Friday, August 7, 2009

The Boy

Photo: A little boy stares at my camera. Samoa, 2009.

There was a time in my life when all things were fundamental, raw and rugged, yet rich in culture and succulent in flavor. I didn't have a care in the world. I was young. Guided by faith, nurtured by hope.

In school, I'd have nothing but a pencil in my pocket, a few sheets of folded scrap paper for notes and maybe a dollar or two for lunch. I'd sit in class, pay close attention to my teachers as they spoke in length about molecular theories and molar mass, square roots and integers. It meant nothing to me--and to this day, I still can't understand why I sat there so patiently, so intrigued, so amazed at how much information I couldn't understand. When the bell rang, I awoke from the spell--stood up and walked away feeling like I had just paid for a B-rated movie.

I did a lot of soul searching when I was younger. Walking home, I'd take the long way, find new streets I had never crossed, new fields I had never seen. I'd make friends with crossing guards, shake hands with kids I'd never meet again and maybe pet a dog or two. The world was a lot safer then. It allowed me to dream, to lose myself in thought, to see the world in a way I'll never see again.

There was a time in my life when my evenings consisted of having dinner with my family, watching the nightly news with my father and helping my mom prepare for tomorrows meal. She loved to cook. And as we enjoyed each others company, we'd talk about life, about the good old days when they were young--how they never had television, never had silverware or had to eat left-overs for days upon end. I'd listen carefully. Took notes in my mental psyche and realized just how lucky I was to be their child.

At night, I'd lay awake for hours before falling asleep. Listening to my parents chatter in the living room, I'd hear them talk about their fears, their hopes and their dreams. Sometimes, they spoke of me. They'd question each other about my future, what I wanted to become and how I was going to get there. I'm sure it's natural for parents to worry.

I worried, too.

And to this day I still worry. I still ponder about my future. Sometimes, I lose myself in fear, walk the fine-line between fact and fiction--as I try to define what's real and what is not. All I know is that I want to make my parents proud one day. I want to let them know that the sacrifices they made in raising me had a purpose.

But in retrospect, I am still the little boy with nothing but a pencil and scraps of paper in his pocket. I'm still the boy that takes the long way home--the boy that finds friendship in strangers--the boy looking for new destinations.

I'm still the boy that worries about what will become of him when he's all grown up.

I'm still the boy...


Dan Denardo said...

..."make my parents proud one day."

Dude, I can assure you that your parents are proud NOW. I'm a parent and I am certain that your parents are beaming with pride. How could they not be. They did a magnificent job of preparing you for life and now you've sprouted wings.

In fact, I'm proud, too - proud that you're my friend.

TheChicGeek said...

Ron, I know your parents are proud of you today, right this very moment and have been for a very long time.

I think sometimes life gets hard, we get busy, and we all long for those carefree days of our youth. We just want to lay on the grass, stare up at the clouds in the sky and dream.

As adults, we can now make the dreams of our youth come true. We just need to remember to take that long way home every once in a while, to stop, to meditate, to ask ourselves if we are really on the path we want to be....and of course, to change it if it is not.

And now I am going to beat on you with a big, but loving stick! You live such an interesting and diverse life, one most would dream to have. You are truly blessed in so many ways. Never forget how truly special you are...sit with yourself, search your soul for a bit, Ron, I believe you will be immensely satisfied.

Sending you many wishes of happiness and time to take the long way home....time to dream :)

Have a Beautiful Day, Ron!

PS: Your photo, as always, is hauntingly beautiful. Thank you!

Cheryl said...

When I grow up I want to be an astronaut.

The Rambler said...

Ron. I'm so convinced your parents are and must be proud of you. I think your an amazing person that has such a gift with your talent and skill with photo and video and how you express life through them.

I think for most of us, we all have the child in us worrying about what we are going to be.

As always, very excellent post!


Hillbilly Duhn said...

Damn it. Of course, everybody else said what I wanted to But hey, lets jump on the gravy train and say it anyway shall we?

Being a parent myself, being the one who chats with her husband after the kids have gone to bed, wondering about their futures, our own, talking about past hopes and dreams and whether or not we've succeeded so far, I think that at least through your writings, if it's any consilation,(sp) that they are indeed proud. You sound like such a good person, you care about so many things, and you step outside the box to see life from a different angle. And you've never forgotten the history in which you came from. My hat's off to you, my friend.

Be proud!

DUTA said...

It's very natural to think of your parents and want them to be proud of you, and at the same time it's quite natural to feel you're still a little boy worrying about the future.

We all go through this in our life.

Clelia said...

That's fantastic... please don't change... losing yourself in a new street is like discover somenting new about your life.


Kelly Samalik said...

Ron, what a powerful message you have shared with us. Deep down inside, we all have the fear of not being accepted or appreciated. I think your work is beautiful.

Ron said...

Everyone, thank you so much for your kind words. I cannot tell you how much it means to me.

You know, I wrote this entry because I feel like life is getting just a bit too chaotic, and sometimes, I just wish I was a kid again. Yes, my parents are indeed proud of me, that I know, but the fact that they still worry about me (safety, future,etc), makes me feel horrible for putting them in that situation. I know they'll always be worried, but I wish I had more time with them, more days to spend just lounging around their home, eating their food and laughing with them. I enjoy going grocery shopping with my mom sometimes, going to their house in the middle of the night and raiding their fridge. I know they enjoy that too. I miss that.

My goal is to slow down a bit...soon.

Thanks again for your kind words and support. You are kept near and dear in my heart.

SearchingSoul said...

Ah! to be young and free...

It's always a blessing for someone who can keep that childlike character in him because he will never cease to live life with simple happiness, which is often the most important.

Your parents are truly proud of you, Ron. Thanks for your profound post.

Sarah, The New Girl said...

I enjoy your pensive posts the most, because instead of just allowing everyone in to your thoughts you also help to provoke your readers to have new thoughts of their own :)

there is absolutley no joy like the joy of knowing that you've worked hard, and that you deserve a break. use that break to enjoy the simple things, and it's like waking up a small part of you that has remained quiet, waiting for you to take the time to listen...

love the picture of the boy!

John said...

Though they wouldn't admit it or tell it straight to your face, like most Asian parents, you know that they are proud of you, no matter what.

I'm proud of you too, bro :)

Ava said...

Parents are always worried for their children. That's one way to show their love and care, I think. I'm sure all parents are proud of their children, just as most (if not all) of us feeling proud of our parents too! I sometimes wonder how my parents raised the six of us to become who we are today.

It's only natural that you want to slow down a little after busy traveling around and doing exciting job. May be, you only need a little rest or a do-nothing vacation :=)

AS... said...

Ron, very beautifully conveyed. I am sailing in the same boat and cant describe in words what I felt after reading this post.

Looking forward to reading more of your writings..

Deboshree said...

Hello there Ron,

I don't have words to describe how I felt after reading your post.

The first thing that came to my mind after reading your post feel Ron. You take the time to really feel things and people.Somehow I'm sure of that.

You look at things differently in an infinitely lovely way.

The very fact that you care to make your parents proud will make them proud. They'll be happy to know that they matter so much to you.

Glad I found you.

Warm Regards

The Demigoddess said...

I'm sure your parents are proud of you, Ron. Even if they're not telling you, they are the proudest parents in the whole of Canada (maybe that was a bit too exaggerated but...)

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