Saturday, November 28, 2009

Leif and Weaponry

This photo of Leif was taken in our living room in Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day 1985. We had taken the family photos I already posted. I imagine he was probably watching television when I took this photo, and he is holding a wooden gun he made. I think he made it with his dad. From the time he was very young he was fascinated with guns and all kinds of weaponry. Even as an adult he designed and made wooden guns as prototypes of guns he wanted to see and use in role gaming like Cyberpunk and Zaon. Perhaps he was born in the wrong age. Maybe at some other time he would have been a great military strategist or weapons designer. In our world, especially once his hoped-for military career didn't work out, his passion was mostly out of place and had little use except in the gaming world.

And yet I always called him my "gentle giant." He could so easily have harmed others, either with his own strong arms and legs or with all his swords and guns, yet he didn't. It's fortunate that as an older child he had gained control of his temper or things might have turned out very badly for him and others. I'm thankful he had that self control.

Who knows what kind of dreams he had of being the hero with those weapons, or whether they served to make him feel safer in a world that was not so friendly to him as an adult. They must also have been a part of that large persona he cultivated and presented to the world, the tough and capable weapons expert armed to the max. He talked a tough game and posed looking dangerous but lived a quiet life not harming others and even rescuing animals. A complex man. We will never know all the depths.

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