Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Haunting Scars of Our Youth

When did Donald Trump first acquire his bouffant hair style? Is it reminiscent of his awkward adolescence? When did Lady Gaga first acquire her desire to wear meat? Is it a shadow of an overly carnivorous father figure? When did Adolph Hitler first acquire his square shaped mustache? Is it in memory of his overly masculine mother?

These inquires become the hinge on our window of memory that, when opened, allows us to see the haunting scars of our youth. What moment defined who we would be for the next 20, 40, or 80 years? Was it an epic failure that rocketed you into a successful career as a social worker? Or, perhaps you experienced a life changing success in your junior year of high school that, like Billy Ray Cyruss, left you with an impressive mullet? I recently witnessed this inspiring junction in the life of a young man.

While tutoring at a local elementary school, I watched the throng of 2nd graders bustling about in their microcosm of playground politics and classroom crushes. Each jockeying for their own chance to shine, one boy stood out. He was a sturdy chap with the flash of fire in his eyes and the smell of chocolate cake on his breath. Wearing an adult XL sized Cub Scout shirt busting at the seems, he paraded around his peers with the pomp of a perfectly plumed peacock. He looked hungry for an adventure, starving for a thrill, famished for fun. And then his eyes landed upon the bent over view of the student teacher Ms. Bells: his target was found.

With the stealth of a bloated walrus, he clamored his way atop the nearest work table. I could see the momentum building in his stocky body has he began a great squatting movement on the shaking desk. With one strenuous heave of his hefty human Ho Ho, this proud Cub launched himself skyward. The frail frame of the momentarily stationary student teacher did not stand a chance against the rotund mass of the airborne child.

The look of triumph rested on his glistening face as he stood over his flattened victim. This was his moment, his formalizing announcement to the world that he would be someone special: the next Rock, the next Hulk Hogan, the next President of the United States of America. His future was cemented for him in one glorious body thrust that took an authority figure to the ground. This 8 year old became king of his own mountain. What future will be haunted by this scar of his youth? Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Tale

Charles Dickens penned, "I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by and by into our lives." Long hours have I sat, listening, listening to a thunderous throng of thespians soaking up each other's excitement to a level of saturation. And for that abundance of life, I would like to thank each of the individuals who have added to the synergy of my Tale.

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature in constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other." Listening to each of your words, listening to each of your actions, and most importantly, listening to each of your love has been a treasured secret and mystery for me to explore. Through the secret places of our hearts, we have shared the vulernabilities that allow for pure understanding to occur. Your love has been the key to opening the door to this story, to our story. Thank you for letting me listen.

Dickens wrote that Dr. Manette would often lapse back into memory and experience things "incomprehensible to those unacquainted with his story as if they had seen the shadow of the actual Bastille thrown upon him by a summer sun, when the substance was three hundred miles away." I already find myself craving your "shadow" that you cast upon me. No one outside of our production can understand the culminating adventure that we took together. Your shadow is a comfort, a safe place in my life. Thank you for letting me be in your shadow.

Together we wrote our own Tale these past few months. Each line was written by the laughter, the tears, the drama, the hard work and the passion each of us have given freely. Freely is a poor word choice; not a single one of us can walk away from this family without acknowledging our investment in each other. The price we have paid through listening and loving each other will be an unremitting shadow in our lives.

Thank you for being mine.