When I was sixty, I set out on a motorcycle ride from Montana to Alaska and back. Unexpectedly, I began to dwell on vexing and suppressed problems. During the journey, I changed the way I thought about my relationships and myself. The concept of fractured fathers came to me early in the trip. Fractured fathers, wounded men, preoccupied me. Monotonous hours of riding intensified my introspection. More
It was not until I reached the age of sixty that I set out on a long motorcycle ride. I chose a Montana to Alaska ride. It would take me through the Canadian Rockies. I knew that I would ride over long periods. I did not know that I would begin to dwell on my most vexing, suppressed problems. I did not know that the epic motorcycle ride would change the way I thought about my relationships and myself. The concept of fractured fathers came to me early in the trip. Fractured fathers, wounded men, preoccupied me. Monotonous hours of riding intensified my introspection. I was not dwelling on fathers when I began my trip. For fifty years, I refused to think about why my father had abandoned my mother, sister, and me. For fifty years, I supressed thinking about how my grandmother and grandfather helped my father abandon his family. For fifty years, I ignored how they lied to us about where he was. I looked into the mirror while traveling in the liminal space on this trip. I am a fractured father, deeply torn, deeply hurt, deeply agitated. I am fractured from being deserted by my father, but not fatally so. In ironic and odd ways I am the person I am because of it. I am more fractured by what Tanya, my daughter, has done. She inflicted a deadly, hurtful blow, an uncanny and an unexpected blow. When I rode through the Montana portal, the change began. About 6500 kilometres later when I rode back through the Montana portal, fractured fathers rode with me. Fractured fathers repeatedly and persistently crossed my path. They forced me to confront critical issues, think deeply about my life and purpose, question and answer who I am.