As always, I have very little definitive or comprehensive or even enlightened to say about my father who knew of the severe abuse my mother did to me for 18 years and ignored it all. If there is one clear pattern about Father that appears in Mother’s written account of the Alaskan years of my childhood that began just before my 6th birthday and flowed into a ridiculously consuming process of homesteading on an Alaskan mountainside, it is that Father knew how to work.
The account of some of the working patterns Father accomplished testify to nearly superhuman stamina, perseverance and accomplishment against overwhelming odds. But was Father’s stunning commitment to work more about escaping his wife (her insanity and abuse), escaping his responsibilities to notice, care and take action on behalf of his children, escaping his confusion, his conscience, escaping his feelings and escaping the reality of his and his children’s life than it was about the products of the work he did?
I think I and several of my siblings certainly inherited our physical stamina from Father. Then we either inherited his ability to work with concentrated focus on difficult tasks — or we learned it from him in combination with our natural inherited ability. After all, I just spent all of last winter digging up and sinking a large yard — did it well – and loved it!
(see series of posts: LINDA’S ADOBE PEACE GARDEN)
Maybe those of us who enjoy and can accomplish hard physical work are born athletes. But now that I am 60 my body is developing some serious quirks that are warning me that my delight and escape through hard physical work is going to end — and perhaps so in the not too far distant future.