What will you give?

What will you give to witness a transformation?

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What would you give to see a people who are no longer villains or victims?

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How much is it worth to see a rebirth?

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This summer I will be in Germany photographing this new country and people born from the cinders of history.

Meet the new faces of Germany in our global economy.

Make a pledge today, time is running out to fund this poignant and enlightening photo book project!

Memorial Day Changes…

As you know I am a military brat from a military family whose service can be traced back to the Civil War. Since then there has been at least one if not many more of my family involved in every conflict/war the US has been involved in. Many of my ancestors reached high ranks in the Navy, but we have also had family in every branch of the military. We are a family who truly understands that freedom is not free, but born on the backs of the men and women who live and die to protect it.

We have a special connection to WWII. Partly because the name Welling still holds records in the navy, but also those very same men were German themselves. Their grandfather came here to build a better life, fought in the civil war and saw the rest of his family return to Germany as they missed the farming lands of home. His only sister became a professor at Heidelberg University. She and the family remained there through the dark times of Germany. No one knows what happened to those family members during the war, although we are trying to trace them.

My family felt the stigma of our german heritage in those days and I grew up watching all or most of the villains in movies being German. I was born nearly 30 years after the war ended but I was born in Germany and endured being called a Nazi by many grade school children who thought it was funny. I was asked if my family (Americans) were nazis or holocaust survivors. I even had one teacher ask if my mother was a Germany war bride. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood that celebrated their heritage despite the fact that Italy aligned itself with Germany. My German heritage took a back seat to my Irish side for in Boston you could always find the Irish.

As I grew older and more interested in my German ancestry, I wonder where all the German Americans were. There are approximately 75,000 scattered throughout Massachusetts, yet it’s hub and capital, Boston has only on german restaurant.

When I returned to Germany in the ’90’s and several times over the last 5 years, I found nothing of the caricatures we see in the media. Just warm, funny people who have been humbled by history yet have rebuilt a country and a life out of the ashes.

When I looked around I didn’t see holocaust survivor or nazis that escaped punishment, but people. People who had the same worries and
Concerns that we do. I have seen their remarkable resilience of a people who rebuilt a shattered world. This gave me the idea for an art project to show the world the people I see.

I will be traveling to Germany this summer for work and study. While there I will photograph the remarkable people, events and emotions that fuel this new Germany.

I hope to produce a photo book of these pictures and could use your support in getting it produced I have just 2 days left to meet my goal, please make a pledge today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1222109235/collective-thoughts-my-german-summer

Crying In The Rain

I held on to a dream
For as long as I was able.

I held on to a hope
Believed in a lie, a fable

Stark reality rips my heart
Sorrow blankets the dream in darkness.

It’s time to act
It’s time to change circumstances
Forget the dream it’s an illusion
And forge ahead with life the best I can
Aware of my shackles
Aware of the fact that I will never live my dream or be free of the dark.
No rainbows for me. No sun, only scant light

But I can survive in grey, right?

Eyewitness: The Bombing of Dresden, February 1945

Just stumbled on this story…it’s powerful, tragic and has a lesson to be shared.

Spad's Literary Potpourri

The Bombing of Dresden by Margaret Freyer, survivor

Dresden, noted as one of the world’s most beautiful cities—’Florence on the Elbe’—was almost completely destroyed during 13-14 February 1945 by 800 British and US aircraft.

I stood by the entrance and waited until no flames came licking in, then I quickly slipped through and out into the street. I had my suitcase in one hand and was wearing a white fur coat which by now was anything but white. I also wore boots and long trousers. Those boots had been a lucky choice, it turned out.

Because of the flying sparks and the fire-storm I couldn’t see anything at first. A witches’ cauldron was waiting for me out there: no street, only rubble nearly a metre high, glass, girders, stones, craters. I tried to get rid of the sparks by constantly patting them off my coat. It was useless. I stopped doing…

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Negotiating FB and Fine Art Nude photography

You live and you learn.

I never expected to get banned from Facebook, even for an hour, and certainly not for violating obscenity and pornography laws. Yet that is exactly what happened.

I have participated in only 4 educational nude shoots. All of which would be classified in the area of fine art nude.

I have only posted pictures on my Facebook photography page from two of them. The first over a year ago, which consisted of two photographs with an eyes wide shut theme.

The second set was on beach nudes. I particularly liked the resulting photos which were inspired by oils of water nymphs and mermaids.

I posted them at 2 am on Sunday night/ Monday morning.

They were up all day and getting some likes. Then I get up from a nap at 9pm and it said I was in violation. It listed several photos all from my personal FB page’s mobile uploads and none of which were nudes, but wanted me to remove the offending images (this despite removing all but 4 of the pics themselves).

After scrolling all through the photos they asked me to review, I certified that there weren’t any nudes in the batch.

I went on playing my games etc. and then about 2am, I got another notice saying that well, basically they missed one that showed a breast. Really?

I get videos of folks simulating sex, men masturbating etc. there are plenty of topless pics on other FB photography pages. Yet, I get this notice that they have removed the offensive photo and have banned me from posting for 24 hours.

I went to several photography pages to see if I was correct and there were full frontal nude males and topless females etc.

So, I sent them a messages explaining that these were fine art nudes based on classical oil paintings from the great artists of the renaissance that can be found in any museum. I explained my knowledge of the other works available on FB and based on that, I didn’t believe the ban was warranted…

I’m still banned, I’m guessing until 2 am tomorrow. How ridiculous.

So I googled if this has happened to others and indeed it has. It seems I have probably been the victim of one of my “followers” complaining. Turns out if nipples are visible they can decide to remove the photo…although they don’t in every case.

It makes me wonder how a photo of a “siren on the shore” with just one breast revealed in profile, is more offensive than a guy simulating a tribal dance completely naked and while it was in shadow, his penis is clearly visible. That photo (which is also art) is still up. My single breast was removed.

I wonder if I had listed the photo as Silkies found on a beach by National Geographic if they would let it stay up?

Mom. This one is for you with love

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I always thought I had no heroes in life. No one I truly wanted to emulate ; never feeling I fit a pattern. But! I was wrong.

Heroes take many forms. I was reminded of that this evening when I came home to the end of Mama Mia and caught the song “slipping through my fingers” that song always makes me cry.

For those who don’t know the song it’s about a mother watching her daughter grow up and away from her. I don’t have children; it reminds me of my mom.

While it does bring back good memories for me, my tears are now for my mom. She is slipping through my fingers all the time.

I watch her on ordinary days, this woman who fought for me, protected me, endured my terrible teens and I know our time is growing shorter.

I see it. She is slipping through my fingers with time. We keep on growing older, we keep on smiling and fighting and laughing. But, there’s that hollow note that says one day she will be gone. This precious women, this hero of mine.

No it’s not for money she made or didn’t; things she bought me; or career glories. None of that matters. I don’t care if she is remembered in an history book. She is my hero for the light she has brought into my soul and for the privilege I have to say I have known such a outstanding spirit.

For you mom….

Happy Mother’s Day

Slipping Through My Fingers”

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I’m losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well, some of that we did, but most we didn’t
And why, I just don’t know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

Quantum Lives

Had a dream with you in it.
We were in a room…a living room but not one I know. I was curled up on the couch: knees to chin, arms wrapped over them, holding a cup of tea.

It’s late at night. We were in a deep conversation, you across from me in a chair.

“What would you think our lives would be like if we had met in a different time and place?”

I smile thoughtfully. “What a delicious idea.”

“The fact that I wonder about such things?”

“No. The fact that you wonder, but I know.”

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