modern day muscle
addicted to my shadow
thinking of myself
I was drawn to them.
A fashionable couple
on a Sunday stroll
predatory paycheck loans
wheat paste afro skull
dark eyes stare into the void
I am staring back
I have an on going “project” capturing images of people from the passenger seat of any car I am riding in. The truth of the matter is I am just obsessed with photography and am finding it increasingly difficult to put the camera down and shut off my photographic mind. The automobile is such a huge part of our everyday lives, and it just seems like a shame not to capture some of that experience for future generations that will wonder what it was like when cars that ran on oil and gas clogged up the roadways.
as I leaned on the door of my car
photographing the used book store doorway
I saw her approaching out of the corner of my eye
she was with a man pushing a cart filled with their belongings
she became aggressive
quickening her pace
she started to scream
an incoherent diatribe
and began running towards me
in her best zombie sprint
her one tooth glistening in the noon time sun
spittle flying every which way
I swear she was frothing at the mouth
I took a step towards her
and prepared to defend myself
she got as close as she dared
then backed down
laughing that insane asylum type laugh
the smell of stale beer was lingering
a wasp landed right on my glasses
as she and her companion walked away
the man said
what’s so interesting about this building anyway?
why are you taking a picture?
I told him I look for beauty in the mundane
he shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes
as I was getting back in my vehicle
this brave, drunk, and crazy woman
got right between me and the door
she asked if they could get a ride to Greeley
I impolitely declined
and barked out NO!
While she was in my face I took her photograph
invading her privacy
as she invaded mine
I showed her the images of her self
and I imagine her heart sank
and her anger softened
and I felt that she was ashamed
and bid her good day
confidence of youth
oblivious to wisdom
right behind your back
Young Marine Creed
1. Obey my parents and all others in charge of me whether young or old.
2. Keep myself neat at all times without other people telling me to.
3. Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.
4. Keep my mind alert to learn in school, at home, or at play.
5. Remember having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.
I served in the Marine Corps between 1993 and 1997. My father was a Marine, and his father before him. I am proud of my service, yet I don’t talk about it as readily as I used to. When I was young, I just thought it was the right thing to do. To serve my country, to take an oath of service.
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
I received the Combat Action Ribbon for service in Operation United Shield. I did not discharge my weapon or engage in any hand to hand combat. I didn’t even learn that I had received the Combat Action Ribbon until years after I had been honorably discharged from service.
I am conflicted by this. I never mention it in person to anyone, because I don’t feel I deserved it. Yes, there were bullets that occasionally whizzed over my head on their way to some unknown destination, and there was a firefight on our way back to the ship, but I was not running for my life or anything. I was just in the right place at the right time.
I am conflicted by my feelings about life in general and how they relate to my past. I am non-religious, and I struggle to understand how so many people take their religion seriously enough to kill for it. I don’t pretend to have any idea if God is real, or how humankind came to be. Maybe God is real, maybe he (or she, or it) isn’t. So when I look at that oath, and think of how I swore to GOD that I would protect my country against all enemies, it just seems strange to me. What am I swearing to? To fight whoever they tell me is bad for the United States and its interests?
It seems as if I was bred for war, along with every other young man or woman from a family with a military background. It becomes a sort of right of passage, something I needed to do to prove to my dad and his brothers that I could be a Marine too. I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t think about dying, I just signed the papers and turned my life over to the Government.
The friendships and experiences I had in the Marines, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. That being said, I would not encourage my sons to join right now. I love them too much. I don’t even know who is good and who is bad anymore, it doesn’t seem so cut and dry. I thought about my daughter, and what I would say to her if she wanted to join in her future. Then I thought about the constant stories in the news of women in the military being raped, and I instantly knew that I would discourage her from taking that path.
I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t want to feel angry all the time. I want to think about peace and promote it. I want to teach my children to be caring and compassionate towards other, to help their fellow man in any way they can.
I look at this picture, and I see those Young Marines, and how proud they are, and I read their creed, and I think to myself, these are all good traits to encourage in our youth. I look at this group here, and I wonder if any of them are destined for that wheelchair behind them or worse. For what? Fossil fuels? Water rights? Democracy? I want to fight for LOVE. I want to believe that fundamental changes in the way we live our lives is a real possibility. I want the human race to learn to co-operate the same way they are teaching my 3 year old. Everyone needs to share and take turns. We are not individuals, we are humans, all of us connected by that one common thread.
This is in no way meant to disrespect the Young Marines organization, the Marine Corps or our Government. The Young Marines goal is to keep kids off drugs and out of trouble. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. These are just the questions I have but am scared to talk about to people in real life. So I put them on this blog to see if anyone else feels the same way I do. I am looking for that human connection, so I can feel like I belong. Maybe this is why change is so hard. I am struggling in the decision to post this entry, because I am worried about who I may offend, and what friends I might lose in the process. All of my fellow Marines that I served with have access to this blog. I feel like I am dishonoring myself and the Marine Corps by having these thoughts. That is how deep it is ingrained. That is why I am a skeptic, because I have experienced what it is to be a Marine first hand, and it isn’t easy or glamorous. It isn’t like the commercials you see when youre watching football. It is blood, sweat, and tears. Mental anguish.
the things we don’t see
i like the alley better
world within a world
Sometimes I don’t like my Haiku, but I don’t have all night. School starts tomorrow for my daughter and I both. Things are about to get a little more hectic around here. I had to take 5 courses this semester so I can finish my Associates and transfer to another school to chase my Bachelor’s.
Halfway there. It hasn’t been easy. I had to take remedial math courses which slowed down my progress enough to force me to have to stay an extra semester over the 2 year limit. I’m proud to say that I have finally successfully passed all my math requirements. 4 classes later. I basically had to re-learn math from middle-school level on up Anyway. I hated it, and it was hard, but it’s over now. Moving on.
The thing I do to unwind and get away from it all is to grab the camera and roam the streets. I find little treasures like this all the time. I’d like to say that I am a huge fan of the artists who are displaying interesting and thought provoking images for people like me to enjoy. If any of you artists out there see your work on this blog, send me an email and I’ll send you a print. That might be a shot in the dark, but you never know who might be reading your blog.
Tomorrow I begin my last semester at Red Rocks Community College, my daughter will go to her first day of preschool in which Maizy (Penny’s mom) and I get to attend. A proper getting to know you session. Anyone who has ever gone to college and stuck with it knows that once those first classes get going the floodgates are open and you are on a deadline. It makes me anxious just writing about it. My advice for the youth of today would be to go to college and get it out of the way BEFORE you have children and get married. Trust me on this.
I’m taking a photojournalism course, so if any of you fellow photographers out there have any cool ideas that I haven’t thought of yet for a portfolio, feel free to drop me a line or comment on this post. (Yeah right, like any photographer is just going to GIVE me a great idea. Don’t you realize how many of us are out there? Think of your own ideas JERK!)
This isn’t a style I would normally post in, but I want to just write for some reason. Normally, I would try to keep it as short and concise as possible, because after the first few seconds they are gone anyway.
Yesterday I took a photo walk through Downtown, and it just seemed as if everyone was obliterated on alcohol. It was a prime opportunity to take some pictures of people who were clearly at their worst. I had the thought that the bartender’s must be over-serving these people or something. Hundreds of people were stumbling around the streets and behaving the way drunk people do: loud, obnoxious, opinionated, and overly promiscuous. It was just an unusually large amount of people bombed out of their minds. The whole thing just didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to get closer to these people. I wanted to run the other way screaming. So as street photography goes, the day was a bust for me. I just wasn’t feeling it.
I apologize in advance for this post. I hope you at least enjoyed the image.
man with a slow hand
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Le frontiere, materiali o mentali, di calce e mattoni o simboliche, sono a volte dei campi di battaglia, ma sono anche dei workshop creativi dell'arte del vivere insieme, dei terreni in cui vengono gettati e germogliano (consapevolmente o meno) i semi di forme future di umanità. (Zygmunt Bauman)
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Brussels based, cat loving, shoe obsessed, photography lover
Welcome to the home of PenButNoPencil-Photography
Musician, writer and professional over-thinker
Sharing my thoughts and opinions..