Monday, April 5, 2010

Of Horcruxes and History...

I’m not sure how exactly it came about… perhaps all these new commercials about the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter about to open in Orlando…

In any case, I’ve been thinking about Horcruxes today. Not the technical sort, as described in the Harry Potter Wikipedia (They have one of those, you know. Isn’t that fabulous?)

No, I’ve been thinking about the human factor in a horcrux.

As is the case with nearly all of the fantasy books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in my life, there is always some very human factor buried deep in the foundation of an imagined magic.

A horcrux, in a fantastical nutshell, (no pun intended) is created when a person experiences such a horridly traumatic event, that they are able to tear a piece of their soul off and store it in a worldly object in order to achieve immortality.

That happens to us here in the real world, you know.

Unlike the fantasy, we don’t have to commit murder to tear our souls, and we certainly wouldn’t bring such a tribulation upon ourselves in order to achieve immortality…

…but we DO experience such traumatic events during the course of our short lives, that a piece of our soul is torn, or stolen from us.

This tearing of the soul is a different experience for all of us.

Some of us loose a lover, or a friend, and in enduring the grief that comes with that passing, find a piece of our soul has been left behind.

Some of us loose a freedom, or miss a rite of passage… and enduring that, find a piece of our soul has been left behind.

Either way, those very real pieces of souls left behind don’t just drift off into eternity unnoticed…

… The Diary of Anne Frank

… King Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus

… The Winchester mansion

… The Stonewall Inn

… The Bois Chenu Basilica in Domremy

These are all examples of objects or places that carry the very essence of a single person, or a collective group of souls.

Would you be so moved by historical objects or landmarks if they were not attached to the irrepressible souls of the people who once inhabited them?

Would the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel be so magnificent if they were not the mysterious legacies of under appreciated and eccentric men who inadvertently altered and defined our perception of an entire time period?

Today, I am thinking about the beautiful souls I have had to part with in my life. There is still a piece of each of them that lingers in the objects they have left in their absence.

A camera strap that bore the weight of one young woman’s sobriety and only true passion.

A collection of blogs that may be the only truths one young woman ever told.

A worn out pair of stuffed animals, purchased in an airport 34 years ago, that defined a mother’s one true love.

A faded photograph of a smiling, angelic face, that defined the last joyous moment we would ever know in a little boy’s life that was cut short FAR too soon.

These are the obvious pieces that I carry around with me every day.

But what about the missing pieces of the people we haven’t left behind?

The increasingly forced and painfully empty smile on the face of a man you have called ‘father’ every day of your life.

The trash can full of empty bottles that a big brother has secretly discarded after a lifetime defined by sobriety.

The stunning reclusiveness and self-doubt of a woman who gave you the strength and courage to finally find, and define yourself.

These real life horcruxes aren’t the result of the exaggerated fantasies a single mother birthed to create a better life for herself.

These are the things we didn’t notice when we had the chance, not by our own fault, but because we were never afforded the opportunity.

These are the objects we pick up when no one is looking and fall to our knees to find a way to fix.

These are the things we think about when we tuck ourselves in at night… somewhere between states of consciousness.

This isn’t fantasy… but I truly believe there is a hero in all of us.

Those long lost artifacts that define our history and humanity weren’t left behind in vain. They were left behind to teach us a lesson.

To notice the pieces of ourselves and our loved ones that have been left behind.

To see, with new eyes, the holes we have ignored for far too long.

To find a WAY to help patch one another up… and in the process, find a patch for our own missing pieces.

Maybe today is the day to start reading, and believing… in fairytales.

When our children and our children’s children pick up the next generation’s ‘Harry Potter” … maybe they will be reading about the changes that YOU will decide to start making TODAY.

Just an over-processed thought… but maybe my change starts with sharing it with you.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Proof that we CAN still have fun in the Army ;)

Photos from 1st Special Troops Battalion's Pre-deployment Ball fundraiser!

Our chain of command volunteered to stand in line and auction off a chance to throw pie in their faces.  The results were astounding.  With the money we raised, I'm sure our Ball is going to be phenomenal!

Spc. Balderas braves 30mph winds to hold our Battalion guidon strong!

 Even when we're having fun, we still get smoked for doing stoopid shit.

1st Sgt. Moser is more than a good sport... he's a HUNGRY one!

A Soldier grabs her pie, and goes for the gold.

Even if you're about to be clobbered, you can still chose to do it in style!

1STB Commander and Command Sergeant Major take their turn being pied.


 Paybacks are hell!  Even if you DO outrank everyone present.

                                      That may have been a litter more violent than anticipated!

 Well, thats about all I have for now folks. Just wanted to show you that, even in the face of chaos, we STILL know how to have a good time!

Miss you all,


Trying to find my JS friends.

So I've been to just about every damn blogging site out there pouring through old blogs to try and find my friends on JS. For some reason... it seems impossible to round them all up!

That said... this site seems to be the most user friendly site. I can actually post pictures easily here.

The problem is this damn template. HOW CAN I GET MY OLD TEMPLATE BACK?

Suggestions? Help?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If I could just bleed them out...

If I could just bleed them out, would the thoughts that haunt me drift away? And if they did, is there anyone out there to catch them?

5 years old and full of curiosity, a little boy, not much older than me, reminded me how to tie my shoes on my first day of kindergarten.

24 years later, I wish I could go back to such blissful simplicity.

24 years later, I still look to my big brother to teach me lessons I should already know. But even he cannot fix the pieces of me that now lay scattered and bare for the world to see...

I wish I could retrace the steps I've walked, and remember every memory that made me the Bree I am today.

Exactly 5 months and 14 days ago, my mother passed away of a sudden, massive duo stroke and heart attack.

I spent so much of my life trying to be everything she is not, that I feel lost in trying to live up to all the amazing parts of her I have discovered in her absence.

I have lived through so much death and destruction. I have lived through so much joy and so many miracles. After surviving, and rejoicing in so much, after knowing with absolute certainty EXACTLY who I am... How could I now feel so lost and so hopeless? How could I feel so directionless.

I am a woman who has, more often than not, known exactly what she wanted, and succeeded in meeting her every goal.

How could I now feel such pressure in decisions I can not even identify?

Exactly one year and three days ago, I reopened a long lost chapter in my life. I opened that book of personal history, dusted off the page, and picked up right where I left off.

I knew, without a certainty, that I was meant to be an officer in the United States Army.

May 13th, 2009, 12:04am: I wake with a start, struggling to find my breath. I look over at the recently Lysol'd, army-issued dresser at the steadily blinking green light on my phone.

I rub my eyes, reach for my glasses, and stop, my hand suspended in mid air as I catch sight of the time on my clock. 12:04am

Without a doubt, without the slightest bit of uncertainty, the dread hits me like a freight train before I even have the strength to check the messages I have missed on my phone.

I knew. I don't know how, I just knew.

I try to take a deep breath. I loose it somewhere mid-gasp, and have to remind myself to BREATHE.

As I'm staring at my phone, the light blinks again. DAD pops up on the caller display, and I scream silently for myself to WAKE UP.

7 hours later I'm on a plane to Salt Lake City.

I can't even bring myself to write the details of my last three days with my beautiful mother. Every time I think about them the dread creeps out from the deepest parts of me and threatens to take my breath for good.

An event nearly every little girl grows up to deal with eventually. So why am I drowning in it?

The day I flew home from Utah I knew I didn't want to be an officer any more.

The look on my Colonel's face when I voluntarily dropped from Officer Candidate School two weeks from graduation will be forever engraved in the parts of my memory I try, every day, to seal away for good.

It's amazing how much ONE single event can change every priority you ever had in life. How one event can rock the very foundation of everything you ever thought you knew.

It's amazing how many thoughts you can hold in your head at one time and remain silent.

5 months and 14 days later I am still suffocating in my silence. I look to my father, to my brother, and I see the same face I see in the mirror every day. An impenetrable exterior of strength.

I see that same face, but I wonder if THEY feel the rot spreading inside them like I do? I wonder if they know they MUST reach in and heal themselves, like I do. I wonder if any of us will survive this?

I did not leave the Army. Instead, I did something I always wanted to do, but could never justify. I applied to become a photojournalist for the United States Army instead of a Lieutenant.

They accepted my application, they sent me to school, and they sent me to Fort Carson, Colorado to be closer to my family.

I'm here now. Healing the best I can. Fighting as hard as I can to swim out of this impossibly deep ocean of pain, and uncertainty I have been drowning in for 5 months and 14 days.

I'm here now, doing a job I always knew I would love to do, and loving it, even though loving it brings a guilt I can not identify.

I'm here now, surviving, and deciding it's time to let a LITTLE of this vulnerability leak out.

I'm here now, deciding to LIVE my life, to BE vulnerable, to share this burden in SOME way.

I'm here now, finding bits of joy every day to latch on to and ride into the next day.

I still have no idea how I will survive this, but I'm thinking that if I just bleed them out, the thoughts that have haunted me will drift away, and find some place where they can lay, forever framed, in case I want to visit, but finally, in peace.

I'm still trying to find my faith. I'm still trying to balance it with reality. I'm still trying to heal, but I have no doubt that I will find that peace, eventually.

I will find my way through this chaos. I will survive it.

I will.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greetings from Fort Meade!

Howdy, Hey and Hallo!

So I had a wonderful weekend. Wade came to visit me from Seattle, and we spent the weekend tryin to find trouble in Baltimore, and DC. Deff gonna post some pictures of THOSE adventures soon, but for now, just wanted to drop you all a line, and let you know Im doing great, and LOVING the Army!


P.S. How do I edit my journal to show the WHOLE picture and not just half of it? I haven't done any photo entries yet because they all screw up when I actually post them!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another year...

Today is my birthday. The big 29.... I've known a lot of you since I was 21 years old. Absolutely insane!

I swear I'm going to update this journal soon with TONZ of photos that I've been meaning to post since I came back in the Army.

Fort Meade is way too beautiful to stay inside much, but I promise I'm working on it.

Thank you all so much for being such a joyful part of my life for the last 8 years.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cause and Effect....

It's amazing the effect Iraq has had on our troops. I could go on and on about all the serious stuff for days.

But for now... it seems my fellow soldiers are so used to spending all their time in blazing hot sand storms that they close the bases down back here in the States for a measly 6 inches of snow!

Yes it's true folks. Not even picture-worthy.... but enough by Army standards to shut down the whole base, including the HOSPITAL and all the Army training schools. We were locked in the barracks for 24 hours, and not allowed to drive our cars anywhere.

Is it just me? Or is the whole country in a prolonged state of PTSD?