Sunday evening I was tidying up some old filing cabinets that had just been brought into my apartment from storage. I came across a tattered manila folder full of newspaper clippings from 1998. This was the time I was recovering from a neck injury which required surgery after a horse riding fall. I was on my back for 6 weeks and then, as now, music and books helped me get through it. The file contained a stack of yellowing newspaper articles, mainly book and music reviews.
Interesting to see what I was curious about 17 years ago. I was 45 years old. One faded clipping, torn roughly from the Sydney Morning Herald, was a review of a new album, Landmark from an Irish group called Clannad. I don’t know why I kept it as I’ve never heard of them. Landmark was released on CD in 1997. (Yes CD’s were new technology back then, in the days before IPods). I read on. Clannad’s music is traditional Irish folk and Celtic with some jazz. Turns out the band members are related and Enya is a sister to three of them, (Moya Brennan, Ciaran Brennan, Pol Brennan)and was once part of the group. I loved her music back then and this must be why I kept the clipping. The article said that Moya Brennan has a better voice than her more famous sister. I remember lying in our house in Seaforth in 1998, jammed full of painkillers, my neck screaming like a banshee and the sounds of Enya floating through the speakers in the ceiling. I downloaded the Landmark album from ITunes and spent a quiet Sunday evening listening to Celtic harmonies after Cronulla got through demolishing Souths in the NRL final. Music and Rugby League as therapy. Not a bad way to spend Sunday evening when you are on your own. I can think of worse. I just don’t know how players like Paul Gallen will feel when they reach my age. I’m sure everything will hurt and large parts of their bodies will have to be replaced. They are a marvel and an inspiration to me, particularly how quickly they get back on the field after serious injury. I’ve discussed this with my personal trainer who has handled a lot of footballers in New Zealand. She said they are young and very fit and they have a very high tolerance to pain. She also said that they often go back on the field without fully recovering and this will inevitably have consequences longer term. I still admire their courage. I don’t know how I would have got though this year without music. I love American bluegrass music so it’s no surprise that I like an album like Landmark. Bluegrass is just Irish folk music with banjo accompaniment. Glad I found that old newspaper clipping. Never throw anything out. Finished the antibiotics for the gut bugs this evening. Hooray. Now have to wait about 6 weeks to see if they have worked.