In the months leading up to launching this blog and my web-radio show, I had been on something of a search for folks who might offer me wisdom and guidance during a time I felt confused and adrift. You’ve met and heard some of them on the program – the gifted coach Edgar Papke, and master drummer Gayan Gregory Long, scholar Michael Kimmel, healer Dr. Allen Berger, and my recent guest, Eric Elkins, among many others. Another friend who lent an ear and opened his heart was David Weihnacht, and from our conversations, and the aforementioned others, the Full-Circle Fatherhood Report and blog were born. For well over a year now, I’ve been chronicling and comparing the experience of parenting my teenage son Jordy, while caring for my aging, ailing father Marc, until he died this past February. This leaves me at a new place in my life, another crossroads, a new normal, and with new opportunities to explore.
I truly miss my father, his odd and often inappropriate humor, the way anything he heard spoken might inspire a song, and his passion for all things Ohio State, especially the football team. And even as his memory pervades and possesses me at a deep and ever-present level, I am moving on with my life, newly liberated as suddenly and fully as when I took on his care several years ago.
Liberation and deep feelings are also what I associate with dear my son Jordy, now almost age 15. The more independent he becomes, the more my life changes. As you may know, this Grateful Dad thing is not just a clever name or some schtick for me, but an incredible commitment I’ve made since before he was born, to put Jordy at the center of my world, dedicating time, attention, and every possible resource towards him.
Now if you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, or listening closely to my radio show, you might’ve noted that I’m getting out more, and not always just to drive my son somewhere. Maggie and I enjoyed a getaway in Santa Monica recently while Jordy was on a class trip. And as I often mention, I get out and see more live music – although sometimes with Jordy, as our tastes overlap. (Ask me about recent shows by Yo La Tengo and The Postal Service!)
So turning time is happening again, as it will, and I am pleased to be at a better place, more grounded and aware, more open and able to consider my options, explore new possibilities, and set out in whatever new directions appeal to me when they come into view.
I still intend to seek sage counsel – in fact I had a delightful, insightful lunch discussion with Edgar Papke recently, a productive strategy session with Gary Barnes before that, and a very intriguing encounter with George Ira Carroll about the prospect of joining his mastermind group later this summer.
All this is to say that fatherhood has come full-circle for me, again, and with every turn 'round the circle, I learn, gain energy and momentum, and hopefully tap the creativity and inspiration I have available, to keep it real and fresh, and turning once more.
...and that’s the full-circle fatherhood report for this week.
BONUS TRACK: Slow Turning by John Hiatt