The mysterious bravery of my friend Scott Lapham
When I read the below facebook post by Scott Lapham this morning my heart was filled with joy. Scott is one of the first friends I made in Providence, and I have followed his work, both as an artist, and as a leader at AS220, for many years. I find a great deal of wisdom in his words. That he can trace his own circuitous path, and find, from a place of hardship, the ability to give to others is something really valuable.
Being a firm non believer in fate, I still do believe in mystery. It has been a mystery to me how a kid who really got the snot beat out of him on a reglar basis ended up teaching photography to incarcerated juveniles. It is also a mystery how I have found myself mentoring so many young men when the whole idea of manhood has been such a confusing and negative topic for me since I was aware that the idea even existed. When I learned that we were having a son I groaned at the vision of him enduring the agression and bullshit I had to growing up as a guy. I would like to thank the Alchemy program for working with the male students and staff at the AS220 Youth program for walking us through the metaphors of ancient myths and how they pertain to growing up as a guy in an urban neighborhood today. How cool it would have been to have had a similar experience when I was young (even though my neighborhood was woods and fields)? My son will be better off for it. Last night, when I couldn’t sleep I imagined the Boston Marathon bombers having their isolation, aggression and energy channeled at an earlier age toward society and not against it. I don’t pretend to know everything, but I do know it is possible they could have benefitted from experiences like this too. We know how it turns out for those who don’t. Thank You Alchemy, Kwame, Shelton and Kwame and all the he-ros, her-ros both students and staff at AS220 Youth. – Scott Lapham