Sunrise Across The Congo

Sunrise in the Southern DRC this week whilst driving to work …. stunning silhouettes ..

Thick mist at work, with the sun battling to shine through ….

Hopefully this all bodes well for peace and stability in this region …..

© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

 

Five Came Back – My Thoughts

This is not a Review!

This is: Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the series 3.5 stars out of 4, writing, “Arguably the best documentary ever made about Hollywood and wartime, Five Came Back is nirvana for movie lovers and a real eye-opener for anyone new to the subject.”

 

The 3 part mini series on Netflix, Five Came Back explores the experiences of five U.S. film directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – and their front-line film work during the Second World War, whilst enlisted into various branches of the US Military in Europe and the Pacific. I watched all 3 episodes in one sitting. The producers have then also paired 5 modern day directors and each modern director discusses the impact and legacies of one of the five earlier directors: Steven Spielberg (Wyler), Francis Ford Coppola (Huston), Guillermo del Toro (Capra), Paul Greengrass (Ford), and Lawrence Kasdan (Stevens).

I found the series fascinating, captivating and an emotional journey. Emotional, as it dragged me back to the recollections and memories, from my own experiences in War and years of work in EMS, and the mental stress and PTSD, that those times inflict on us. What they saw and how it changed them, and the reality that came rushing to meet them,  in ways they could have never conceived, impacted on their lives forever. Changing the way they saw the world and notably their creative output post the war.

The director George Stevens who before the war used to make romantic comedies never made one again in his life – and the tone of his movies changed, they were thoughtful and dramatic; Giant and The Diary of Anne Frank are two I remember seeing in the 1970’s with my mom …

But this is not a review…. back to how this series made me think and reflect …

A powerful and thought provoking moment came for me in the opening segment of the final episode (3) when, the narrator Paul Greengrass makes this (for me) very heartfelt observation:

“what is the witness that you’re giving to the world that you see out there”

I am still processing the full extent of what this means in the here and know, and how it impacts my life’s journey. The questions and thoughts I have on this are: what type of world do we see out there (as I am sure its different for many of us) and what is the image that we portray to that world. In this frenetic age of social media, where we can choose to live our entire lives in the public eye, dragging out our 15 min of fame to previously unimaginable lengths! And then how does this impact on the witness we bear and the world which we want to see?

Often we are moulded and haunted by a past, we did not always ask for, and facing an uncertain future and unknown destination. Yet even with that uncertainty staring us in the face we soldier forward. The biggest battle, at times is finding our way home or a home.

The section on PTSD of the soldiers and the 5 directors is thought provoking and raises more questions than answers, and another blog post is brewing on this subject and a short documentary film directed by John Houston. The 1946 film; Let There Be Light and its portrayal of soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder led to Let There Be Light being suppressed by the U.S. government; it was not released until the 1980s.

Let me close out with the powerful optimistic hopeful words from a Capra post WW2 film, which was a flop on its release but later became a classic:

The world is not all evil.
Yes, we do have nightmares, but we also have dreams.
We do have villainy, but we also have great compassion.
There’s good in the world.
And it’s wonderful.

Frank Capra – It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

5 came back movie poster

© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

No Limits

rose petals

pressed between blank pages

bleeding out,

total commitment

to the cost

of pressing on
© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

Moving Towards Hope

heard you feeling down

show me where it hurts?

tell me your story

so, I can share your pain



I to have that feeling, again

of pain fast approaching

from where you ask?

from the chasm of my self



let me get up

to hopefully,

walk away from this pain

this is not who I am,



not numb to life,

rather alive

to possibilities
© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

 

hope-2

Mike’s Cats …and T’s new Dog

As we depart 2018 and enter 2019 … lets do so on a positive note with Mike’s Cats .. and a dog now as well … :O

So I now present to you … Coco, Whiskey and  … Lili !

Such a cute little pup …. settling in so well thanks to T’s patience … and the cats discipline 🙂

The Whisk and Lili are fast becoming big mates … cuddle buddies on the horizon 🙂

May they continue to bring joy and peace to our lives … much love to all my followers and peace for the new year …

My Thoughts and Head Space

Some of you might have noticed I have been silent/absent for a few weeks from posting. I have been  processing a lot – 2018 has been a rough year; a love was lost, a few close friends/colleagues passed away (natural causes, in the line of duty and some took their own lives), work has been mentally & emotionally draining in The DRC with very little off time for rest and respite, plus writers block has hit me of late, although the writings that do emerge are filled with far to many dark thoughts & silent screams skirting the shadows of my mind. So I have withdrawn, not processing on social media, but in private, so many emotions & thoughts circle the shadows of my mind, trying to focus on the positive & write happy thoughts, but my writing is still skirting the dark.

2015-02-19 09.00.16.jpg

I do know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the progression of healing takes time, and one must just learn to be patient with one’s self, and allow the healing to take place. I want to thank the few close friends who have been there for me … Thanks T, and a few others ….

Colours of the Congo – Part 3

Storm Clouds gather over the office … and then it all comes crashing down; thunder, lightening and torrential rapid downpours

The Plains of Africa … Big Sky

A small visitor and the road back to camp … with another approaching thunder storm, the horizon is alive with flashes of lightening.

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

 

Hold On!

what is it that we value

what is the cost of that,

which we so value?

what do we owe and to whom?

to save a friendship

or one that you love



that one, who is there for you

loving unconditionally

accepting of you, regardless

of all your baggage and shit

the walls of silence

and absence



hold on to that person

don’t let go

fucking fight

because

to often, we are waiting

for what’s already there



open your eye’s

see the love

right in front of you.

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

 

#BOTL&SOTL

stoke those embers

before that cigar dies

draw deep and inhale

let the embers burn bright again




nurture the leaf

brothers and sisters

inhale, draw deep

breath and just


……..

savour life

or another cigar

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

The Forgotten Soldier

history written by the victorious

remembered by the soldier

forgotten by all

battered, bruised, discarded

honour cast aside

no medals for the forgotten warrior



once forgotten

memories now return

new wounds emerge

new scars

new pain and guilt

but still society forgets



wars once popular

now become an anathema

silence abounds

but the memories remain



history written in black

but remembered in blood

history written in scars

survives beyond the fading text



politicians write the history

soldiers carry the weight of that history

 

© 2016 michael d emmerich
© 2016 mikesnexus.com