WELCOME TO THE LABYRINTH
I call this book a labyrinth. But it might be more correct to say that its principal subject, my father, Thomas J. Wingate, was a maze: complex and multi-branched, with no clear path to his core. To me he's a labyrinth because of the half-man, half-bull Minotaur who lived at the center of the classic labyrinth of ancient Knossos, built by Daedalus for King Minos.
Whatever branching path I take toward the father in my imagination, I know and dread the Minotaur of anger and violence that waits for me in the middle of it.
I say "the father in my imagination" because he started dying when I was nine and finished dying when I was ten. I don't know him and doubt I ever did. But I do know that my father was an angry man with no sense of peace, and though I am not destined to replicate his path, I am destined to wrestle with the anger and the non-peace that I learned from him without wanting to.
This book is daddylabyrinth to me not only because of the one I’m stuck in with my dad. I'm a father myself now, with two sons of my own, and the longer I live as a father, the more I realize that my sons are stuck in a labyrinth with me, too. The more I see them taking on the anger and fear that float through the air from me to them.
I want to release those ancestral angers from within myself, my home, my life, and remove them from circulation before any more of them pass on. Before any of the ones already out there sink deeper into my children than they will know until it's too late.
So there are two labyrinths at play in this book: one my father, one me. At the center of both stands the man I must never become.
To hear a bit about this work and how to navigate it, watch the following video and then click the "Begin this path" box on the left below.
This book is dedicated to fathers everywhereand those who love them.
Begin this path: WELCOME TO THE LABYRINTH