Freedom of wine


wine-montage

“My objection to war was not that I had to kill somebody

or be killed senselessly, that hardly mattered.

What I objected to was to be denied the right to sit in a small room and starve

and drink cheap wine and go crazy in my own way and at my own leisure.”

― Charles BukowskiSouth of No North

Soldiers train to go to war. We mentally prepare ourselves to die. We don’t want to die of course, but we prepare for it. We learn to shoot weapons to defend ourselves. We create wills just in case. We tell our families we love them. And then, we go off to a foreign country and hope things will be alright.

We adjust to the lack of freedom and the demanding work schedules. We cope with the dangers of intermittent rockets or the unknown dangers on a patrol. We learn to deal with the nonstop worry of the sky falling, because sometimes it literally is.

Don’t get me wrong, I never had it that bad. I was what they call a FOBBIT, a Soldier who pretty much stayed on the Forward Operating Base. I was a unique FOBBIT though. I had opportunities to venture off bases from time to time. I went on some patrols with special forces troops, I met village elders, and I experienced a convoy here and there. But, I was never on the front line, in a fire-fight, or face to face with a known enemy. (So I had it relatively easy compared to our hardcore troops. So I am not here to pretend I was more than I was. I am merely sharing my perspective on my experiences to those who may not understand deployments.)

However, as a Soldier who was deployed to three different countries, I saw and experienced some interesting things. And through those years, I realized just how grateful I should be.

I’ve had to sleep in overcrowded tents, a bug infested plywood hut and an cold HUMVEE. I’ve heard the whistle of a rocket overhead and hit the ground not knowing where it would land. I heard gunfire fill the air and not know which way it was going. I’ve walked on a patrol and got a bit uncertain with some locals around us. I’ve seen the dismal conditions people have had to endure. So, there were times of heightened concern, general discomfort, humble gratitude.

Then…there were times where there was nothing. Sometimes days, weeks and months of nothing. Nothing but work and more work. The same old work and the same old clothes and the same old food in the same old places. Being stuck in a small compound is enough to stress you out.

You get stir crazy in a way. You want to drive your own car, wear your own cloths, make your own schedule. But you can’t. You are stuck there. You feel like a prisoner who has to defend freedom, yet ironically, you have very little of your own.

Your life back home continues. Yet, it continues without you. And that is what nags at you. You miss your freedom. You miss your life. The freedom you had taken for granted is now gone. Your freedom is on hold while you try to regain it for someone else.

It is like that saying, you don’t know what you have until its gone. That is true. Because once you are deployed, you realize, you miss the little things. You miss cooking. You long to wear colors. You want to enjoy a glass of wine. But you can’t. You are a Soldier every day, every second and every moment.

This lack of control over the small luxuries hangs over you. Fore example, back home, you may only drink a handful of times a year. Yet, when you are deployed and not “allowed” to drink, you miss it more. You want it more because that freedom was taken from you.

I longed for a drink when I was deployed. It wasn’t that I really drank that much at home, but I enjoyed the option of having one when I desired. I wished I could kick up my heels and enjoy a glass of wine after a hard day. But I couldn’t. So when I read the Charles Bukowski quote above, I laughed. Yes, I definitely missed my right to sit around and drink cheap wine. I missed the option of making myself view the world with a bit of a colorful blur, if even for one night.

So the above photomontage is a blend of some of the items currently on my wine rack. Sometimes, I don’t touch it for months. Other times, I may have a glass or two in one day. The great thing though is, I can now do it at my leisure. And that freedom is something I will always appreciate.

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For Sally D’s Phoneography Challenge ~ Photomontage.

To read more about Charles Bukowski, click here.

Facts and memories ~ what you recall


Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.

What you have caught on film is captured forever…

it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

~ Aaron  Siskind ~

Our memories can be selective and based upon our perspective. Some details are easily forgotten while others cling to our minds. We relive feelings, both good and bad, as we recall a moment. And if we close our eyes – we can almost taste or see a particularly memorable event when thinking of it. Unfortunately, all those perceptions may not be the same as someone else.

This difference doesn’t necessarily mean one person is lying though. It just means they saw it a different way or at a another perspective.

I have said on many occasions, that if you have two people and one situation, you will have three stories. Each person will have their perspective of course, and somewhere in the middle generally lies the simple, unfiltered facts.

It makes sense when you think about it, and often, I think this difference is best described by comparing it to photography.

Take a look at the three iPhone macro photography shots of some peppers from my garden. Each picture is different. Yet, they are the same peppers. And I would bet, that if you gave these peppers to another photographer, they would capture yet another view. In fact, there are probably countless ways to photograph the same thing.

This factor makes life incredibly fun, and yet frustrating. From cooking to politics, people can find vast variety when looking at the same things. Some may find one idea/picture/song/etc motivating and uplifting while another finds the same boring and offensive. And then, there are probably even more views somewhere in the middle. Essentially, no one sees things the same way. As unique human beings, this should be expected though. We all think, feel, and love differently. Therefore, our perspectives will almost always vary.

The magic with photography (and several other mediums of art) is that our perspective is captured. Through our pictures, we freeze time. We paint a view of our feelings. We create a sense of texture.  We open a window to those who were not there. We invite a peek into our minds. That moment is now fact, forever, and we created it. It is no longer our perception alone, but the perception of all those who ssw our work. To me, that is empowering.

I can replace bland with beauty and boring with wonder. I can invite people to places that they would have likely ignored. I can spread magic into hearts that have grown tired. Overall, I can (hopefully) reveal just how amazing life and the world can still be, and make someone regain a little hope and motivation to continue. Because, maybe from their perspective, it just hasn’t looked that good.

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 For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro.

September is suicide prevention month in the Army, and I guess this was on my mind. Yet, I didn’t realize it until the last couple of paragraphs.

But that is the way my Thursday phoneography posts it seems. I pick a picture and just write and see where it takes me.

I hope this post finds whoever it is supposed to. May you find some comfort and know, you are not alone.

 

Over in a second


Moments fly by and by.

We often wonder, why do I try?

We cannot complete all that we want.

Our endless lists continue to taunt.

We miss little moments in the time that we waste.

Fussing and fretting, forgetting to taste.

For each little second could offer us glee

If we could only stop, embrace the present, and. just. be.

 

iPhone photos edited in Hipstamatic and Snapseed.

Fighting the clock is something we all do. We wish for more time to complete our to-do lists. We need more time to prepare for a test/meeting/event. We pray for more time with a loved one.

Time is precious and it waits for no one. Regardless of your wealth, character or intentions, the time you get is the time you get. Therefore, you can use it wisely or waste it. In this statement is where problems arise though.

When you use time wisely, does that mean you are always busy? Do you have to be productive in those moments of time for your time to matter? Or can you simply just be in the presence of nature or a loved one, embracing the sounds, smells, and tastes of an experience for the moment count?

I think the answers to those questions depend on the person. Only the individual can decide what is worthy of their time. And those answers can vary depending on the day, the situation and the people around us…

Have you thought about your time and how you use it and what you want to do? Go ahead. Think about. The clock is ticking…

 

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Ironically, I wrote the poem part of this for Linda G. Hill’s Prompt ~ Seconds. I saved it as a draft and then set it aside.

socs-badge-2015

A couple of weeks later, I took the pictures of the clock for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black & White.

They seemed to match up, so I figured, there was a reason I saved the poem. I just didn’t know in that second that I would be writing about time this week. So here we go, two challenges in one post. Now THAT is using your time wisely:)

Blooming out of Decay


Should haves, could haves and meant to dos

Leave you with regrets and feeling blue.

If you look too long at the past gone by,

You will sit and wonder, and perhaps even cry.

 

Your past is just that. It has passed you and gone.

You can spend your present wondering, what went wrong?

But you can’t change what you cannot undo.

And if you could… would you still be you?

 

For you are built from your bad, as well as your good.

The lessons you learned were well understood.

You formed yourself through the dark and the gloom.

And through all that, you’ve become, a beautiful bloom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro.

I decided to go with the macro mushroom shot a couple of days ago. However, I stared at the pictures, not knowing what to write. Today, within 5 minutes, this poem came out so I went with it.

For me, it speaks on how so many of us feel trapped in our past, our pain and our history. It’s hard to move out of that, but you can. That’s the great thing. We can rediscover and reshape ourselves a little each day. And like the mushrooms growing on the rotting tree in the forest, we can have purpose and beauty. I hope that whoever needs to hear this today does. I feel like it poured out of me for a reason…perhaps I needed to hear it myself.

and, since it fits…

For the theme of the Daily Post’s Challenge ~ Survival.