Pharoah Bolding and Guillermo Warley

Pharoah Bolding


Remember Grey
By Guillermo Warley
Inspiration piece

He remembers his mother’s pain. Her crying at night, how helpless he felt when he could not console her. Back then it was all his father’s fault, the villain that had left her, breaking 25 years of marriage.

It was so long ago. All the stories he heard about his parents’ marriage were skewed. What his father had done, what he hadn’t done but should have done. The dismal finances, and the treason.

He was just a teenager in those days, and he took sides. He took his mother’s side. Options were only black or white at the time. So many incomplete versions, so many biased opinions heavily influenced by emotions. There was pressure. From close friends of the family, from relatives, and from society and its rigid rules about what is right and what is wrong.

It would shape his life for years to come. His thoughts on relationships, his perception of love, even his own happiness. He dutifully took care of mom, the victim, the wronged woman. He suddenly grew 10 years, assumed a role of mediator, peacemaker, and breadwinner. All of it way too soon for such a young man.

He listened to his mother, for years to come, constantly making excuses for not working, for not trying to find love again, for not starting over. Eventually, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, she became a bitter and sad woman. A defeated person who did not have the will, or perhaps the courage, to pick herself up and move on. She had already “invested” 25 years of her life, why should “she” have to start over because of his father’s decision to leave?

He grew older. A decade and a half passed. His own life taught him about relationships and how inherently complicated they are. He reconnected with his father. He now knew about marriage and about fatherhood. He had learned the difference between the intent of “till death do us part” and real life. Devoid of the intense initial emotions, no longer blinded by his mother’s pain, he could finally hear the other side of the story. Conversations, letters, emails. A different story slowly emerged.

He learned that black and white explanations are rarely true, or sufficient. Different facts, different circumstances to those that had been engraved in his mind for years. He saw the gray, both on his father’s thinning hair and on the reasons for the divorce from his mother.

He saw a man not unlike himself across the tables of many cafes along the narrow streets of Buenos Aires. He asked tough questions, he did not spare his father any criticism, he made sure his father understood his pain, his mother’s pain, the roles taken, the opportunities missed. But most importantly, he listened. They both did. He finally understood. He found peace within himself. The lesson learned, though long and painful, was a worthy one. It now guides his own life. He no longer takes sides quickly. “Remember gray” he says to himself when faced with many of his own conflicts. Remember gray, indeed.




Note: All of the art, writing, and music on this site belongs to the person who created it. Copying or republishing anything you see here without express and written permission from the author or artist is strictly prohibited.