“Native American tradition provides that each person is connected with nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life, acting as guides.”
I wanted to do a self portrait that showed the inner workings of my soul.
I have a lot of pathways in my mind, different sides to me that speak to different animals or beings. To say I have only one Spirit Animal would be limiting myself to one type of being. And that I am not.
Peewee Herman is the Spirit Animal that speaks to my naive, childlike side.
He is forever living inside a child’s brain, uncaring what the world thinks of him. Even as society continues to change around him, he stays the same. Like Peewee, it takes very little to make me happy, and I get overly excited over dumb things.
The Warrior Klingon, Worf, is the Spirit Animal that speaks to my angry side.
Worf lives with the constant battle of taming his warrior ways to live among a gentler race. Like myself, he is a strong, brave man who burns underneath with unbridled rage. And he is forever struggling with control. In my life I find it hard to control who I am to live among people who aren’t like me. I understand his frustration.
John Merrick (The Elephant Man) is my Spirit Animal in many, many ways.
John was a gentle soul. And an educated man. Smart, kind, peaceful and loving. But nobody saw that. All they saw were his deformities. This plight speaks to me. Even in my thirties I am judged for the way I look. I have been named druggie, lowlife, bad mother, freak. But had they taken the time to get to know me/him they would have found a deeper well of emotions and sincerity underneath.
Since I am relatively young (Shut your whore mouth!), I haven’t discovered all nine of my spirit animals. But there is one animal that I have felt connected to all of my life: The Horse.
I love to run. Sprinting makes me feel alive. And horses natural nervousness speaks to me. Safety in number. Flight over fight. That’s me.
Since I happen to have a few of these beautifully flighty animals in my backyard I have photographs abound of their natural grace.
The hard part was taking a picture of myself to match. I don’t look much like a horse (again, shut your whore mouth). But that’s not the point is it?
I’ve been struggling with time and inspiration. I just couldn’t find the time or the oomph to sit down and take a picture embodying my connection with horses. But THEN…..Bing! I remembered that Katherine and I did a horse/Indian photoshoot over a year ago and the amazing shots have been sitting in my computer just waiting to be edited.
Don’t you just love when problems solve themselves?
For this shoot we geared up in all of the amazing outfits and real props that Katty had. My outfit was pretty dang snazzy. Except when I bent over and my Mommy pouch (that flappy pouch of skin you get after having kids), sagged in all it’s glory. So either my Indian character was a mother of three, or I just had to stand straight the whole time.
After dressing in the totally proper (and not at all offensive) Indian attire, we gallivanted out to the barn and began to shoot.
IT WAS FREEZING! If I had known my nipples would freeze and fall off during this shoot I might not have done it. But all photo shoots come with sacrifices. Hey, I said might!
The shots were beautiful. But you can see the goosebumps on my skin. Sacrifices people. Sacrifices. (Speaking of sacrifices, Katty and I were barefoot. Think about that. Barefoot in a giant litter box with fresh horse apples squishing between our toes. Don’t ask me why.)
It was all worth it though, with the right amount of grain and carrots we scored some gorgeous pictures.
Others…..not so much.
But in the end we got this shot:
And I think it shows my love and revere for the equine species, the smell of horse sweat and flying. Maybe in the next thirty years I will discover more of my Spirit Animals as they become needed in my life. For now I am happy to have discovered the few that I have.
Happy shooting and happy editing.