10 May 2011

Ups and Downs

“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope” - Unknown

Model, VikiMae
I know I've got my challenges in these hard times. There are some moments that quite literally to depress my spirits as if quicksand were involved. Then there are times where all I can do is laugh at disparity. Those are those moments where just when you feel like it CAN'T get any worse, it starts to rain. I laugh at those moments maybe because I know they'll make a good story one day. I can recount several Army days like that, but I've known too many as a civilian as well. I feel like I can weather these storms well enough though. Sometimes you need your little tricks that help maintain sanity. Shooting nudes is one of those for me, but also hiking. I got to be on the radio just recently for NPR's State of the Re:Union recently talking about just that. We did a segment back in December where radio producer, Tina Antolini came down to hike with my Las Vegas Hiking and Outdoors Meet-up.com group to get our story which just aired over the past weekend. The episode details different aspects about Vegas, and the hiking bit comes up around minute 43 and lasts about 6 or 7 minutes. They interviewed our group leader, Alan Gegax and myself for this segment of the episode. I've got to send them a note to get them to post the pics I took of us hiking that day on their website.

I do think its possible to become overwhelmed with the suffering of others around us at times. Maybe not, overwhelmed. That might suggest its reached unbearable limits, but it can be heartbreaking for sure. Me? I think I'm built like a rock. I didn't come up soft. I got my ass kicked as a kid, until I learned to turn the table and bring that notion to a halt. I'm sure it played over into my choices in the military to take on some of the hardest challenges and training I could get. I never got to so SERE school, but I tried... HARD... and some people wonder why I would ever want to willfully subject myself to that kind of training. As a young adult, I became a father right out of the gate and had to grow up fast. I never had time to feel sorry for myself at any point in my life. Hardships have tempered in a sense to allow me to hunker down in the storms and survive the best way I can.

But it has become more than evident that many people are not so tempered by the fire. There are those around me who suffer and my heart goes out to them. These economic challenges have gripped the masses unlike anything we've known in some time. I listen to or read about people talk of giving up, surrendering life, blaming God, the President, the economy, their bosses, etc. for all their woes in life. Like someone with no hope, they fall on their butts and wail like children blaming the world. One thing I like to study is the evolution of time over the life of the planet. You learn of animals and different species that die out primarily because they did not adapt to the change in their environments. Climates change as the Earth's elliptical orbit around the sun changes over thousands or millions of years. Plate tectonics move continental land masses all over the place. At some point in time, the area of Mt. Everest was underwater and now its the roof of the world. The Sahara wasn't always a desert. There are major forces at work that shape the planet over eons of time. On a macro scale, time is invisibly slow with geological change. Yet still, change occurs on a micro-level of time, as in within our spans of life. Everybody has heard how change is inevitable, but I don't really think people really consider the meaning behind that. Humans have brains that make us more adaptable than any species to ever live on the planet, but we've become accustomed to our ways and don't understand the factors that bring about change. Adapt and Overcome!

Fighting with the gnats...or whatever they were.

"Change is inevitable. Except from a vending machine."
-Robert Gallagher

Times change. Its the only constant in life. You will experience ups and downs and just like after any storm, the sun will shine on you again. Learn to laugh. Be like a rock. Find your coping fixes that allow you to keep your sanity. I have my faith in God. I trust He will bring me through or bring me home. In the meantime, I do what I know I can and am supposed to do and let Him take care of the rest. Keep improving. Stay alive and keep on believing you can win. You never know when that moment of rescue will arrive. Dory said it best..."Just keep swimming!".

Many thanks to new model, VikiMae for being so quick to model for me over the last couple of weeks. We didn't do any nudes, but sometimes you just gotta shoot and she was more than willing to be shot. We did three sessions that resulted in some fine work. I got to get my fix for the time being. Sooner or later, her Model Mayhem profile page will get approved and I'll update this page with her new links, so you can see more of our work together as well as with other talented photographers. [10 minutes later...] Actually, here she is on my website: VikiMae. Enjoy.


unbearable lightness said...

Your new work is just beautiful. The colors are so vivid and joyous. In the times you describe, which are our times now, you seem to be offering up words of encouragement along with the visuals to make our hearts beat.

Every time I leave the grocery store, I wonder how some families are going to make it. It's in my mind, but I have not written about it as eloquently as you do here. We all really should address these issues, but it isn't easy to look at the state of the economy. It's easier to explore general questions or assess personal issues.

Thank you for the inspiration!

Photo Anthems.com said...

That's exactly it, Carla! I was in a Wal-Mart listening to a mother almost cry trying to explain to her kids that things were different now and that they had to make some cutbacks. I've seen wives berate their husbands because he hadn't "fixed" their problem. A single mom has both her boy's families move back in with her. She goes from living alone to a house of 8 and has to deal with the two sisters-in-law fight over the smallest of things. Its like a watching a show of degradation of a society. I want to rise above it, but at the same time I want to help. I think being a defender and a protector is just part of my nature. Maybe "overwhelmed" is not to strong of a word to use here after all.

And thank you for being such a supporter of so many of us on the blogosphere. I don't know how you do it. I imagine you sitting in a half reclining orb-chair with an apparatus attached to your head where you psychically read and comment on blogs around the world. Maybe like a motherly version of Professor X monitoring us misfits and wayward children.

unbearable lightness said...

You said "Its like a watching a show of degradation of a society," and that's how it has seemed to me too. Those are some tough scenarios, but I fear they are going to get a lot tougher.

Thanks for the compassion and concern. So many just don't care.

Now, back to my orb-chair :-)

Lin said...

Your recent posts are very relevant to us in the U.K. The government's austerity measures combined with the appalling economic climate over here, means that life is ...umm...rather challenging at the moment. As a mother I'm also finding it very hard to say "no" to my kids. It makes me wonder what they will remember from this phase of their life when they are grown up.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that your delightful photography and writing are tremendously soothing for me at the moment, and I just wanted to say thanks for that :-)

Photo Anthems.com said...

Lin, I am so appreciative of those sentiments. I know this is more of a global thing. Our economies do sort of mirror each other. We're like sets of twins that feel each other's pain. I think the burden of relief is more dependent upon the individual right now to be smarter than the conditions we find ourselves in and thereby insulating ourselves from the economic elements...else we die of exposure.