FLEETING MOMENTS IN RURAL AFGHANISTAN

FORGIVE ME – these photos were taken by my son, not me.  As I thought about this week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge and sifted through my own images of fleeting moments, I thought that these photos, taken while my son was deployed in Helmand Province in 2011, seem to capture fleeting moments that catch the heart.

It’s easy to think that as their villages and farms continue to be invaded by one group of strangers or another, these kids are lucky to have any pleasurable, carefree moments. But they do, fleeting though they may be.

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ON THE OTHER HAND, I think the culture and way of life in this part of the world will endure.

One might as easily call these images “timeless” as one would call them “fleeting.”

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Fleeting glimpses of fleeting moments can also be perused here, at the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

FORWARD!

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge topic is “Forward”.

You don’t have to be

to know that forward motion can be

To get going,  you may need to be very,

You may face unexpected roadblocks.

Overcoming them could require a leap of faith,

And concerted effort,

Not to mention perfectly carefully calibrated speed.

Your “progress” may come at a cost,

And some days, you may need to shine a light on those cobwebs to make any progress at all,

But the best thing is when someone has your back – then you can move forward with ease.

WE’VE  GOT YOUR BACK, an outreach campaign created in 2009 by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and Saatchi & Saatchi, supports veterans by encouraging them to communicate with other veterans, who have their back and can help them move forward.

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This post is in honor of my son, a Marine deployed once each to Iraq and  Afghanistan, and home since July 3, 2011. I hope he knows I’ve got his back.  And in honor of this little boy from Helmand Province, whose photo was taken by my son. I hope he can move forward with his life into some kind of peace, whatever it might look like.

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More Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge entries can be found here.

Photographs taken in (from top) Edison, WA, Seattle, WA (boats), Mount Rainier, WA, Chua Dia Tang Monastery, Lynnwood, WA,  Snoqualmie National Forest, WA, on the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry, WA, New York City, NY, St. Edwards Park, Kirkland, WA, the Plaza Hotel Fountain, New York City, NY, and somewhere in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Weekly Photo Challenge: GREEN

If there’s one subject that appears over and over in my work, it’s plants. And leaves. And green. So I thought I would depart from that and see what I can find in my files that’s green but not a plant. It was surprisingly difficult – it seems that the world is full of green but it’s mostly flora. I did find some interesting green things though. Isn’t she lovely?

She was in a store window in Goldsboro, North Carolina not too long ago.

I bet she’s still there.

Elsewhere in the south I found this green toy truck placed on a gravestone in a rural cemetery in Lee County, Florida.

The grave is inscribed with the dates March 20, 1901 – November 13, 1906.

A five and half year old boy, dead for over a hundred years, and still toys are left on his grave.

Life and death are full of wonderful mysteries.

Here’s a Walking Stick in a public garden on Staten Island, in New York City. He’s being eyed from both sides but doesn’t seem to be worried about it. His translucent green color and skinny shape made him hard to spot, hence the big grin.

A bright green sign announces Trees for sale, only $5 each. This truck was parked on the side of a busy road in Ellensburg, Washington. The retired farmer who made it said he digs up unwanted trees in vacant lots, bags them and sells them out of his truck. Passes the time.

And behind him was a bus, parked hard by a shed full of hay bales and probably serving as a home for someone. On the side and back it says, “Ravinwolf.com”  –  turns out that’s an “Acoustic Mountain Blues”  band. I found the story of the 1972 diesel bus, which the band was planning to convert to bio diesel fuel, on their website:  http://www.ravinwolf.com/Press___Reviews.html

Finally, this is easily the most interesting green photo, and I didn’t take it – my son did, with a camera phone while stationed in southern Afghanistan (Marines). He knew I would love the juxtaposition of the green door, the green field and the girl with the green dress.

Green flora does creep in to several of these pictures, so I missed my goal of posting green photographs without plants.

Maybe I’ll do another Green Challenge with just leaves…

The challenge calls for bloggers to post a gallery of photos, using the WordPress gallery format. I had trouble with the formatting so these are posted in the usual one-after-the-other style. Here’s the challenge:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/weekly-photo-challenge-green/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

Free Spirit

I don’t know who took this picture but to me, it fits this week’s topic. It’s my son, living the conundrum of free spirit US Marine. He’s on deployment in an opium poppy growing region of southern Afghanistan (last year). Yes, those are fresh-picked opium poppies, in case you didn’t know.  And no, he didn’t get hurt, but he lost a good friend (RIP Sean Callahan) and now, on his return to the states, he is struggling and failing to fit into the military mold. But whatever trouble he gets into, it’s good for me to remember the beautiful side of his essential free spirit, something I know I encouraged from day one.