Friday, October 8, 2010

The Transition

I just love movies and scenes that capture the essence of the switch that triggers in a boys mind at the moment he decides to become a man (....eventually). It takes a special dialog, expression, camera angle, eyebrow raise or quickening of breath to symbolize the decision. Some of the best I remember are:

The Patriot: The ambush scene. 
-Benjamin Martin enlists his two youngest boys at a moments notice, and they grow up before your eyes. From fear and uncertainty, to decisive action, the scene speaks to the all the time he poured into their childhood, instructing, disciplining, and leading by example. These ethos are caught, not taught.

National Treasure: The attic scene.
-Ben Gates is a child in his grandfathers attic, and learns of the family heritage. His father is a cynic, but his grandfather passes the mantle to Ben. I always feel a surge of excitement when he is "knighted" into the family quest, then raises his head: both child and man. It's a very clear example of the power and purpose that is passed down through a generational blessing. 

Secondhand Lions
The whole movie is a sensational depiction of coming of age. Check out the look in Walter's eyes when he hears Uncle Hub's story: 
"I'm Hub McCann. I've fought in two World Wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I've seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I've won and lost a dozen fortunes, KILLED MANY MEN and loved only one woman with a passion a FLEA like you could never begin to understand. That's who I am." 

What's your favorite?

One reason that these scenes speak deeply to me is that in my own case, this moment was forced involuntarily, and without any guidance. Unfortunately, it was much more similar to that experienced by Ed in City Slickers. 

I paid a huge price through my teen years for that moment.

If you have a son, will you get the chance to intentionally shepherd this moment?
I pray you will.
Dad U

1 comment:

  1. The only one of those scenes that finds resonance with me is the last one.

    I guess the reason is I I found my purpose as a man in what I didn't want to be, not in what I wanted to be. From the sound of it, your had it pretty much the same way.