THE WAR

I can’t make up my mind.

Like most Canadians, I suppose, I wonder about Canada’s participation in the war
in Afghanistan. That’s why I was most interested when I was assigned to photograph
Laurent Guyon. He’s a Canadian Afghan vet who got injured by a suicide bomber in
Kandahar City.

Laurent Guyon-  114.jpg

His story…..

Laurent’s platoon was on patrol when he noticed an Afghan man, about 60 years old,
in their midst. The old man had 2 children with him. Laurent wondered why the man
was there, where he wasn’t supposed to be. And what about the children? Just then
the man looked at Laurent, smiled, and pushed the button. Blew up. Four people died.
Laurent took most of the blast on his legs. A cow, which was sort of between him and
the bomber, saved his life.

Laurent was evacuated to Germany then to Canada. He’s undergoing therapy and will
walk again. I suppose he’s lucky.

The war…..

The observer of human nature in me says war is inevitable, one of the things animals like
us do. Almost a necessity given how primitive we actually are. Despite what our Egos may
tell us I believe we’re mostly Id…..it’s the primitive that rules us. Especially those who
seek power.

Having said that I hate it when I see young men and women coming home in boxes or
missing limbs or with their emotions all scrambled and hard.

But I also think that the Taliban are totally fucked up. I can’t stand what they stand for,
how they think their way is the only way. Fundamental subjugation of a people, blowing
up statues, enforcing sexist dress codes, stuff like that really, really sucks.

I try to go through my life treating others like I want to be treated: with good humour,
a touch of goofiness and pretty much trying to get along, ducking punches. I know, too,
that sometimes you’ve got to stop ducking and take a punch. I think that that’s what
Canada is doing in Afghanistan, taking a punch.

I can’t make up my mind.

Laurent Guyon-  058.jpg

SCOUTING + THE LAB

Back in the saddle.

One of the shoots I did last week was a shot of an ex-Deputy Prime Minister climbing a hill. Had to find a hill so
I went out and scouted some. My first choice is posted below. Of course it was my second choice (not pictured)
that was chosen. Not because of some esthetic conspiracy, simply because of the subject’s schedule and the logistics
of getting him to the location.

Too bad. I think this hill here is a sweet spot. I love the desolation and that building sticking up.

Right after I did the scouting I went to the lab (these days I’m not going to the photolab, I’m going to the
bloodwork one). Took some shots of that place, too, while I was waiting to get poked. Just for fun.
These are consecutive frames and I’m taken by how they kind of go together, in a weird way.

Feels good (to be) feeling better.

location1 small.jpg
Location2 small.jpg

KIDNEY FAILURE

The phone rang at 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, the person asked to speak to Tony Fouhse.
I thought it was a telemarketer but it turned out to be a doctor I’d never met who was calling
to save my life (or at least save the day).

I’d been feeling poorly for a while, quite sick to tell the truth, and by some fluke the 2 sets of
bloodwork I’d had done over the course of 5 days had landed on Dr. Zimmerman’s desk. She’s
a Nephrologist who’s on the ball…..she noticed that my kidneys (nephrologists deal in kidneys)
were going through a massive, acute failure.

Long story short, I was rushed to the hospital where a bed and specialists were waiting for me.
I was checked in, poked, prodded, questioned. Poked and prodded some more. There was no
time to waste.

I ended up staying in hospital for 4 days where the teams did good (but painful) work on me
and I’m now back home. My symptoms are in abatement because the causes were treated.

me in hosp.jpg
Cindy brought me my point and shoot the second day I was in the hospital. What follows are
a few of the kinds of photos you can take when you’re stuck in a bed, no mobility, facing one
direction and an uncertain future. Not what I would choose to shoot…..I shot what was there,
what I could see.

kidney 2.jpg
Thanks to the nurses and doctors who treated me. I appreciate it.