Many thanks to this gentleman for allowing me to use his image. May his life be blessed! This is truly one of my favorite portraits.
Our sons are the old men that they will one day become. (repost)
As I looked into his eyes, I could not help but wonder his past and future. I was so caught up in his story and what will become of him that I could not appreciate his presence. His wounds appeared deeper than any human could possibly comprehend. Only a higher power could resurrect a life of near-death experiences and heartaches that ran through his eyes. His eyes appeared to have ponds filled with tears on the verge of overflowing. As I looked closer, I could see that one had spilled over and dried upon his skin.
Could his life had started as hard as it appeared to be at this time? Then I thought of our sons. Our sons that are trying their best to make themselves into men or at least appear as men to those of us who look upon them with scorn, confusion and sometimes resentment.
Had this man at one time felt the pressure to be someone who he had never known. Had this man felt the pressure to be someone that he saw walk in and out of his life? Had this man felt the pressure to be the man that his mom never had or the man that drove her to look at her own son with resentment?
Had this man felt the pressure to be a boy, a man, a husband, a father, a friend, a provider, a leader, an example. An example of something that seemed impossible only because the same eyes that were darkened and the skin that showed the scars of near-death experiences were the same as the ones that he stared into as a young boy hoping to get instructions on how to be that man who eyes would light up a room.
To be that man of near-death experiences and life-changing events but instead conquered life and wore gold medals of triumphs around his neck. The man with a mother who looked at him with such sincerity and approval that her heart melts at the man that he had become.
Our sons are these old men but with scars worn in their unspoken language. Worn in their unspoken swag. Worn in their unspoken behavior of disobedience. Worn in their unspoken feelings of insecurity and abandonment that produce wounds that run deeper than any human could possibly comprehend. Only a higher power could resurrect a life of near-death experiences and heartaches that run through our sons as they turn into these old men.
© 2018 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.