Friday, October 2, 2015

#50 Grandpa's Fingers

Write about fingers (or toes). Do they belong to your character? Are they lean and long “artistic” fingers, or short and chubby? All of them in place? What are they good at?
OPTIONAL: Work on your fiction and share.

I remember as a child, I was struck by the fingers of my grandfather, to be precise, by the lack of them. I can't even remember how many of them were missing - quite a few. It always creeped me out just a bit - a bit because I adored my dedushka! He was a very gentle, kind man, and even though suffered, as many men in Russia, from alcoholism, was not aggressive or cruel at all. He would do his day job (when I knew him, he was taking care of horses in the local collective farm), spent lots of time on the steep rocky bank of the Angara River where he'd watch boats, big and little, ships, ferries and tugboats - he became almost a part of the scenery, so much that grandma, his wife said that Angara became an orphan when dedushka died. When I grew up, I thought about what happened to dedushka's fingers, and many village men's fingers which were missing. And one thing I came up with was they chopped them when were tipsy because they never stopped doing the traditional countryside work, such as chopping firewood or building and rebuilding houses, barns and banyas, and they were almost always tipsy. I am a city kid, so the men who I grew up with in cities did not have such a problem. The other guess is they lost their fingers at the field of war or, in my dedushka's case, in the years spent in prison - no, he wasn't a criminal, though the Soviet government liked to make their citizens criminals for the most innocent things they have done (helping out a poor family, feeding them in hungry years, would be such a crime; you did not have to do any crime at all, just to born in a "wrong" family - you were a criminal by birth). Grandpa's missing fingers are like many of Russian history's missing pages - pages about which the truth we will never know because those who experienced them are mostly gone by now, and even when they were alive, their destiny taught them to keep their mouth shot.

12 min

Rise and Write 50-56. Week 8

1 comment:

  1. Of course what you can imagine may be either spot on or miles from the truth. There are hidden mysteries in past generations.