Ordinary Days

It’s been a very long time since I celebrated Father’s Day. I vaguely remember buying my dad old spice when I was four.

However, that didn’t stop me from recognizing some great dads that were in my life. Two that I have fond memories of are Mr. Struppa and Mr. Riera. The fathers of my best school friends.

We have all heard “It takes a village.” And it does. These two men showed me what it was to be a loving father to children. Both had big families, both loved their wives immensely and both wanted the best for me.

Unfortunately, Mr. Struppa has passed on and I’ve lost touch with the Rieras but I will always thank them for helping shape my childhood.

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Restless mind

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It’s 7:30 am here in the city. It’s strangely quiet for a Thursday. Or maybe my hearing is less acute from lack of sleep, I’m not sure.

Sugar is softly humming a pleasant sleepy snore; the turtles are lazy not quite sure if they want to wake; and the house is still dark silent. The birds and cars echo from beyond the walls, but no one else inside stirs.

I’ve been up all night arranging and scheduling the details of next week, lining up contacts and particulars on shoots, transportation and tickets. Markus is working on some time to get together and I’ve done all I can on my iPhone.

The next steps are my lists. Lists of what to bring, what to leave behind, info and contacts, as well as projects I know will go undone while I am gone.

And, the whole time I’ve been doing this, there has been a gnawing in my stomach. The feeling of being split. Do I follow what could be a huge opportunity for me and trust that Dee won’t fuck things up? I want to go. I need to go, yet I keep remembering my last trip to Germany and what awaited me on my return.

Can I trust her to have any strength, any resolve at all? Someone told me recently that she is clinging to me like a life preserver, desperate to keep this odd co-dependency in tact. But, what happens to me in the process? What happens to mom. The knots tighten in my stomach at the thought.

It is so strangely sad, this feeling of distrust, that I can’t be comfortable leaving mom alone with her now. I sit and wonder how things have spun so out of control and second guess my decision to go.

I wish I felt better about leaving, I wish the sister I knew so long ago was here. Or that mom was strong enough to deal with her if she melts down. Do wishes ever come true? I don’t know.

This feeling has thrown an ambivalent blanket over my excitement for this trip. Not even being asked to do my first solo album cover seems to give me a rush.

Maybe I will feel different on the plane. Maybe I will breathe if mom FaceTime’s me with an “all’s quiet.” Maybe then I can enjoy this….maybe.
Do wishes come true?

Coming through the fire: Remembering D-day

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Today is the 70th anniversary of a key battle in WWII, D-Day. This battle marked the end of the Totalitarian regime of Hitler. Although, it would take another year of fighting before the war would end.

So many lives were lost on this day, so much bloodshed and so much pain. This is a somber day for all who survived, for all those who are still alive and can share their story of one of the bloodiest battles in the war.

Listen to the stories from soldiers on both sides. They do not discuss politics, they do not discuss who is right and who is wrong. Their stories are in the moment. They talk about bloodshed, loss, killing. The images of that day a burnt into their minds and souls. When they sleep, they return to it. When it’s quiet the screams echo in their ears.

For the Allies, winning the war is little compensation for the burdens that they took away from the beach that day. For the German alliance the shame of losing only amplifies the pain suffered.

When it boils down to a single battle, the ultimate winners and losers are not what matters it’s that split second when your adrenaline is pumping, when your eyes see, but your brain can’t absorb the horror. It’s that moment when you swallow your fear and you training takes over like an auto pilot on a plane. It’s the smell of the sea mixed with diesel fumes, the acrid scent of gunpowder, and the high metallic perfume of spilled blood.

No one escaped that day. No one was a mere spectator. Some of their wounds are visible but for all the worst are not.

Remember D-day for freedom, for the end of the war, but remember the soldiers who fought because they had no choice. Remember them as example of what hell truly means.
And remember all the horrors of this war as an example of why we can not allow this to happen again.

We are already forgetting, we are already allowing genocide to occur. Don’t dishonor all those who fought to stop this in WWII.

I admire the German people of today. Humbled by the past, they are determined not to repeat it. We need to do the same, no race is worthy of annihilation. No single country should dominate and forcefully invade another peaceful country in the name of expansion. If you have a voice, honor those who could not speak, stand up for justice and for the freedom to live.

In honor of Anthony “link” Cedrone rest in peace, tin can soldier.