In Baseball, They Brother
From a photo-shoot in early April, these images capture aspects of a magical-messy narrative. Like Spring, Camden and Jackson's brotherhood is actually growing into something—harmony and disharmony included.
Straight-forward is not your typical descriptor of middle-school adolescence. So, as Camden looks steely-eyed into the camera, overcome by his apparent earnestness, the younger brother knows better. Which accounts for Jackson's intensely reflective posture.
Sure enough, power asserts itself. Camden's face bears every resemblance to that imperialist-colonialist who is quite comfortable with his aggression, remorse-free, and with a trace of self-bemusement. Jackson's mood of resignation settles in, with a gleam of something subversive.
Oh, snap. Jackson has struck—and with venom—in order to keep his own hat from being occupied. Tables are turned. Scripts are flipped. The status quo in brotherly geopolitics is on notice.
As with Cain and Abel, as with Esau and Jacob, so too with Camden and Jackson: the affections and relations are done in by the boastfulness of swag. Jackson's swag, in fact, has actually caught Camden off-guard. A smile slips out. The older brother has almost forgotten about retribution.
A simulated elbow to the face surely says, "Watch your swag, little boy." But, thankfully, a show of violent force—that ancient, nagging temptation—has found restraint. They are brothers, after all, and in any relationship someone must break the cycle of retaliation if a peaceable kingdom is to emerge.
In spite of it all, and through it all, brotherhood clings. It is touching; it is healing. Yet its true realities often stand somewhere between a meaningful embrace and a not-so-subtle headlock.
Dear God, may they brother in season and out. May they find a grace beyond their insecurities, and a truth higher than the naked will to power.