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.

Unique AND Universal: Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo challenge is to express the concept, “Unique”.   I was struck by the thought that many of the images below, of people engaged in what must have felt like unique situations, at the same time express universal themes: play and self-expression, love, work, journeys, death.

A toddler throws pebbles into a lake, fascinated by each splash and  ripple, his own creation. Standing on tiptoes to kiss a statue, a young woman expresses the unique possibilities of love.  A man belts out tunes on a  piano, singing his own song, for love and money.

In pouring rain on a warm summer evening another man’s handstand expresses the sheer joy in shared experience.  A neighborhood eccentric leans across his porch to tell you a personal, intricate story about his house.  What unique stories the contents of a Marine’s rucksack, fresh from an Afghanistan deployment, must hold. And finally, graves in a rural cemetery bear flower and pottery offerings – visitors’  unique, yet universal expressions of honor and commitment.

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More images expressing the idea of “unique” are here:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/photo-challenge-unique/

Sunday Post: A SIMPLE STORY OF…

…your making.  Jake’s Weekly Photo Challenge subject  is “Simplicity”.

The simplicity here isn’t necessarily in the form or content, but in the context. The context seems to be a story that weaves in and out of everyday settings at home and beyond. It’s a simple story that I invite you to narrate.

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SONY DSC

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SONY DSC

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Shells probably from India; moon shells from East Coast beaches;  bed in a small cottage in Connecticut; cream pitcher made in 1998 and signed HP; boats in New York Harbor; curled skunk cabbage leaf at Mercer Slough, Bellevue, WA; aprons at Hains House, a Baking School and B&B in Olympia, WA;  Tateuchi Viewing Pavilion at Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue, WA; aloe leaf in the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, WA; the flowers are Forget-me-nots.

More responses to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge are at:

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/sunday-post-simplicity/

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.