THE MAKING OF A VETERAN: A Movie Review On “LEAVE WITHOUT A TRACE”

TO THE FAMILIES OF VETERANS: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

“If we don’t need the gory details to tell a story about gore, then maybe we don’t need to accept war as inevitable.” ~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

“LEAVE WITHOUT A TRACE” A war story-movie about the sacrifices a family makes in real time on the ground, when one is called or decides to serve their country. Based on a novel by Mindy Mejia, the film explores such sacrifice and how it impacts initially and alters forever the family dynamic.

A slow-mover that mesmerizes the viewer, forcing one to sit still the mind as it opens wide the harsh reality of physical and psychological isolation.

Mindy Mejia uses nuance to tell a story of how war leaves an indelible influence on the making of each veteran and how through each person’s uniqueness, that indelible influence unfolds differently.

Trying to heal what can’t be told, the family stumbles, succumbs and rises to a different understatement of who they are, and how to survive the changes that war brought upon them.

Rather than being left with images, facts, and figures from the theatre of the aftermath of war, the viewer takes with them a part of the collective soul of all veterans – the only part common to all – that they will ever allow you to see. Everything else is uniquely private to each individual veteran-family.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all my Veteran-family members!

I am a family-veteran. I became one when I was born into a family who served and became one again each time another family member put on that uniform.

I know what isolation looks and feels like. Over time that place brought me comfort knowing I was surviving something somebody else experienced, which I had no control over.

I believe war is NOT inevitable. Absent war and absent the intentional infliction of harm is a world I aspire to help engineer. Using my own free will and self-control opens the doors that need opening and closes those that need closing.

This is a story about accepting where we are now and working from there to achieve tomorrow.

I know that story.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight


ART INTERPRETATION

‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.’

Interpretation of art operates in the same way.

“It’s not for the artist to interpret the art for those who view it.

When the artist guides the interpretation for the viewer, it corrupts the art.”

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

A LESSON IN OPPRESSION

“When one work of art is interpreted in the same way by everyone who views it, it’s a lesson in oppression.”

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

snapshotsofwar- 2

ART: SNAPSHOTS OF WAR painted By God birthofaseed.com






 

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Forever In My Soul

Once you laughed with me,

and I thought it the most beautiful sound I ever heard.

I still do, and throw my head back in remembrance,

cherishing that time – forever in my soul.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight






 

What Were The Wiseguys Really Doing?

God directed him to the stables where the animals were waiting, while still in his mother’s belly.

If God controlled everything, then God could have made way at the Inn. But God didn’t according to legend.

Most people aren’t all that religious. They’re part of a community where there’s safety in numbers – everybody knows who you are even if they don’t know you personally.

So what was the significance of Jesus being born among the animals in the stables? Come on, Jesus, the most powerful influence over humans on the planet for over two thousand years already, not rich even or powerfully connected, and there’s no significance beyond it just happened that way? No plan you mean?

There must be a significance, other than the obvious ‘no rooms left for vagrants’ or maybe they had money. What were they? On the lam? From what? Running from those who would stone a pregnant woman with no husband? And what would those authorities do to those who housed such people? I don’t know. I didn’t live back then. This is now. The animals are my mission to help raise and complete that which was purposely lost over time, since Jesus’ people left them out of their book based on their perceived lack of worthiness. Now that’s a glaring prejudice toward all beings that God supposedly created then optically paired with God’s supposed only human son as obviously worthy of something other than torture and slaughter.

Well, the books say God’s only son, which means God had more than one daughter, maybe half the human race.

Going back, it seems also according to legend, that a star shined bright in the sky, making way for three wise men (no women here; sounds like a union) whose purpose it was to give gifts to the newborn. Any room in the Inn for the wiseguys? Well, you can do as the Jews do and accept without questioning the facts or motives of God.

Now there’s a dictatorship that needs undoing – especially when a religion is based in part on the consumption of God’s greatest creations being eaten alive and expelled down the shitter as a sign of respecting whom?

The Christians who more than any religion speak of a morality above all others have of course Jesus as their figurehead and money motivating tool to separate the rich from the poor. Another glaring prejudice.

The other animals don’t much matter in their lives, except to exploit for the purpose of attaining wealth.

What did you do, make a deal with your devil to separate yourselves from all other animals and make yourselves their God? Their Keeper? God made you in God’s image? Not in the image of any other animal? In whose image did God make all the other animals?

The devil?

So the animals in the stable were put there by your design, and the three wiseguys stayed in the Inn after the Innkeeper denied a pregnant woman a room? Those wiseguys were so generous that they refused to give up their room for her? But brought her gifts and displayed them in front of all the other animals?

It doesn’t matter who stayed in the Inn. Jesus was born among the other animals and that’s where the star led the wiseguys – to the stables.

Or maybe the star led them to the Inn. When they arrived there was no room for any wiseguys wanting to barter, so they were also directed to the stables for shelter from the brewing sand storm.

What is the significance of all that?

One animal kingdom under God? And in that kingdom humans shall reign supreme?

We’ve got some prejudicial issues here.






 

Be There

Walk out of your own dark.

Don’t let your shoulder hunch give the light away to someone else.

Be there when it comes for you.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight






 

Rock A Bye Baby

Gray waves black as thunder–white caps foaming peaks of violet snow–crash through transparent rainbows dancing on violent waters sucking tremulous defiant skies kneeward toward the ocean floor. Rocking cradles of transformation–birthing (as if it were easy) new and strange worlds from tainted boulders, that live. Yes, rocks are alive. As hosts. To bear life. How wonderful. So I was right, God exists in all life and non-life. Wow. First I think it, then I say it, then I write it, and then God proves it. Random or predestined? Obviously predestined, since it needs a host. Ha. Let’s rock this baby to sleep, before she figures out who it really is.

from pww






 

A Rose For You

Rose petals brush soothingly across my brow. Their velvet touch is not lost on my old leathered skin.

Bold lightness, abundantly, judiciously, gingerly, playfully, discriminately, rushing lavishly between fragile threads layering woven webs of pink silken molecules of thought, dissipating into disintegrating balloons of wonder anticipating exploration.

I think I made it. I know I made it.

If I can, I know you can.

apftp






 

Massage My Guilt And I’ll Massage Yours

Discrimination is discrimination. It doesn’t matter who you discriminate against or for what reason. It is what it is.

We’re all killers. All humans are killers. We discriminate against all other species – including our own. That’s how bad we are. We enslave, torture and slaughter all other species, including our own. That is bad – Not bad-ass.

Yet, we pass judgment on everybody and everything else. Because we think we’re better, we’re superior to all other creatures including all other humans.

God made us that way is our excuse. Everybody else does it is our excuse when the first one doesn’t satisfy. Hey, they let us do it. They didn’t fight back – another lame excuse.

Somehow it sounds less offensive to say we’re all sinners, we’re all in the same insanity boat – made by God by the way – than to call ourselves what we are – killers.

Massaging our guilt does not allow for change of the offensive behavior. It actually perpetuates it.

Oh-h-h massage my guilt. That feels so-o-o-o good.

Now massage mine, okay?? Okay???

Are YOU sleeping?

I’ll massage your guilt tomorrow….

Promise? PROMISE.

okay….






 

THIS IS HOW CONTROLLING MY HUSBAND IS:

LAUGH

I took the laundry cart out as a precursor to doing the laundry – only bedding today. He sees it before taking a shower and says what’s this cart doing out here? Don’t do laundry. I’ll do it on my day off.

I say I’m only doing bedding.

He says okay, then says no. I can do the bedding when I do my work clothes for the week. I’ll just throw it in when I’m down there.

I say, well leave the cart out.

He says no, I’m putting it back, as he proceeds to push the cart back into the closet saying I don’t want you to be tempted – out of sight out of mind. Relax, have some fun today. You don’t want to be doing laundry.

I’m writing something else on the computer and I say out loud: this is how controlling my husband is – blah blah blah – and I’m going to write it. We both laugh hysterically, because he’s a controlling husband and I’m a workaholic.

I say I’m going to write this and put it on our fat-site.

He said yeah, write it – we’re both still laughing. He said this is what they mean by no good deed goes unpunished.

I’m thinking maybe laughing makes you lose weight. Hm-m.

Better on a Sunday morning to be laughing rather than regretting something from the night before. Maybe that could help you lose weight too.

Maybe I’m onto something here.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

OUR FAT SITE: https://fat-freechef.com






 

Using The Order Of Words To Unite

What brings a country together is about what you put first – the land that you fled or were taken from, or the land that welcomed you, or abused you, or the one that you hide in because nobody wants you here illegally or legally?

Since we all are already here, why not put this land called America first instead of putting first the nostalgia of a land that – now – you don’t really want to return to – except to visit?

I’m American Lithuanian. I’m American Canadian. I’m American British. I’m American Scottish. I’m American Welsh. I’m American Irish. I’m American Dutch. I’m American Native. I’m American Russian. I’m American Egyptian. I’m American Arab. I’m American Jew.

I’m French Canadian if I live in France. I’m Canadian French if I live in Canada. I’m Lithuanian Jew. I’m Canadian Native.

I’m American Spanish. I’m American Chinese. I’m American Norwegian. I’m American Finnish. I’m American Samoan. I’m American Palestinian. I’m American African. I’m American Italian. I’m American Australian. I’m American Latino. I’m American Hispanic. I’m American Brazilian. I’m American Viet Namese. I’m American Israeli. I’m American Lebanese. I’m American Iranian. I’m American Indian. I’m American Ukranian. I’m American Angolan. I’m American Malaysian.

I’m American Swedish. I’m American Asian. I’m American German. I’m American Albanian. I’m American Libyan. I’m American Sudanese. I’m American Somalian. I’m American Korean. I’m American Chadan. I’m American Serbian. I’m American Pakistani. I’m American Algerian. I’m American Filipino. I’m American Danish. I’m American Jordanian. I’m American Japanese. I’m American Moroccan. I’m American Myanmese. I’m American Bolivian.  I’m American Ethiopian. I’m American Mexican.

And on and on…

Living in America is what unites us. So why not be American first? Saying that I’m Lithuanian American makes it sound like I belong in Lithuania.

You being South African and me being Austrian doesn’t unite us. What unites us then, is that we’re both human. But since each group has difficulty recognizing the humanity in other groups, it’s best that you unite yourself with the people in whichever country or territory or region that you live. At least then, you have a sense of belonging – and all humans crave that sense of security that belonging to a group gives.

Citizenship should not be required to call yourself an American so long as you live in America.

Work from that premise and see how it goes.






 

 

HOLOCAUST

We have the results of a holocaust in the meat department of every supermarket in the world.

We snuff out callously and viciously the lives of other creatures for our own pleasure and gratification.

And we’re untouched as we stroke the loins and marvel at the cut.

All my senses, with all that I learn, tell me it is wrong.

But how do I argue against years of blind, unquestioned tradition?

I have heard the screams. And felt the terror.

I invite you to do the same.






 

HYPOCRISY

I can’t see it. Where is it? Like atoms, and molecules and atomules: everywhere. And it’s killing us, silently, beneath the guise of protection, as we turn on ourselves by turning on each other–a suicide–a homicide–silent dreams, that nobody hears, nor wants to–until now. Happy dreams and sweet dreams will not be forced on anyone. We will no longer use as an excuse, “but they didn’t respect us or give us the same courtesy”. The teacher, the real teacher, will return in all of us, not as a lesson to be learned, but as a hand to be held.






 

NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE ENEMY

The universe knows the secrets though, of sinister plans of the past to dim the shining light of the first born of every bright star. Now, and only out of desperation do they sing a new, loud and bawdy tune reminiscent of past atrocities exposed by the melody of corruption. Yes, the universe knows the plans to end that which never began. Or did it? And only now are we seeing the fruits of our seeds sown? But, which seeds? And, can we see and think clearly enough, with calm and foresight through the darkness–resisting the fear, moving with caution and confidence, while wading through the confusion in order to cultivate the flowers rather than the weeds? Who will protect the dim lights, reticent to shine too brightly, concerned that peaking too soon will snuff out the seeds the universe plants for the survival of the planet? A Daisy Mae flower blooms in October. A rose of Sharon smiles back. You’re safe–in a harbor alongside the seeds of the plan. The world chose you–and did so–correctly.






 

THE EYE OF THE STORM

The mind is most powerful when it’s stubborn. The resistance of the mind is like super glue–one drop holds a yacht, keeps a mountain from moving, stops the sea from separating, and creates a frustration so intense in a person witnessing it in another, that it can cause heart attacks, strokes, cancer and who knows what else.

Stubbornness isn’t even like cancer; it’s worse. Cancer you can deal with; a stubborn person you can’t. There is no amount of reason one can use, no amount of persuasion, no sum of money or pile of gold, to move a stubborn person who says no to change their mind to say yes.

And stubbornness abounds–with more than enough to go around–in all sectors of life, within all groups, cultures and nations. Can anything good be said of stubbornness? No. The ominous cloud of stubbornness has no silver lining. It’s a formidable tool, a weapon as cold and hard-hitting as the atomic bomb. It destroys lives, families, businesses, cultures, countries. It can turn an entire planet upside down. But it rarely destroys the person whom it houses. It is therefore a great protector. The stubborn person lives in the eye of the storm. No matter where they go, they take their storms with them–mowing down everything and everybody in their paths, while they stay secure.

Stubbornness is an addiction, like any other, but unlike any other, in that it has yet to be recognized as one. Once a person uses it to get what they want, the thrill of success, perverse as it is, makes it nearly impossible to stop. Stubbornness requires no skill. It’s as easy as eating pie. That’s the allure. It’s easy–too easy–for those who don’t give an owl’s hoot for anything or anyone but themselves. It feels good and it works. It gives control where there otherwise would be none, because the stubborn person has yet to develop the skills necessary to make changes. In fact, they don’t like change.

Can a stubborn person become not stubborn? Sure they can, but they won’t. Fear keeps them from it–fear of the unknown, fear of losing their power, fear of losing control, fear of life, fear of living that life, fear of themselves. There are no mirrors where they live, no reflections. They can’t reflect, because they can’t interact. They live in isolation, fearing the world–a painful, hollow, meaningless existence.

Is there hope for the stubborn among us? Sure there is. All it takes is a little courage to step out beyond the safety of the eye of the storm in which they live, and feel the havoc they’ve created, accept responsibility for the ruin they’ve inflicted, and then say yes–to life, to living, to giving, to sharing, to learning.

It’s not unlike the courage needed by the people pleaser who fears rebuke to say no.






 

A DREAM DAWNING

Winding staircases around dreams of moons and star gazers gone to sleep beneath a starless sky, hoping that sleep itself might turn a blanket into a jewel studded universal wonder, that we all hope someday will wind it’s way around our lives making us for once the center of something other than somebody else’s rainbow.

When alas, we are both struck and awed by the blanket dropping to reveal nothing more than grains of sand glittering between the wool just pulled down over our eyes.

Did we really make it unscathed? Is this a dream of the morning? Or is it the dawn everybody dreams of?






 

4:44


Next Stop


Arrival Time


Twenty-nine Palms


Italy


Yuma


FOG

Lake Erie disappears when the fog rolls in.

Downtown Cleveland High Rise Skyline disappears too.

All the high rises succumb to the rolling fog.

Then it settles, waiting for its next instruction,

making you feel the comfort of a smaller world.

When it decides to recede, like the waves in the Great Lake it blankets,

leaving a clear and startling new view,

I am always uplifted by the process.