Sunday, April 29, 2007

Faces of alcoholism


I was stunned into a deep, visceral silence when I found Mark Peterson's amazing photo essay. Some of the images not only reminded me of times in my own alcoholic life, but also brought to mind a lot of unfinished business. I hope I never become satisfied with myself to the point of becoming a mere recovery pontification machine. The 'under the bridge shelters' and alleys where those of us not lucky enough to have found a last refuge are just as dirty and dangerous and unforgiving as they ever were. Jack Mc, in his memorable poem "Drunks", tells us that 'we don't have to die anymore'. Yet we still do, every day of every week. The bottom of the barrel drunks who will never type a word on a computer keyboard...
They're the real heroes.

In his native Minneapolis, he developed a bond with the residents of the Queens nursing home, leading to the work that appears in "Last Call." He is working with students at Sobriety High, a high school for chemically dependent and alcoholic teens in Minneapolis.

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