Art Paper

Submitted By gohomekevin
Words: 1347
Pages: 6

Kevin Jung
Mitchell S. Jackson
Writing II
February 26, 2013
Essay #1
The Acacia Tree I grew up in a closely bounded family of patriarchy and of superlatives. The males were clearly the dominant and haughty and their accomplishments were either exaggerated versions of the truth or in some cases, entirely fabricated, although I did not know that we were writing our own family mythology collection until I was an adolescent. As a boy myself, I was constantly reminded that mediocrity was unacceptable in our family and that our achievements had to be as extraordinary as those of my grandfathers of the past. My father and grandfather had shaped me – as a child, my accomplishments were extraordinary and so were my failures. I was not an easy-going child and my unwavering attitude showed just that. My father and grandfather both had many “life stories” and real “adventures” to tell me over and over until I believed they were fact. These stories became our family mythology. Start the essay here My head is still full of the lies my father and grandfather had told me when I was a young child – I have to catch myself when I say my grandfather ran for president and my father would’ve caught a white tiger with his bare hands if he had not broke his rib cage while doing so. There was even a newspaper article on my father “The Eye of the Tiger” and I am utterly embarrassed to admit that I have told these stories to my friends and peers. The central story in my family’s vast collection of mythology is one that my grandfather and father emphasized the most during my childhood and as time passed, it grew to define my sense of family. My grandfather was a farmer and he owned a decent sized kaki fruit farm in the rural areas of South Korea and in the vicinity, there was a small mountain that my grandfather, father, and I would climb whenever we visited my grandparents. According to the myth my grandfather and father had told me, the mountain belonged to our family, built by my great ancestors and was passed down many generations – and now, it belonged to my grandfather. I first climbed the mountain with my grandfather when I was ten, eleven – I was young. As a short, young boy, I could not help but notice the tall trees that seemed to be staggered in rows and columns. Of course, my grandfather had a story behind it; according to my grandfather, each of the trees, which he told me was called Acacia trees, represented all the males in the family and once we die, our souls would leave our body and enter our corresponding tree; he even pointed to the small tree next to the other taller trees and told me that the particular tree was his own that he planted when he was a teenage boy. He added on by saying that the trees were located in chronological order, from our oldest ancestors at the top of the mountain to my father’s, which was closer to the base and that mine was to be planted next to my father’s. I could not make half-sense of this spiritual talk so as a curious boy, I asked him and I still remember his exact words: “Even if we must leave our families behind, our souls will still be here and be able to protect them like a man should do for his family.” I did not fully understand nor realize the emphasis of patriarchy that my grandfather and the rest of my family accentuated so heavily until that exact moment. The following year my grandfather passed away from cancer and although I did not fully comprehend the theory of life and death or even the afterlife, I visited the tree that he claimed to be his and I would talk to the tree because I believed his soul was actually inside. This went on for the next couple of years until I had become an adolescent of my own and when I was seventeen, I believed it was my turn to plant my own Acacia tree – only to find out everything was a hoax. I was almost eighteen when my father had finally decided to unveil the cloth. I was not mad but I was not happy either. My curiosity was still…