Brawn

The Pajamas — Photograph by Mia Pharaoh

 

Brawn


Standing at the furthest edge of night
Eyes searched for a crack in the sky
Other side: Heaven
While God looked on
The shallow dug their own graves
Cowards took the easy way
Bullets and Cyanide

Was the race won, or was it the war?

 

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel


Video — “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas | Final Scene Rescore
           Triumph

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75 thoughts on “Brawn

  1. All too sad a reminder of were we’ve been and where we continue to go. Your photo is brilliant together with the poem and video clip, and another reminder of the identities we allow our selves to be stamped with in order to function in a modern world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tim, thank you. Yes, the song unfortunately remains the same. I’m really pleased that you like the photo, I thought it was really powerful, capturing a jarring and unsettling conceptual representation of history then and now. (Tim, it was a bit maddening working with the image because it was warped when I took it, far from perfect and I couldn’t square in up properly, but that is rather the part of the idea of the post anyway.) I’m very happy that you feel that everything works together. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s very difficult to get a perfectly flat photo without perspective control. The photo works perfectly as you posted it. I would think viewers’ eyes might correct the image for how they want to see it. How we see the image and react to it might have a lot to do with how each of us sees and feels about the issue at hand.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Was the race won, or was it the war?’ A piece that spells out the words, ‘Speak out’, ‘Defy’, ‘Mark the cards of oppressors for a better day will arrive’, ‘There is no other choice’. Most splendid, most heartbreaking, Mia. A work of art.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. George, thank you, powerful thoughts. “Defy” is a loud and a strong word. There is no other choice, we can’t just give in to defeat. I actually had written this poem over 9 months ago, while it served a purpose I felt it was a throw away piece, too much commentary. Then the idea of this photo appears from nowhere. When I saw what I captured, what it represented, it was perfect, the striped pajamas, the tattoo of the camp number, and the idea of Flammé, ugly and unnerving. The bigger part of me just wanted to post the photograph alone, it may not have made sense, so in fairness I added the poem, quote and video. Please have a wonderful evening. ~ Mia

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There is sometimes ‘magic’ in defeat. The defeated may never know that, may think that whether fought or buckled nothing would change, however sons and daughters down the line will/do carry a pride with them forever and a day, Mia

        Liked by 1 person

          1. The Swiss are a kind, gentle folk who’ve managed to survive as a nation which half a dozen languages within, and war raging all around in Europe for centuries.
            Indifferent? No. Don’t think so. Many NGO’s have settled in Switzerland I believe. And the Red Cross was founded by a Swiss. Henri Dunant. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh that film! I can’t bear it. The sort of thing you’re glad you saw but never want to watch again – so heartbreaking. Mia your photo is brilliant. The poem says so much in a few lines. Neutrality itself exists on a scale. What nation really stands neutral if they benefit in some way from the aftermath?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know the film is definitely heartbreaking. It takes me a long time to come around to watching these types of films, and right there with you, no need to watch it again, once is memorable. I’m pleased you like the photo. In theory neutrality looks pretty, can it really exist in our world? My thoughts, any benefit negates the idea of being neutral. Wishing you a terrific Wednesday, Meghan.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alan, thank you. I looked for you a while back and you were missing, welcome back! I’ve been away too, it’s taking me a while to catch up and get back in the groove. I hope that you’re enjoying your day. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hector, thank you. Injustice is a sadly interesting in how it plays out. True many are deaf to it. Sickening the attitude of, if it’s not in my backyard I can’t hear it. And if you dare to speak out against real injustice, you become a target by the oppressors, that too is injustice.

      Take good care, have a good Wednesday. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Powerful. I had a moment at the Holocaust museum. An elderly man and woman were watching a video screen that showed people who had been killed in the camps. They spoke to each other every so often. A teenage girl asked the gentleman if he had been there. He said, “No,” but he knew many of the people in the photographs. Your poem made me think of the moment in a different way. Perhaps he was sad on different levels, maybe even survivor’s guilt. He seemed resolute, however, and hopefully the few seconds he shared with the girl impressed upon her the importance of “standing for something.” Awesome work, Mia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris, thank you. I think you’ve touched on something powerful, not only was the Holocaust an atrocity, those that survived the loss of people they knew, do have a true sense of survivor’s guilt whether they were there or not. It’s powerful. it’s penetrating and it’s forever. Those feelings can be quieting and life does goes on, it’s in those quiet moments that the memories tend to be triggered, returning with full force. I hope that the elderly gentleman was able to impress upon her just as you’ve said, “the importance of standing for something”. Thank you for a wonderful comment. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A few years ago I was standing behind an older couple at the Holocaust museum. They were randomly pointing to a screen and talking about different portraits that were scrolling on the monitor. A teenaged girl leaned in and asked if they had been in camp and the man answered, “No, but he was my friend.” He did that several times while she stood there. He had a sadness that was full of loss and suggested guilt and anger. I can’t imagine… Your poem and photo stirred that memory. -Chris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris, at least you’re not anonymous. I realize this is somewhat of a duplicate comment, yet again here you’ve touched on something important, the loss does breed “guilt and anger”. Some of my thoughts about guilt I shared with you in my previous reply, but the anger is completely understandable. The frustration of attempting to put everything that happened away in a neat little box is impossible. I hope to think that the anger helped motivate the survivors live to their lives to the fullest potential. The reasons for the anger are far to many to list, and each individual will undoubtedly have their own list. It is indeed hard to imagine, and deeply saddens me. Thank you for your generous comments, I very much appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. I hope you’re enjoying your Wednesday, no school I’m guessing. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guessed after the double post that the comment had to be approved. Sorry for that. As I’ve gotten older I find less force and more perspective. In the case of your photo, your poem, and my random happening, I think people need to figure each other out. It’s best for all. Btw…summer vaca starts at 3pm th!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Chris, please don’t be sorry, moderation has become a necessary evil, learned that one the hard way, and since both comments weren’t identical, each making a good point, I selfishly approved both, I hope that you don’t mind.

          I like your comment, “figure each other out”. Let’s hope for cool heads to prevail soon. About one hour to go until 3 pm, if I’ve got the time difference correct. Enjoy the start of your summer off!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the poem Mia, I haven’t seen the film, not sure I could watch it, (tho I saw Schindler’s List and survived!) What is the barcode image of? A product? When I searched it came up as Kleenex tissue, was that intended?

    I had a mysterious dream the night before I read this, and it really resonated ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ogden. I was telling Meghan it takes me forever to get around to watching these types of films, they are intense and you have to ready yourself for them, at least I think so anyway.

      Conceptual art (the photo) allows for all sorts of stuff, and yes the Kleenex had intent. There are no winners in war, ever. Yes there maybe gains for one side or the other, but it can never replace what’s lost, need a Kleenex? The vision was blinding, it was just so brilliant to see that this old box representing the camps, I just couldn’t believe it.

      Are you going to share your dream? 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure its a good film, I shall have to see it some time. they are so hard to watch, all that dreadful ideology.

        There is a German film called the Reader (2008) was a good one, but its not about the war per se, worth seeing tho.

        Oh yes, my dream! Well, I dreamed I was on a train with a friend who isn’t alive, but I often dream he is – anyhow, I ended up sitting with him by the sea chatting, there was a really eerie light in the sky, which I was observing, but I don’t think he could see it, anyhow, there was a small boat on the shore, which he told me had been in his family for yrs, it was all so striking, I remember it all so well. The opening lines of your poem reminded me of the scene. Xx ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A poignant film, again hard for me to watch, I will look for Reader, just read the review, it seems oddly familiar. Have I already seen it? I don’t think so, will definitely get to it in short order.

          Thank you for sharing your dream Ogden. I’m glad that the line brought his memory back to you in a dream, if you ask me, which you’re clearly not, I’d tell you that’s how the magic of visits often happen through our dreams, I’m smiling, lucky you. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. ~ Mia ❤ xo

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I had the dream the night before you posted, so perhaps we were on the same wavelength and got different interpretations? Thats how I think! 🙂

            I think I saw the film on TV, I don’t have it in my DVD collection according to my iPad, but I do remember it was moving and important in its message. Rather unusual indeed, I do love good films.

            Thanks again 🙂 ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so powerful and heartbreakingly true Mia! Such a poignant time in our history, but one we must never, ever forget. Your timing is impeccable with what would have been sweet Anne’s 88th birthday yesterday. Kindness, courage and the treasured gift of hope are such a wonderful legacy.
    Have a wonderful week Mia! – Lola 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lola, thank you for such a lovely comment. Strange thing, I shared with George that this was a throw away poem for several reasons, yet it kept nagging at me. When I photographed the barcode I immediately saw the connection to the poem on so many levels. It was kismet that I posted it on Anne Frank’s birthday. Magic does still happen, and when it does I think we should grab the inspiration that it offers. So true Lola, hope is a treasured gift.

      Thank you, wishing you a wonderful week too. ~ Mia 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mia, I truly believe the universe provides us with many serendipitous moments. I also wanted to mention that I love that you are using your own photographs, they’re fantastic! – Lola 🙂🌺

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lola, isn’t that the truth, we just have to take it in and enjoy the view. I’m glad that you like the use of the photos, I wanted to incorporated something different into my efforts. I think it goes along with the lines, “Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world … I feel like I can’t take it… and my heart is just going to cave in.” I’m afraid I’m going to wear that out, but it’s so true, and the beauty you find where you least expect it, is the most exceptional of all. Did you know that I was a sentimentalist? Thank you my lovely friend, you are exquisite beauty inside and out. ~ Mia 💜

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Mia, I have been in this place over the last three months watching Schindler’s List, The Bunker, WWII documentaries, the Nuremberg Trials, what I could find. Why I didn’t know, I’m kind of weird that way. Brawn brought me to perspective, in much the same way I have been brought to perspective while listening to Rick Recht sing the hope on Masada. For me the hope says “never again”. For I with you and so many others will use our lives, and the magic from those places hidden to defeat that which surely comes. Have a wonderful week my friend! Shalom, Daniel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Daniel, perhaps we reach a point in our lives that we want to know as much as we can, maybe it helps with the understanding of such an atrocity. There are times I find myself completely immersed in this place that you talk of as well. Here’s to “never again”. Thank you for the well wishes, please have a wonderful week Daniel. Shalom, Mia

      I’m for sure sitting next to you, we have so much to talk about. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Mia, Sitting next to you, I thought that I would ask so many questions, and then I thought what if you ask me something that I don’t know, for I can assure you there are many things I don’t. I then thought we would probably ask few questions, because it would waste too much valuable time, instead we would talk as old friends always do, knowing each other’s soul’s from somewhere distant, and it would be such a wonderful time. Looking forward to it someday soon! 😉 Daniel

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Daniel, your reply has certainly made my day. It always delights and amazes me when I’m lucky enough to meet someone that I feel as if I’ve known forever. Often it’s something unspoken and most definitely magical. I agree, I believe we would talk as old friends, picking up the conversation right were we left off, not knowing when that might have been, and it doesn’t matter, time can be irrelevant. I’m looking forward to it also. Here’s to the future. ~ Mia

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey how are you? How’s life Mia?
    Your poem is very thoughtful as usual. The lines about the “shallow” digging their own graves in war is interesting. As if they were to “shallow to know they were doing it. The cowards killing them selves makes me think of Hitler in WWII and many monsters who prefer poisoning themselves to taking responsibility or being put on trial for their crimes. I watched that movie ‘The Boy With the The Striped Pajamas’ it was very sad as many war movies.

    Nice to see you on here again,

    Amanda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amanda! I’m good thank you, how have you been? Life has been busy with little extra time, how about you, anything new on your end?

      Thank you for the kind words. I like that line too, I think it’s powerful. You’re right, I think they were shallow, not caring about the ramifications of their actions, also it introduces the idea of shallow graves which is not the pretties picture. The movie is sad, with a tragic ending.

      It’s nice to be here again, although inconsistently at the moment. Have a wonderful Wednesday. ~ Mia

      Like

  10. Hello Mia 🙂
    You really need to have a close look at your barcode image. The number six is two thin vertical lines. The two thin vertical lines are seen at the beginning, middle and end of the barcode signifying 666, the mark of the beast. There you go then, so much for shopping !
    Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. Both Natascha and I were thrilled to read your lovely words. Big hug.
    Have a lovely Sunday. Ralph xox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ralph, thank you for sharing your wisdom. I rarely check the bar codes, perhaps I should. How true, so much for shopping! You and Natascha are more than welcome, my pleasure, I’m so happy for the two of you. Thank you for the big hug, sending much love to the both of you. Please enjoy the rest of your Sunday and give the kitties some love too!
      ~ Mia 💗 xo

      Liked by 1 person

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