The Irish word seanchaí means “storyteller”or “barer of old lore.” In modern terms, seanchaí might refer to a “bullshitter.”
Both are true for my father, a man known for his gift of the gab. He’ll talk to anyone, and no subject is off limits. It helps he’s friendly looking, resembling some sort of mythical creature.
His stories sound quite mythical, too. Like the true story of how he fell off a scaffold thirteen floors down an elevator shaft—on his face—and got up and walked away. Or how he shot himself in the foot with a nail gun and drove himself to the hospital. He’s fallen off of roofs, too.
More than just a man with a history of construction trauma, he is a storyteller weaving together his own past with his rich Irish heritage. He grew up in a house with no running water; he bathed in a living room tub, made hot with boiled water from the fire. He used to roam the woods of Ireland barefoot—his childhood wild and free. He rode his bicycle up the town cathedral’s bell tower; jumped out from behind apples trees to scare oncoming nuns during afternoon prayer.
A troublemaker. A hell raiser. A weaver of tall tales and star of true stories. But deep down, a sensitive soul interested in everyone’s stories, especially the underdog’s. He passionately roots for “the little guy” and believes in fighting against those who use their power for evil.
You will always find him with a pint in hand, eyes sparkling, ready to engage in a political argument or retell a magical memory. Ready to knock his shoulder into yours after taking the piss out of ye. You’ll never quite know if he’s telling the truth or spinning a fable. But you’ll always know his stories will be entertaining and his intentions pure.
For he is made of myth and magic.
He is a survivor of unbelievable incidents.
He is a modern day warrior.
He is my father.
He is the great seanchaí.