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


Friday, 31 December 2010

Ending 2010 ...

There are certain circles that come to a close in your life.  They just happen, whether through your effort or an external influence, by the prayers or wishes of your friends or the energy of love transfered from a well wishing stranger.  The vessel of change takes many forms ... but we still have to recognise it and act on it.

This was a very difficult year for me with regards to coping with PTSD, simply because I opened up a small window into my soul for the greater good.  The greater good being the campaign to shed some light into the lives of veterans with PTSD.  To help their loved ones and other pople understand them, their journeys, their concerns and their hurdles.

For some veterans the hostile zone lies in the past, for many others every day is a battle against stigma, a lack of being understood, being isolated and ignored and fighting to get from one day to the next.  The problems that you face in daily life affect Veterans too, they become the extra layer of crap to deal with on top of an already exhausting fight.

In a way I failed other veterans on this blog because I couldn't open up as much as I wanted to.  I allowed you glimpses into my life but kept the real stuff locked down ... tight.  There is a fear within me that if I sit with someone and open up everything that I won't be able to control myself  - I'd be walking around like weapon without a safety catch ... and writing the poetry book added to the sense of vulnerability as my soul was exposed to you in an attempt to make you understand the pain that PTSD can cause.

As I watch the waning moon I sit and remind myself of the most recent emotional scars; feeling the pain of the events that caused but them, firmly, closing the door on them.  All the current crap that has happened over the last 3 years.

I moved to Nottingham over those last 3 years and felt the undignified way that the NHS in the area handles Veterans that transfer from other areas.  The only department to handle the situation with any dignity and understanding was the pain clinic.  The rest were completely ignorant of PTSD and what the average Veteran goes through.  I recently recieved a letter from the NHS that stated that a recent study showed that people only benefitted from accupuncture over a period of 12 months, after which is was of little use.  I've been trying to con my body into accepting their finding but it seems to utter one phrase in return. 'What a lof of bollocks!'  I really dislike needles and would not choose to sit and watch them being inserted into my body for a good laugh.  Yet, the treatments act as a valve release for both physical pain and the mental stress.  I feel like I've shared a spliff off Cheech and Chong (you know - the big fat ons they roll?), I'm completely zoned out and relaxed by it.  BUT, I have to bow to the superiority of some jack arse that wrote a report and listen to the trust tell me in a round about way that they're cutting the service down because they don't have the budget to keep it available to me.  So, another of those doors that are closing is the NHS and it's service provision to me as a 'priority' patient.  My thanks to the Tory/Lib Dem alliance;  shame they haven't invented an effective cream for that dose of hemorrhoids yet.

I met my father over the course of the last 3 years somewhere.  I felt he needed me and I tracked him down and went to him.  I didn't know that there had been a death in the family.  He started to grieve as he saw me and I held him and allowed him the silent dignity to wash his pain.  I told the younger members of their household to leave us.  He told me his brother had died and I listened in silence and he just cried until there were no more tears.  I'd never seen my father cry - hell in the time since my parents split up in 1972, I've only seen him 6 or 7 times.  I guess there are some things an elder son is expected to do for his father and this visit was one of them, even though I was unaware of the event before meeting my father.

As he calmed, we sat and talked of more general things and we agreed to meet again quite soon.  I told him that there was somethig that I needed him to read.  I opened my soul to him about my journey with PTSD.   We met a week later and I handed him the words.  He read the first page, then skimmed pages 2 and 3 and handed me the words back saying, 'It's all in your mind, this is nothing.'  I remember thinking, 'Genius! He could be a psychiatrist!'  He certainly had the required level of ignorance to be an average psychiatrist.  He then looked at me and said, 'I don't like you.'  The dislike centred on my having a different family name to his and not following the religion of my ancestors.  That might be the bit about being the eldest son that I tagged 'Blow it out your arse'.

I was careful with my children on that score.  Teaching them about spirituality and keeping them away from organised religion ... but also raising awareness of the different faiths and teaching them tolerance and letting them know that if they decided to adopt an organised faith in later life - it was their decision and it was ok with me because my role in their lives was just to help prepare them for their journeys - not to live their lives for them.

So, my father is one of those doors that will firmly close as the SnowMoon disappears.

The relationship with my children has changed too as they firmly enter that horrible period of hormonal change.  The doors open for them and I'm still here ... but the times are a changing and they've got to learn to get up on their own feet and learn the words their talk will walk.

So, as far as being more open about my PTSD goes ... it stops here.  I may write something every now and then ... but it'll be for the genune people that want to know or as a therapeutic act for me.  I'm not interested in the limelight.

The writing continues!  I'm half ay through writing the next volume of poetry and I'm still travelling to different places to bring back more images.  Keep an eye on http://www.wolf-photography.com/, there's always something different going on the site.

I feel honoured by those of you that visit my site and read some of the bollocks I write.  It's a symbiotic relationship.  Your input, words, encouragment keeps me going and adds purpose to my art.  The purpose being to share what I see and what I feel with you.  You're closer to me than any real family that I've had, whether you've ever met me, wrote to me or not.

What ever crap is going on your life, try to leave as much of it as you can tonight and close the door on it.  Do things that make you laugh and feel alive.

I wish you a joyful 2011 and every happiness.



Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Update - eBook released last night ...

Apologies to people that have been trying to buy the eBook version of 'Words of a Wolf'. There's been a problem with assigning an ISBN etc and it's all sorted now.

You can buy the eBook from this link: http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/words-of-a-wolf---poetry-of-a-veteran-(ebook-version)/14303713?productTrackingContext=shopping_cart/recently_viewed/center_middle/1#detailsSection
There's also a preview option under the cover image.
All the best

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Update re new images

Most of the new shots from this year are up now. Just look for the red 'New' tag by the albums.

You can find them on the following pages:

Special Editions


People and culture


For those of you that have been waiting for the shots of the Game of thrones set - they're located in the Malta - Mdina page on the Travel section.



Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Mat's Quest

If you live near or in Oaklahoma City, USA, please support my friend's exhibition and make other people aware of this event? I've attached a photo for use too. Details below:

Mat’s Quest Foundation Photography Exhibit/Sale

December 11th, 2010
7pm to 10pm
Louie’s Grill & Bar
1201 NW 178 St, Oklahoma City

Mat’s Quest Foundations mission, is to educate the general public about diet, exercise, and getting out of a sedentary lifestyle. We have developed a scholarship program to assist individuals who qualify for weight loss surgery, but have no insurance coverage for the procedure. 100% of the net profit from this exhibit/sale will go directly to the scholarship program!

For more information contact: Mat Jones (405) 227-4321

***Featuring selected works by Member of the Royal Photographic Society, Wolf Sunkmanitu!*** http://www.wolf-photography.com/

Monday, 6 December 2010

Would you sell your soul to the press to get publicity for your book?

I had an interesting phone call today ... interesting might be the wrong word.  I'd approached a publicist re helping with Words of a Wolf and the whole project - raising awareness of PTSD in Veterans.

Northern Ireland's old news.  The media attention is on the current conflict in Afghanistan.  The obvious angle for any publicist should have been the struggle that Veterans from previous campaigns face in their day-to-day lives.  How so many of them have been forgotten.  How so many of them are homeless.  How so many some of them are in prison because of PTSD.  How so many of them fight their battle within, against PTSD, on a daily basis, many of them not knowing if they'll maike it through another day.

All publicists want is a story that can go to the newspapers.  Sensationalism sells.

Did I want to be a spokesperson for PTSD?  No, I don't.

Can yout tell me what happened to you in Northern Ireland?  No, I don't want to go into that and I don't want issues to be raised of Northern Ireland veterans against Afghanistan veterans.  My awareness campaign is about how PTSD affects ALL veterans afflicted with the condition ... and I'm not after fame.

It made me sit back and take a good long, hard, look at the issues I'm up against.  The whole project has been geared towards helping Veterans and their families.  The proceeds to be used to help me continue therapeutic work and fund an exhibition to do more awareness raising ... and for 25% of the profits to go to the creative therapies wing of Combat Stress in order to facilitate Veterans using creativity as a coping mechanism for PTSD.

There's no profit yet.  So far the book has broke even, which I guess is good going as it's been a solo affair from the point of view of publishing (apart from the help from Derek Thompson).  In terms of running costs for the business etc ... I'm still running at a loss.  There are still 750 odd copies left of the first print run.  These need to be sold, so I think I'll put a discount on purchases from my website.

The last thing I said to the publicist was that the book speaks for itself.  It doesn't need me to be a spokesman for anything.

I think I'll stay away from the media now.

Friday, 3 December 2010

First album from Egypt ...

The first album from Egypt has been published to my website.  You can view the images on the following link:  Of the Pharaohs

I hope you enjoy them.

These images are only available as 3 foot canvas prints, same as the other images in the 'Special Edition' range.

All the best


Osprey - Nature section

Osprey - Nature section
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