The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


Please visit the main site - www.wolf-photography.com


Thursday, 29 July 2010

Podcast from Left Lion ...

Hi Folks,

the podcast from 'Left Lion' cultural magazine is finally up and running.  You can listen to it on:  http://www.wolf-photography.com/html/woaw/podcast.html.

My thanks to their Editor, James and to Aly Stoneman for their support during the process.  They made it easy to open up a little about the condition.  Aly's interview re the book and project was spot on with regard to getting the message out ... thanks Aly.

I'm looking for other ideas and ways to promote this work, so if you have any ideas, now's the time to get them over.

I hope you're having a peaceful day, wherever you are.



Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Newsletter July 2010 - Words of a Wolf


First of all, please accept my apologies for the absence of newsletters over the last 6 months. I've had some serious technical difficulties that I've only just managed to overcome. If you no longer wish to receive my newsletter, please would you use the link by the signature below to take yourself off the list. It's taken a lot of hard work and effort to get this far in developing the membership but I will always respect your right to privacy and your email address will never be passed on to any 3rd party. Please add this email address to your address book as well as wolf@wolf-photography.com.

My first book Words of a Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran is available for purchase from my website. It's a combination of poetry and photography that I've used to shed some light on how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects me and how I cope with it. Words of a Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran is the first stage of a larger project with the following aims:

1) To raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans.
2) To show how beneficial creative activities such as photography & poetry can be when used as coping mechanisms for PTSD.
3) To sign-post veterans to organisations that can help them and their families.
4) To put on a national exhibition of my work and raise more awareness of PTSD - using funds raised from the sale of this book.

25% of any profits from my work will go to 'Combat Stress'to provide resources for veterans coping with mental health illnesses as a result of their service.

An extract from the foreword by Derek Thompson:

'In his writing you'll find a rawness and honesty that we're not used to in society, as well as some uncomfortable truths. Stick with it though because the reward is a deeper understanding of the lives of ex-servicemen and women - about what can happen when the parades are over and the uniform comes off but the damage is still there. It will give you an insight into their relationships and family dynamics too, and maybe why so many of them fall apart.'

So far the title has sold in the following countries: Canada, England, France, Greece, Netherlands, Scotland, Wales & the USA. I hope that you will buy a copy of the book and support this project. Those of you who have already purchased a copy, please accept my sincere thanks.

To buy the book. simply go to http://www.wolf-photography.com/html/woaw/woaw.html where you will find bookseller and customer reviews about the title as well as a link to a small flash presentation about the title. Payments are made securely through 'Paypal'.

I hope you'll also continue to enjoy viewing the images on http://www.wolf-photography.com. They are available for sale directly off the website and the same applies with regards to any profits made: 25% will go to 'Combat Stress'.

Delivery of prints to UK addresses is free. If you would like a print delivered to a country outside of the UK, please email me first by clicking this link, so that I can find the cheapest way of getting the print to you.

Please pass this newsletter on to others that you think might be interested.

all the best

Villayat 'SnowMoon Wolf' Sunkmanitu

Website: http://www.wolf-photography.com/
Blog: http://wolfphotograpy.blogspot.com/

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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Nackered tonight ...

I haven't issued a newsletter for over 6 months now as I've had problems between three companies that needed to be ironed out before I could get to the bottom of it all.

The software's installed and working now and the only thing that needs to be addressed is how many emails I can send per hour.  I should have a reply to that by the time I wake up and take care of my morning's pain management.

It's funny how something like this has affected my output re new photos.  The problem kept me going round and round on a loop and just drained me of energy mentally.  Still ... it's sorted now and the newsletters will continue going out tomorrow.

Night ...


Thursday, 15 July 2010

Decisions, decisions ...

I seem to be in a place where I can carry on writing and have been looking at the projects that I started on my computer.  One in particular has me firmly squirming on the horns of a dilemma:  the travel photography book.  When I sit and look at the diversity of images that I have and try to bracket them for the purposes of the book and I end up going backwards and forwards more times than a tube train driver pulling a 12 hour shift.

All the areas of photography that I cover require a slightly different set of abilities and I'd like to come up with a book to encompass them all but I feel at odds with including the sports photography in the same book as travel photography ... and for that matter a book that's about travel photography doesn't sit right with having wildlife photography in there.  Yet the focus of the book is using creativity to cope with PTSD.  Some more thought required methinks!

Still, the good news is that at least I've started doing some writing again today.



Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Walking away from NHS care ...

I had my last counselling session on Tuesday.  There were a few more sessions left but I'm not into long, drawn out goodbyes.  I felt it was right to finish last week and that's what I did.  The counselling service is a voluntary service called Nottingham Counselling Services.  They gave me what the NHS couldn't, a listening ear on my terms.

The whole experience of relocating to the Midlands was painful and I've recognised that there was an additional trauma piled onto whatever I already deal with:  leaving my children behind.  Not having a closer presence in their lives.

We hear from eachother once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, but the visits are regular now and that's a good thing.

The trauma birthed by serving in 2 police services and subsequent roles where I have defended people in society continues to live inside me, fully merged with my being but my spirit has stepped back onto the 'Red Road'.  The triggers, nightmares and flashbacks are still there.  The hyper-vigilance continues to keep other people safe and prevents bad isutations from developing ... and those that are afraid of my openess about PTSD continue to keep their distance.  The morning meditation and exercises give me some peace.

As I get older, I have to work harder at staying in touch with 'me' and I have to work harder at exploring my dark side - in order to ensure that it doesn't ever get out of control.

The NHS Mental Health teams in Nottingham became a trigger in the end, as I was passed from practitioner to practitioner, none of whom except one - in my estimation - knew anything about PTSD in veterans or how to deal with us or to build the necessary bridge to the likes of us.  We are as strong as we are vulnerable, we are as vulnerable as we are strong.  So to go in front of a 'specialist' and be expected to spill our guts when the practitioner's got an eye on the calender and budget rather than finding out what we need becomes an unrelaistic scenario and perhaps one that many veterans will veer away from.

So what do we need?  It varies from person to person and the depth of our trauma.  It also varies on when you catch someone in the care net.  I wasn't diagnosed until 12 years after contracting the condition.  I was ridiculed and left to my own devices while subjected to injustices and criticism based on ignorance and prejudice.  Some of us are extremely isolated as a result of this condition.  We have no regular contact with friends or family.  Some of us work on ourselves every day of the week, washing out the darkness and bringing in clean energy ... but every now and then, we just want to sit with someone that can listen to us without judging us; that will let us be vulnerable on our own terms rather than the intrusive mind rape that some NHS practitioners enforce upon us to satisfy their tick boxes and mind numbing questionnaires about where were are in our condition.  The consultants' reports already tell them that.  One of the elements that cause PTSD is being in a situation where you have no control ... in my case being bricked and bottled, nearly having my head shot off and once nearly taking my own life towards the end the 2 years of misery in Northern Ireland that were at the centre of this 19 year old boy's life.

The 46 year old man bearing the scars of the 19 year old boy still fights the demons within, still walks with honour and wants you to understand this condition, so that the next time you meet someone else, male or female, that open up enough to you to let you know that they're a Veteran with PTSD, you'll perhaps treat them with a little respect, not just for the battle that they fought for some society in the past, but for the one they are having to fight by themselves today as a result of having risked their lives for some of you.

I share a smile with you as the scent from the recently opened jasmine flowers washes over me with its gentle energy ...

'Mitakuye Oyasin' (meaning 'All my relations' - a Lakota prayer).

SnowMoon Wolf

Osprey - Nature section

Osprey - Nature section
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