β€œMan can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope” – Unknown

Model, VikiMae

I know I’ve got my challenges in these hard times. There are some moments that quite literally to depress my spirits as if quicksand were involved. Then there are times where all I can do is laugh at disparity. Those are those moments where just when you feel like it CAN’T get any worse, it starts to rain. I laugh at those moments maybe because I know they’ll make a good story one day. I can recount several Army days like that, but I’ve known too many as a civilian as well. I feel like I can weather these storms well enough though. Sometimes you need your little tricks that help maintain sanity. Shooting nudes is one of those for me, but also hiking. I got to be on the radio just recently for NPR’s State of the Re:Union recently talking about just that. We did a segment back in December where radio producer, Tina Antolini came down to hike with my Las Vegas Hiking and Outdoors Meet-up.com group to get our story which just aired over the past weekend. The episode details different aspects about Vegas, and the hiking bit comes up around minute 43 and lasts about 6 or 7 minutes. They interviewed our group leader, Alan Gegax and myself for this segment of the episode. I’ve got to send them a note to get them to post the pics I took of us hiking that day on their website.

I do think its possible to become overwhelmed with the suffering of others around us at times. Maybe not, overwhelmed. That might suggest its reached unbearable limits, but it can be heartbreaking for sure. Me? I think I’m built like a rock. I didn’t come up soft. I got my ass kicked as a kid, until I learned to turn the table and bring that notion to a halt. I’m sure it played over into my choices in the military to take on some of the hardest challenges and training I could get. I never got to so SERE school, but I tried… HARD… and some people wonder why I would ever want to willfully subject myself to that kind of training. As a young adult, I became a father right out of the gate and had to grow up fast. I never had time to feel sorry for myself at any point in my life. Hardships have tempered in a sense to allow me to hunker down in the storms and survive the best way I can.

But it has become more than evident that many people are not so tempered by the fire. There are those around me who suffer and my heart goes out to them. These economic challenges have gripped the masses unlike anything we’ve known in some time. I listen to or read about people talk of giving up, surrendering life, blaming God, the President, the economy, their bosses, etc. for all their woes in life. Like someone with no hope, they fall on their butts and wail like children blaming the world. One thing I like to study is the evolution of time over the life of the planet. You learn of animals and different species that die out primarily because they did not adapt to the change in their environments. Climates change as the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun changes over thousands or millions of years. Plate tectonics move continental land masses all over the place. At some point in time, the area of Mt. Everest was underwater and now its the roof of the world. The Sahara wasn’t always a desert. There are major forces at work that shape the planet over eons of time. On a macro scale, time is invisibly slow with geological change. Yet still, change occurs on a micro-level of time, as in within our spans of life. Everybody has heard how change is inevitable, but I don’t really think people really consider the meaning behind that. Humans have brains that make us more adaptable than any species to ever live on the planet, but we’ve become accustomed to our ways and don’t understand the factors that bring about change. Adapt and Overcome!

Fighting with the gnats…or whatever they were.

“Change is inevitable. Except from a vending machine.”
-Robert Gallagher

Times change. Its the only constant in life. You will experience ups and downs and just like after any storm, the sun will shine on you again. Learn to laugh. Be like a rock. Find your coping fixes that allow you to keep your sanity. I have my faith in God. I trust He will bring me through or bring me home. In the meantime, I do what I know I can and am supposed to do and let Him take care of the rest. Keep improving. Stay alive and keep on believing you can win. You never know when that moment of rescue will arrive. Dory said it best…”Just keep swimming!”.

Many thanks to new model, VikiMae for being so quick to model for me over the last couple of weeks. We didn’t do any nudes, but sometimes you just gotta shoot and she was more than willing to be shot. We did three sessions that resulted in some fine work. I got to get my fix for the time being. Sooner or later, her Model Mayhem profile page will get approved and I’ll update this page with her new links, so you can see more of our work together as well as with other talented photographers. [10 minutes later…] Actually, here she is on my website: VikiMae. Enjoy.