Last Resting Day; Beer Barrel Bar; Wet the Baby’s Head with Pappy Van Winkle’s; the Craic was Ninety: Sadness, Goodbyes and Rilke


The night before I left Los Angeles, I got to hang out with my son Rory and my son in law Bill. But before we went out there was another photo op – this time with my ex wife Sarah, my daughter and the new grandson, Henry Arthur. The emotions were starting to well up in me.

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We headed over to the Idle Hour, a bar shaped like a two story beer barrel, to ‘wet the baby’s head’ – celebrate the baby’s birth. I treated the guys to their first shots of Pappy Van Winkle’s, a rare, legendary bourbon. Two new pappys – Bill and me, grandpappy. The jokes were flying and the craic (Irish for fun,  conversation) was ninety (for some reason that’s the highest the craic can get.) But I could feel the sadness growing. It had been a year since I’d seen my son Rory, when…?

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Despite my tough, macho biker image (a joke), I couldn’t stop the tears as I rode off. So much newness, so many transitions, and now, what would the future bring? A few lines from the poet Rilke came to me and I looked up the lines later. …Our sadnesses … are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.

2 thoughts on “Last Resting Day; Beer Barrel Bar; Wet the Baby’s Head with Pappy Van Winkle’s; the Craic was Ninety: Sadness, Goodbyes and Rilke

  1. Your macho image is intact as far as I am concerned. It takes a man to cry. It takes even more of a man to a publicly admit that he reads poetry! Read on. Ride on.

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