The Day I said "no"… Texas

Friday, March 13th, 2009

“The soul is healed by being with children” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

To my Friends, both winners, Father and Son, “Brian and Brandon”

It is raining tonight, everyone with a water catchment system must be just so thrilled as it is going to fill up their tanks! What a gift it must be to wake up in the morning with hundreds of gallons of free water. Much needed. Maybe next year we will also experience that thrill. When I think water, I think bridge, I see the rivers, I see the flow, constant, never a return, always forward, leading the next draw with no exception. My mind gets triggered at times with only a word, sometimes a photo, sometimes both or a thought which as a spark suddenly lights up the path of my reflections for the moment. Strange ways…

Brando 5

In the magazine section of this site, a section I will need to remove soon as it’s idea was, I felt, good but too time consuming to unfortunately pursue, I have a short article on my Friend Brandon, 9 at the time, 11 today. His Father, Bryan, nicknamed Juice, is the owner and creator of a Motorcycle Forum called  “Dual Sport Riders of Louisiana“. We have been visiting them these past couple years, the nicest bunch of people you will meet. They have always been putting on for us a ride through the most beautiful parts of the State, invariably ending up with a great dinner… Louisiana food? It just does not get any better. It has however always been beyond the ride, beyond the scenery, it has been the welcome we have always felt with all the riders, no exceptions. None what so ever.

Brandon 1 Brandon 3

A couple days ago, Brandon send me some photos. Not just any photos, but some images of him while racing his motorcycle. 11 years old! I have always lifted my hat with so much respect for Bryan passing on the flag to his son as young as he is. He has been to me in my thought always the “Father of the Year” throughout any consecutive moments of the times passed and I know future. I read comments such as Brandon being such a lucky “kid”, but I also know, myself being a father, how lucky Bryan is, having such a son by his side day in and day out. It is not luck however, it is “doing”, it is a Love for each other, it is finding the funds and the time to allow this hobby to go on, this passion some of us have on two wheels, us now three!

Brandon 9

Brandon 8 Brandon 11

Last night while going over the photos again, seeing this youngster negotiating the curves in such perfect form, thinking how much discipline it has taken for the both of them to reach this stage, thinking how much dedication it has taken to accomplish so few of us do, I felt as many maybe have also forgotten the path of “Love” that must exist between them. A page of my own past Life suddenly appeared out of nowhere from this memory bank we seem to carry as incessant reminders of lost times. The scene is San Francisco, only a while before Lance was pronounced with Liver Cancer. We are downtown, we are at the Ducati Motorcycle Dealership.

ducati 1 ducati 2

I am so sorry Lance…

Lance has good taste! Always have, wether food or clothe, a car and now it was a motorcycle. A Ducati Multistrada, a red one, bright red, Italian red with just enough shine to spark his own eyes brightly lit as no words could express his desire and dream of owning one. Like father like son, here we were, touching, caressing and dreaming ahead toward the hours we could spend together feeling the wind on our bodies through the freedom of riding our own motorcycles. I could afford buying him one at the time, but my chest had this weight within, my mind incomprehensible at the time, now looking back, was not in tune with the present ambition that had lead us to the store.

Brandon 6 Brandon 7

Lance was getting ready to go to College to start some Business courses, the thought had been to open a Restaurant together. His persona would take care of the front, I would take care of the kitchen. He was also working full time, in the midst of looking for a better living space. This step seemingly screamed as being at the time on the wrong path. I said a word that will follow me to the end of eternity now, a word I will and do regret. I said a word so wrong for the time, for that moment when I could have said “yes”. I said “no”. Any reply can carry any justification one’s mind  wants to express. That is the easy part, to convince ourselves of a decision, we all have that ability to do so. We do not have the ability to foresee the future and prevent an unforeseen situation to happen. Lance never got to ride… he never laid his eyes again on this red Italian motorcycle, he never did. I am the one that takes the blame…

Brandon 13 Brandon 15

Brandon’s own rescued Pit “Jinks”!!! Ah… those mean Pits… 

It is beyond the motorcycle that this morning my tears roll as my chest is tight filled with regrets, regrets no words can express my own wrong doing, my false train of thoughts, my guilt that I carry, the price to pay for what I once thought I was doing right, the day that I said “no”. If I only knew then what I know today… If… Brandon, you go on riding my Friend, you go on riding as Lance is watching you, he is at the finish line with his big smile. It is not a matter of winning, you are already a winner, you both are, you both Father and Son will always carry that Trophy called “Love”.

Brandon 2 Brandon 12

Just try not to say “no”…

Twenty nine months of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.

Internet connections, bandwidth, cameras, fuel… they are all part of this Blog allowing page after page to be published. Contributions to the site are welcomed always. 

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “The Day I said "no"… Texas”

  1. Louise Says:

    …Father and Son will always carry that Trophy called “Love”…

    When you are deep in your Ducati regrets, it can be easy to forget that you DID give Lance the most important gift of all, LOVE. LOVE is what makes him smiling at the finish line with Brandon. LOVE is the legacy that a father passes to a son, forever. LOVE is what made Lance such a good person. The happiness and confidence he carried through the world for too short a time came from the unwavering LOVE you gave him. You never said “no” to the love.

    I am sorry that this motorcycle memory makes you sad. Regrets are normal, but so painful. I hope the love helps.

  2. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara, Our family has had some experiences with motorcycles, perhaps not to the extent young Brandon has, but the fascination and obsession were/are still there. I found myself in the same situation of having to say “no” to my motorcycle obsessed men in the family. It is so difficult, as you know. But I’m convinced it was as right for you and your son Lance, as it was for our family. You see, you and he had worked out your hopes and plans for the future, for him to get more education and go into business with you and assume the responsibilities of adulthood. This is essential for our young people to build their confidence and self esteem by making plans for their future, then going to work to make them happen, and being able to put off the shiny, tempting “things” of life until we can afford them. So you really loved Lance to be able to say that tough word “no” to him! You can be sure that he was proud that you had the confidence in him to get more education and become your partner in business. I can’t think of a better, more lasting gift to give a son at that age. You gave him the very best gift!

  3. admin Says:

    Louise, Zelda… two kind and thoughtful “spirits” you are. There are just still sometimes you know… the botom drops. Thin thread… it has never given away, I hope it never does ever as Lance is hanging on from the other side.
    Thank you for your kind words of support, realism… you leave me speechless with such caring you show. Ara & Spirit

  4. texascindy Says:

    Ara, I remember you said something during our visit a few days ago about time not healing wounds. At the time, the conversation shifted to another subject but this flow of feelings today makes me remember what I wanted to say then but forgot to: time CAN heal wounds but there will always be a scar there to remind us of the wound. Scars are tough: the more you poke and prod them, the tougher they get. But the pain can never truly go away. Years from now something will bump that scar and you will remember exactly how it got there. Lance would not want you to beat yourself up over anything in yours and his past. Your past is what made you the person you are now. I feel it a privilege to have been able to meet you and spend a few hours talking with you. Hopefully our paths will cross again. Give Spirit a good ear-scratching for me!
    Safe travels, Cindy

  5. A Lady's Life Says:

    Amazing photography…soul healing…if you can cook the way you photograph…then you got it made Bud. Keep up[ the good work.
    Viav la Hayastan…!

  6. Christine Says:

    As Louise and Zelda both share. You did say “Yes” to Love and to the dreams of a future and a business. Sometimes “No” is also Love. Parenting is full of Yes and No’s…all in Love. Looking behind always “seems” so sure in its patterns and connections. Looking forward, especially in parenting is always a leap of faith and love to do the best you can. You make the best decisions you can given the best information, resources, physical energy and heart you have and them move on to the next choices. I suggest reading “The Drunkard’s Walk” by Leonard Mlodinow….he speaks about randomness and chance and our perceptions of it. He paraphrased Michael Faraday following an experiment, “Human perception, Faraday recognized, is not a direct consequence of reality but rather an act of imagination….Perception requires imagination because the data people encounter in their lives are never complete and always equivocal.”……….

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