HISTORY OF NOW

MY LIFE'S STORY

I have never aspired to be anything other than the best version of myself that I can be. It is my life's mantra, often I have failed, however, I was once reminded failure is a sign of having tried, so what is wrong with failing? The History of Now like myself is, for now, a failed project... However, I have never for one second doubted its importance in finding its specific time to blossom and share its powerful message. I believe at the time of writing this and having witnessed the disgraceful attack on the Capitol Building that time has now arrived...  ​

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A simple moment inspired an incredible journey for an ordinary man, that created...

12/31/2012 - Photograph taken at the side of the rail tracks in front of the infamous entrance to the Auschwitz Birkenau Death Camp.

... a beautiful story of love, courage and determination!

I have now stared bare-eyed into the screen, my fingers poised without conviction of work. The analogy I offer forward is that of a mountaineer who would not put pen to paper as they ascended their climb. Occasional notes during nighttime boredom perhaps, and so the same is to be said of myself, I am still ascending my own particular mountain, and therefore my story is yet unconquered. However, my notes of the journey are now flickering down to the tips of my fingers, gracefully placed with respect and personal knowledge. I do not speak or claim the words for anyone but myself and perhaps those who have and who are suffering. I began my journey, quietly unnoticed, slipping from all I knew into a world that would show I knew nothing, or at best very little. Now, I am here ten years later, shortly after the seventieth anniversary commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz, which has now been throned "Holocaust Memorial Day" I cast my mind back, through my journey of frustration, acquired knowledge, and dismay. I am greatly honored and proud to have achieved so much, yet the bar is raised high, and unmanageable by myself. A truth that has brought me to the edge of my own existence on numerous occasions. 

I have, as a person always been approachable and open, yet never one for self-promotion. And as a writer, I am happy to let my work receive the attention, as I stand proudly in the shadows. Yet, Krystyna changed all that. Not for my own self-indulgence, but the narrative was such that I became its conductor and orchestra, simultaneously. One could not perform properly without the other. Yet as I now attempt to open up I find myself becoming closed. My transparency to this particular work is no longer functional, I am now its tool, we do not hold aloft the brush of an artist, or knife of the sculptor yet we recognize their necessity. I am the brush and the knife of Krystyna.

Life and history of the artist, and I happily recognize my supporting role. My journey is set in stone and transcends many of the obstacles we often ignore in our lives. Yet it was at these fragmented points that I found Krystyna and to my surprise, myself!. The young Czechoslovakian girl with the enigmatic eyes exists both in the narrative, and more importantly in my heart, safely cradled in my arms and far removed from the glare of a world that once unforgivingly turned its back on her!

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Fleeting offers of support from individuals and organizations drift into the darkness of their own shadow, yet I find my strength in the few who carry me in moments of self-doubt and weakness, follow me when strong, and never doubt my integrity or pending success in reaching and further pushing the bar into the human consciousness.

It has challenged me at every level, my strength, and my bond with my own self-belief. My emotions reconfigured to cope with the extremities of human degradation and unimaginable behavior. Yet, I had at the outset of my research taken the wrong turning, heading into the statistical aspects of a numerical disaster, cloning myself into thousands and millions, effectively I was quantifying myself away from the human suffering. It was the statement discovered amongst hours of research and analysis, this was to be a turning point in my journey and my life. It would break me and bring me to my knees facing the horrors of mankind and my own existence therein. After years of dedicated hard work, I have acquired a catalog of books, pictures, films, and archive material that I now possess. However, it was a simple story lost in the shadows of grand publications and editorial splendor.

A simple statement, a painful memory etched by quacking hands without search for gratification or notoriety. A story of a young girl, who survived the gassing, and as the bodies were being removed from the gas chamber, she spoke. You can only fail to imagine the reaction of the sonderkomando, trialed with clearing these stolen lifeless mangled bodies. He exclaimed she had cheated death, and therefore placed his own life in jeopardy, only to once again allow himself humanity and compassion, in a world far removed. He smuggled her safely, placing her tired fearful body upon the lifeless bodies, including her own family which was transported by hand cart, instructing her to be quiet. For a short period of time, he kept her safe, under his bunk sharing what little food and life he had. Then one day as he walked across the camp he saw the little girl hanging like a rag doll in the hand of a Nazi officer, she saw the man, and placed her finger to her dry cracked mouth, signifying the promise she had made not to tell of his involvement, as she did the officer took out his revolver and shot the girl in the back of the head, her body was burnt alive in the open. For almost ten years, until October 2014 my eyes remained a dry wasteland from that moment.

I had fallen upon my life's work. It shredded the insignificant and highlighted the importance of life! Only the passing of my own son had impacted so heavily upon my life. Now, with the image of Krystyna, I began to realize the true definition of mankind: A strange self-destructive breed that kills for pleasure - something we do on a regular and cruel basis! For all our intellect, we must recognize the senseless waste of that fact and how it is often applied. Life is or should be a magical journey, that fills every second with happiness, even in sadness the sharing of empathy within our family and friends is a gift. Of course, the greatest gift is the ability to share compassion with strangers, to empathize with an individual or group in their time of need or suffering! Yet, for many of us, crossing the religious and cultural divisions, we have become selfish and single-minded in our own existence, we are blindly being led into a new world set by confusion and greed, it is not bullets and gas that rob us of life, but twisted words and broken promises, a global march into the commercial Holocaust. The watchtowers are now financial institutions, the barbed wire, the debt we have incurred, and the hunger will be the eroding of the basic human requirements needed to survive.

That is what my journey has taught me, you may agree or disagree: Of course, that is acceptable. However, to ignore the past is a significant step backward, far enough, that what we ignore becomes our own destiny. This page is not about my story, I can not indulge myself, nor can I fill this page with statistics and facts, nor millions of images of those who perished, and even more images of those left to suffer the pain of memory and the feeling of guilt of survival. Somebody once said "I was addicted to the Holocaust" They are right of course because for me the Holocaust is about life! Not death, in that fact we should all be addicted! The many faces, faded black and white imagers, are simplistic visual records of their own individual story, each one a simple stitch in the fabric of life, which binds us all together, beyond the artificial differences we create out of ignorance greed, and exaggerated self-importance. It is hard to believe that anyone can find justification in the destruction of another human being, yet for me, the shadow of the Holocaust stretches both sides of the time continuum. Men women and children have often felt their lives drift like grains of sand, in the wind of hate. Why? The truth is history and educated scholars throw us facts 

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 and evidence that confuses more than educates

 or begin to explain. 

Our own shadows can never be cast backward, so we can never truly answer how we would initiate our own behavior if allowed the freedom and opportunity to act free of incarceration or recrimination. Our own existence is tainted with branded hate and bigotry no less important or shocking, it should disturb and refuse digestion. Yet, we don't choke up on the vile taste, but wash it down calmly, with a glass of indifference, wiping away the trace with "its a part of life." We think we offer empathy and understanding while distancing ourselves, yet we are moving ever closer to our own place in history. The world once owned by others  is creeping closer, the shadow grows longer and the 

light flickers in fear. For me, life is for living, a healthy addiction, yet it is dying even in the hearts and minds of those that claim its beauty and importance.

In my own life, I have felt oppression and have found myself an object of lies and destruction because of what I believe in and my unwillingness to compromise those beliefs, yet I know nothing of the human suffering that shadows mankind, history is not confined to the past it is in everything we do.

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As a writer, I am proud to sign my name to a varied collection of work, that bares my soul. In my other professional roles, I have engaged in many lives and have shared human experiences that are held dearly to me. I have often struggled to accept myself as what and who I am, always looking for more, and setting unachievable goals. That will not change. Yet, If I am to be remembered for one piece of work to equate my life: it would be without doubt or hesitation; The History of Now, for all it has given to me, for 

making me the person I am today and allowing me to find and embrace the true meaning of life. It is there for us all if we 

take the time to learn and accept through careful thought and mutual understanding!

The History of Now. It has all the elements life comprises. it was the beginning of an incredibly emotional journey that forever is the... 

END OF THE BEGINNING...