I wrote in my latest blog note – COC new price – that the book might explain to a younger generation those characteristics of their parents and grandparents that amuse, annoy or puzzle them. It’s the Generation Gap, boys and girls but with a twist. It is inevitable universally but more powerful and sometimes destructive in a changed environment. My father’s generation, born in Ireland of the 1890s, lived a very similar lifestyle to that of his father at least until the wider availability of the petrol engine in Ireland of the 1950s. Mechanisation and travel did not leap forward in the first 60 years of my father’s life. Life and community was still local. Life’s necessities were produced nearby. News came from the daily newspaper or from the mouth of the occasional intrepid traveler whose information was entertaining but irrelevant.
The gap increases with change. This may be because of technological or social revolution as in generations who continue to live in the same place but very different conditions. I am more concerned by the greater chasm which opens because of emigration. When children of the diaspora grow up to see the Irishness of their parents after many years in a new country it is inexplicable to them. They need to share. At times of trauma such as in their illness or particularly in death the children feel the need to know what made their families different, to understand the tensions, to forgive the misunderstandings and find reconciliation.
It is my hope that Children of the Cromlech will explain one to the other in the particular lives of those I have chosen to narrate and, less seriously, entertain others with a good yarn.