-22-

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In 2012, the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs estimated that an average of 22 veterans committed suicide every day. Recent estimates place that number closer to 20 a day, and while that represents a decline, it is still 20 too many.

The -22- project is something I was invited to participate in as a photographer, specifically to help create a series of photos representing the struggle that many veterans face after returning from the battlefield. The ultimate message of the project is two-fold: to remind combat veterans to do a commo check and call a brother, and to bring greater awareness to the public at large of a legitimate social crisis while giving family and friends an intimate look at the kinds of battles their Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines may be fighting even after coming home.

Visit http://novavox.thestormworks.com/project22.html to learn more and to see the complete photo series.

Musings From The Porch: The Storm & The Vigil

aesa

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson

A year ago I wrote about sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Chicago, watching stories of the world unfold. The organized chaos of that day is starkly contrasted by the disorganized calm I experience now, sitting on my porch in the Indiana countryside, not so much watching the world go by, but rather -feeling- it go by. The occasional car, truck, or tractor rumbles along our ragged stretch of cracked and worn asphalt, but other than that, it’s a fairly sedate existence out here. To say it’s quiet is both an understatement and a falsehood, illustrating the contradictory nature of life.

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Shotgun Silence

And when the silence takes me
all that will remain will be the
empty echo of what never was
straining in the background
of a world that never noticed,
a resonant dissonance lost
in the decay of itself.

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suffocate
and embrace
the hereafter;

release
and escape
a world without laughter

in silence it ends,
the world I created,
and I have become
the thing I have hated

and now,
only now,
is mine for the taking

and I’m asking
for freedom
from a soul that is breaking

Thus shone the Sun…

And thus shone the Sun,
she in all her glory–
radiant, resplendent,
perfect in her being,
until came the Storm,
dark and unyielding,
forgetting that for all he was,
he was still beneath her
and could never join
her in her heavens.
In time, he passed,
as all storms must,
if only to allow her
to shine again.

Epitaphs

There is a certain peace
that comes with knowing
forever ends as it begins:

Resolution to a quiet resolve
where courage once failed
offers hope where
none is else offered.

Epitaphs are only ever written
as an afterthought,
forgetting all but memory,
and what will never be.

So the poet writes his own,
knowing what will be
between the gods and he,
without the fear once held
of finding his release.

Passing On

And silence,
in all it’s painful beauty,
is what will remain
when the echoes fade,
and memories with them
shall pass into nothing;
only then, and only then,
will I find my peace
and in forgetting be forgotten,
given to the Void
and to Oblivion,
only when nothing remains.