I haven’t been sleeping, once again, and so my mind is spinning and flitting from topic to topic at such an incredible rate of speed that I am kind of feeling like my brain is superman…superwoman…superperson…superorgan?
Real Life Superheroes
I woke up at 4 a.m. from a crazy dream about jamming my heart out on the derby track, only to discover that I was wide awake and wired for sound, so I grabbed my ipad and pulled up one of the 12 books I have on the go right now. This one is called Another Man’s War and it was written by Sam Childers, a Christian pastor who has made it his life’s purpose to rescue orphaned children in the Sudan and Uganda areas of Africa. The book is absolutely fascinating, heart-squeezing, gut-wrenching type of material and it is the story behind the movie Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerard Butler. Not only is it a scintillating read, but it has taught me something about myself, yet again. The premise of the book is that Childers was a wild child – drugs, drug dealing, whoring around, beating people up, etc. – until it all got to be too much and he found God. While I have never been the type of person to believe in or support organized religion, I would also never begrudge people their faith – in whatever form it may take – so I think it is fantastic that faith took him out of the hellish life and endless spiral of really shitty circumstances he was caught in and pulled him toward the deep, uncontrollable urge to rescue and rehabilitate children in civil war torn areas of Africa. Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in that area is made up , almost entirely, of children who have been kidnapped or orphaned (by Kony’s soldiers who either kill a child’s family in front of the child or force the child to participate in the killing of family members in order to save their own lives or that of their siblings) children who have been brainwashed from ages as young as 3 or 4 to believe that the cause they are fighting for is worthy and totally true. I won’t get into the details of Kony and his army, but suffice it to say that it is well known that his merciless attacks, torture and mutilation of children occur constantly and it’s not the large, government-funded charity organizations that make a difference in the trail of shit and heartache his soldiers leave behind, but small outfits, like Childers’ Angels of East Africa, that save one or two children at a time and keep them safe. I admire the shit out of this guy – he has giant cajones and isn’t afraid to stand up to LRA soldiers or kill them if it will save a child’s life – and I honestly wish more people in the world were as open and honest about their feelings when it comes to taking care of the truly undesirable elements of the world. You can read about the kids he saves or donate to his organization here, but before you do, I highly recommend you read the book. It will change the way you look at day to day life in our super privileged, materialistic crap driven society.
What did this dude teach me? I have had some hard times in my life and while I’ve never been the type of person to sit and wallow in self-pity, I do sometimes find myself comparing my situation to others and feeling as though the trivial BS they bitch about is laughable on the scale of what is really and truly soul squeezing. I sometimes feel like grabbing them and shaking them and yelling at them to wake up and realize how amazing and blessed their lives are and how they have absolutely no cause to complain about anything. I keep that sort of thing to myself – most of the time…wink, wink – because it wouldn’t make a lick of difference to them if I did or said anything to them anyway. Better they find out for themselves or don’t find out at all. It’s not my place to teach people how to be grateful. All that aside, after reading this book and reading the stories these children describe of their experiences, I have been slapped in the face by the fact that even though I have had some crazy heartache in my life and gone through a shitload of loss and trauma, I have absolutely nothing to whine or complain about. NOTHING. My life is a sunny walk in an enchanted garden compared to what those kids in Africa go through everyday.
Imagine what it would be like to be living in a warzone, from birth, and never knowing if the bad men of the LRA will raid your village in the middle of the night, cut the baby out of your mothers belly and then rape her before killing her, shoot your father in front of you, rape your sister and set her on fire in front of you while she’s still alive, and then tell you that you have to join them or they will do the same to you. Or imagine that you are the five year old girl or boy who the soldiers rape and set on fire, only you survive with 3rd degree burns over most of your body and then lie in the blistering african sun for three or four days, surviving on the sheer will of the innocent, until people like Sam Childers and his posse find you and rescue you. The atrocities are just too much to take in, yet these kids survive this kind of thing all the time and go on to lead happy, love-filled lives in the orphanage he built. I repeat, I have NOTHING to complain, bitch, whine or rage about. Instead, I have about 8 bazillion things to be grateful for, happy with, satisfied about and blessed to know. If those kids can thrive in such circumstances, than I can more than thrive in my own. I see why Childers is so obsessed with helping those kids and I am blown away by his dedication, his family’s support of his cause, and all the people in the States and Africa who help him to save the kids. He’s a real life superhero.
Riding the PMS Train
True story: When a large group of women get together on a regular basis, their monthly cycles will sync around a handful of the ladies who have the strongest energy pull. It’s a throwback from our animal natures where it was necessary to put all the females of a species into heat at one time, so the males could do their thing and all the babies could be born at the same time to provide a better chance of survival for an entire group. If you think it is difficult to navigate your way through a large group of the ladies when it’s not that time of the month, try finding your way through a derby practice when almost the entire team is riding the PMS train! Choooo Chooooo. Last night was a fun challenge and I am hoping that since we are all going to be a tad bitchy come Saturday, that we will use that pent up, frustrated, hormonal energy to crush the competition into tiny little balls of whoop ass. 🙂 Hormonal whoop ass. I like the idea of that.
Okay, enough strange ramblings. Clearly, I need sleep.
But, before I go, here is a pic of one of my fave wedding couples this year. I cannot wait to shoot their wedding, with its Fern Gully theme, at our super secret location! We braved the snow and cold the other day to do a quick Engagement shoot on a lonely road in the middle of city. It was good, clean, fun!