Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Cold Gets Colder


Lance Corporal Nicholas G. Ciccone USMC





The weather has turned markedly cooler. It has been cold at night, but that night cold has eloped to the day and an even colder cousin has moved into her vacated bedroom. Marines are digging deep into their seabags to find parkas, gloves and scarves in the hopes of taking the edge off the chilly air. This change in the weather has me recalling the time spent in Kandahar, Afghanistan in early January of 2002 at the outset of this war. Now that was CCCCOLDDDD. You awoke in the morning to find the water bottle you left next to your head the night before frozen half solid. Having to struggle out of your triple layered sleeping system at zero-dark- thirty into the icy air to make an urgent head call was a dreaded occurence. Here's a drawing I did of a Marine at Kandahar. He and his platoon, from 3rd Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment, had just returned from a 12 hour patrol that had been transformed by events into a grueling 9 day sparring match with the Taliban over a giant weapons cache'. Like ghostly apparitions walking off the pages of Gustave Dore's illustrated version of Dante's Divine Comedy, these exhausted young men stumbled in from a walk along the border between Purgatory and Hell. (Drawing appeared like this in the Winter 2005 issue of American Artist Drawing Quarterly.)

6 comments:

Beth* A. said...

The marvelous eyes. The clothes/material look like... clothes/material. You want to reach out and touch them, smooth out the wrinkles for him! Shading, texture....Even that link thing (can't seem to remember what those are called) and the swirl pattern of the hair on his head... If his parents have seen (hopefully) this they must've been beyond thrilled to have their son (regardless of where he was) forever captured with such skill, and in such caring detail. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

whit said...

So which is better? The heat or the cold? You can always put on another layer...

I can hardly read the posts and look at the sketches without...you know...

I wish it didn't have to be but I thank God for guys like all of you.

Samantha West said...

My Dear CWO,
Your renderings are some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen. The Lances in your drawings look so, well, so experienced and then I stop and realize they are probably only 18 or 19, maybe 20. I would like to reach out and touch their faces, and look into their eyes as I say "Thank You" so they will know how deeply I mean it.

Thank You!

Sam

Karinda said...

My son called from Iraq (2/1 Fox Co.) and told me about your site. I am moved to tears. Thank you so much for this window, however small, into his world. Your talent is a gift and I am forever grateful.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas G. Ciccone is my stepson. This is such a wonderful picture and what a treasured gift to his father and I to have seen this. Nick died 2 1/2 years ago- and although this picture is haunting- it is so beautiful. We cannot thank you enough for having chosen this gorgeous young man to be the subject of this drawing. Thank you- Pam Ciccone

Anonymous said...

I was also moved to tears by Nick's picture. I remember that same look on many of the boys who came back from Vietnam. I pray that his soul has found peace.

NEONICA