There are moments in life when one is emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically changed. What makes these moments special, especially the positive ones, is that we become anew, reborn in a sense, and we see the world from a new perspective, we view situations and people in a new light, overcome our emotional fears and experience joy and peace within ourselves, and were better able weather life’s storms.
In the past year, I have become “anew” many, many times. As a father, a filmmaker, and a son. I recently reconnected with my father, a man whom I have not seen in 32 years. I was 11 years old when I last seen him, and spent the rest of my life searching for him, for my identity, and my place within the world. I searched for him the people I met and places I found my self in.
In my first year of college I wrote and directed a kens burns style biopic about my search for him entitled “Chasing my fathers shadow.” The film represented my final presentation for a child psychology class at Union County College. It examined the effects of Paternal Absence from a freudian perspective, using my childhood as an example ( you can see it http://vimeo.com/4399647). Later, I adapted it into the short film I never finished called “chasing shadows”, a story about a young boy living on a barrier Island in south Jersey, in search of his father, a war-torn Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD.You can see the dailies here (https://vimeo.com/43255858).
Several years ago, I reconnected with my little sister on facebook for whom I also haven’t seen for 32 years. It was because of her, that I was able to work through the abandonment and bitterness and gathered the courage to friend him on facebook and eventually speak with him on the phone. I had so many questions, ones that a son should know about his father. It was the beginning of my relationship with him.
I know sit, in his living room typing this post. This short time, with him and his wife, has profoundly effected me. I am leaving today, back to NJ more complete, more whole, then anytime in my life. Many of my anxieties, and fears have gone and I feel more confident in my self, in my identity, and comfortable about my self. In finding my fahter, I found my self and now can move forward with my head held high, complete, and confident.