The Armstrong Family Circus

published and designed by Wiseacre Design Studio

Maineville • Ohio • USA

Hosted in the United States by Eleven2, Inc.

And in the shadow of the valley of your family tree

Monday January 10th 2011

by Paul Armstrong


Getting older means reflection. Memories. Eventually you pass that half way point, where you have less life (on average, obviously any of us could die at any time) in front of you than behind you; and you inevitably wonder how useful, purposeful or important of it was. Not just that, but you analyze why you are who you are now, based on your fragmented memory (and in my case, as hazy a frosted window) of the life now long past.


I have a lot of small pains in my life. The average kind. The kind most all of us experience. I remember having to go to junior camp at my Christian school. A place you'd imagine that kids and teachers would find some compassion on a shy, awkward kid who liked to draw and keep mostly to himself. I was walking the dirt path from the night campfire to our boys cabin. Alone. When a group of kids decided to throw rocks at me to keep me from being near them. I fled to the woods, hiding my tears the best I could. Mixed with the literal pain of getting hit with rocks was the deep scar of rejection. I told a teacher but they told me to go back to the cabin.


I had an unwanted and useless talent. Drawing. Drawing was for children. It wasn't a career. If anything it was evil. Art had no place in Christianity. God must not have loved me much to give me a gift that he didn't want, like He was throwing rocks at me, keeping me from him; telling me to flee.


I sit at this desk, a man. A father. A business owner. Yet those scars have now worn into faded discolored patches of skin on my arms. A blemish. Scar of inevitable rejection. Of unwanted talent. Of self-imposed loneliness. Waiting for the rocks to be thrown...




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