It has been a great Father’s Day weekend. Our daughter had her high school graduation, our son was here as well, so we were all able to celebrate together. The best gift a father could have, watching and helping one’s kids grow and develop.
And while these kinds of occasions always bring out the sentimental side in me, I am more sensitive to them now, given the double meaning of the milestone itself and my being around to witness it. So the emotions that wash over me are all that more intense. She made it, I made it, we all made it together.
And a number of fun events. A nice neighbourhood gathering to bid farewell to some long-standing residents of our street as they downsize, going to a new citizenship recognition event hosted by our Member of Parliament (who couldn’t be there given all night voting at the House – his wife hosted), and seeing the Van Gogh exhibit again, this time with less crowds so we were able to appreciate the work even more.
To my surprise, I received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for my contributions to government service. Particularly rewarding, as I was nominated and awarded this by my peers, along with a number of my colleagues. As I am well enough to go to the occasional ‘crowd scene’, it was good to see and reconnect with my former colleagues and catch up on their news. They were pleased to see me looking relatively well (my standard reply to how I am doing was, said with a smile, ‘I’m standing and I’m here’ – says it all). Funny how the simple word ‘here’ can have both its factual meaning and existential significance!
One of those relatively smaller things in life that nevertheless make one feel good (and keeping up the family ‘tradition’, my Father received a Silver Jubilee medal for his work in the arts).
I have also been re-discovering my creative side as I continue to work on new material for my lymphoma journey book. Part of it is in choosing photos to break up the major sections, which means looking through my old photos when I was in to photography, selecting and scanning them, and seeing how they fit in with the narrative (rather have beautiful photos than pictures of me in hospital ‘uniform’). The written content is largely down, apart from a few articles I have to finish for both Cancerwise and the book, and of course, subject to editing and some ‘trusted reader’ criticism.
Working on turning my Prezi into a video, with a set script and related touches, is another outlet.
And of course, with the benefits and risks that the technology and autonomy allow me to ‘do my own thing’; benefits in not having to worry about reporting relationships or permission, risks in that it may be too narcissistic and not critiqued enough to make it suitable for public distribution. Can’t have everything, and I am having fun with it.
I finally read Charles Taylor’s classic, Multiculturalism and the “Politics of Recognition”, where he straddles the fine balance between universalism and relativism, a good nuanced discussion. Quote:
There must be something midway between the inauthentic and homogenizing demand for recognition of equal worth, on the one hand, and the self-immurement within ethnocentric standards, on the other. There are other cultures, and we have to live together more and more, both on a world scale and commingled in each individual society.
Fighting off a bit of a sore throat this week – may be too much cycling early in the morning and the ‘crowd’ events but otherwise fine.
Next week I have a clinic visit. Nothing major to complain about so assume the next appointment will be at my one year mark in August (you may have noticed the ‘countdown’ widget that I am having fun with!). 8 weeks to go!
Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers our there, and thanks, as always, to our partners who make it all possible.