of those I know rushing around are more like headless chickens hurtling round a farm yard (the third time I’ve used the word hurtling, so I won’t use it again – until the next time.)
The point of this pointless pièce – it is Father’s Day – in France (and also in the UK.)
That day that kids tell dad that he’s a good dad. With my daughter, I was going through the list of those hand-made father’s day gifts that she had brought hiome from school over the years … a paper bow tie (which I still have) – this was the first « made at school » gift I got. The year after, I got a rather splendid card and in the ensuing years a succession of « last minute » cards and drawings. The amateurish nature of the gift a reflection of the class teacher’s attitude to the institution of father’s day.
Those gifts made with love.
So, we are at my daughter’s primary school – older teachers would dedicate a few « art » lessons the the production of the gift for dad, and many had tried and tested dad-gifts. If your kids were in Miss So and So’s class, you’d get a Camembert cheese box ; painted and recycled into a décorative desktop container for useful things (mainly paperclips). Miss Thingummyjig’s pupils would leave class on the Friday afternoon before the fateful day, clutching a hand-painted photo frame. Those younger teachers from whom teaching was a vocation rather than a job that might leave you time to bring up a family (howls of indignation from teachers), would, take father’s day less seriously – a card, dashed off in the last few minutes of Friday afternoon. Well, fathers’ Day – that’s like a white, male Victorian patriarch « festival » – kids shouldn’t be making fathers day presents when they could be doing maths.
I get the Victorian patriarch thing, and I also appreaciate that the traditional family unit ain’t quite what it used to be, but as a dad, you are almost disappointed when you don’t get the hand-crafted crap that your kids bring home from school.
Dad’s Always Dad
No more classroom handicraft for me though. My daughter is that age that she is a fully fledged adult and I a mat that point where my role as a dad is changing – though like my daughter says –
« You’ll always be dad, dad. »
« What, a bank and a taxi service ? »
Anyway, that thing about not being « dad » anymore. It just crept up when my back was turned and then ran off. I’d been being dad, then suddenly I wasn’t.
My daughter says it’s all part of being 50.
50 – wow. A few decades back, this was the age of one foot in the grave. Now, at 50 we are young. French writer, Marcel Proust said that being 50 was the adolescense of old age. I’m a teenager again, and I guess with my new teenage years, like the first time around, I’m trying to « find myself. ».
There’s all the stuff I want to do like writing and photography. I have no particular desire to travel the globe, but I’d like a few adventures. My dream is to buy a scooter (actually a 125cc Van Van Beach Cruiser), then stick a pin in a map of France and roar off into the Sunset to that place I have pinned, be it somewhere that I have preferably never been before. I don’t need to go to the ends of the earth for an adventure, I just need to go to the end of my street and then …
So more drifting and rambling from a fifty something dad. This is however an important time in life. My daughetr is about to get a life and I need to get a new life. I have (I think) finally shaken off the shackles of death – my mum died in 2010 and I think after six years that I have finally got rid of all the last vestiges of life with mum. It was only last year that I eventually gave the clothes I was wearing to her funeral to a charity shop. It is that time to pull my finger out and just be, and I guess that is what I have been trying to put my finger on. As for where my finger has been – I won’t tell you, but I must wash my hands before cooking dinner and, (yes, it was a delicious morcel of nasal fodder.)
And just to add on the nation of time passing you by – that which seemed important is no longer a regulator or an arbiter of time. Weeks of rain and I haven’t actually noticed it is summer. The fun fair is in town – this used to be an event of huge importance. It doesn’t really matter anymore. Trying to hold on to all those time references that seemed so important but no longer have any meaning. Six months until Christmas, but it will only seem like next week until we are putting up the tree. That is my problem. I have lost all notion of time and its importance