2021 Micro-Grant Recipient: R. L. Monroe

About R. L. Monroe:

Breath Ignites Soul tells the story of a unique Wildland Fire Family living in Central Oregon during major natural disasters caused by wildfire and the coronavirus pandemic. The collection of stories are told by Asha, the primary caretaker of three young children, who has been a photo-journalist since the age of 16.

Grant Category: Writing

USA Recipient

Breath Ignites Soul

Project Vision:

Breath Ignites Soul is a year long photo-journalism project that illuminates one family’s struggles with mental illness and the hope that keeps us alive, even when it feels hopeless. Breath Ignites Soul is a reminder that our life force can be felt with a single breath, and that breathwork, yoga, and meditation along with therapy, community support and psychiatric medication can help us get through the lowest of lows. The family at home is the invisible foundation that holds up the crew. During Covid, many of the support systems we rely on as parents have been taken away. We have become so much more isolated because of the Pandemic. Throughout this project we will be creating a support group for friends and family of Wildland FireFighters; talking openly and honestly about how Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD affects our daily lives. And we will be following the Rhythms of the Seasons of the year to teach us lessons about our lives, and how to parent gently in a chaotic world. We will also be collaborating with Fire Ecologists, Counselors, and Early Childhood Educators to explore through play and teach Fire Ecology to young children ages 0-6years old.

Previous Work:

Favorite thing about firefighting:

My favorite thing about Wildland Fire is the inherited “Fire Family”. I love the summer BBQs and when we all get together in the evening and run around and play. I like how the other guys on the crew will be so silly just to get the kids to laugh really loud and crazy. I love when the kids get to play on the truck and squirt water from the hose. It makes them shriek with joy and we all laugh so hard.

More of R. L. Monroe’s work: