We ran in packs, we spoke in a different language, we moved in a different yet familiar way. We laughed with one another. We cried, deciphered and shared. We loved and we fought—we trusted to settle. We were young. We were boys. We were together.
Somewhere along the way we stopped looking at one another as friends, as guides, as brothers and started seeing one another as the other. What was simple strife became unspoken fears and walls that guarded us from those who were now our acquaintances. What we once admired without understanding in one another became confused judgment. We became afraid of the letting go of understanding. We were alone.
As I witness what my fellow “camera men” are doing, their photos, I see longing, searching and much angst—that kind of angst we thought we must give away in becoming a man. It’s in that angst that gives me the most hope for us. In that angst I feel an acceptance for questioning. I see a discovering of vulnerability and a wonder for safety. I see a search for another that brings mates together like two countrymen in a foreign land. I feel accepted and loved. I feel as though I’m in a pack—a pack of boys longing to rely on another and to be relied upon by another. I feel together.
What brings us together is what brought us together then. It wasn’t our strengths, our certainties or pride, it was our weaknesses, our misunderstandings, it was our uncertainties and doubts. We expected it ourselves and accepted it in one another. I believe we can again.