TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Animal Photography

Eye-Contact and Animal Healers

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As someone with Asperger’s who spent much of my life avoiding eye contact until I was properly medicated, I still feel uncomfortable with eye contact in human interaction.  Yet I actively seek out eye contact with animals.  I am not alone in this.  For people with Asperger’s and Autism, eye-contact with humans is fearsome and yet with animals, sublime.

People say eye contact with animals is less threatening, yet I believe there is more to it than that.  Gazing into the eyes of an animal, I feel love, depth of consciousness, and connection– all qualities quite impossible to feel with humans, except in fleeting moments with my beloved Aspie husband who, too, has problems with eye contact.  Perhaps because Aspies and Auties are so starved for affection, so hungry for a form of love that they CAN handle, animals offer pure and simple love, and unconditional acceptance. The truth is animals are excellent therapists and natural healers!!  P.S.  Animals are good for depressives, too.

(For more information on eye contact and Asperger’s and Bipolar Disorder, see the memoir I wrote of my experiences with love, called “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things” http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html)

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Spirits Past and the Mystical Bliss of Horses

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It is almost Christmas, and my birthday, and today I cried reading an old birthday email from my sister.  She signed it “Lisa the Pizza, Tony Baloney and the rest of the gang ‘up there’,” meaning my brother, and my mother and father.

“Tony  Baloney” died two years and a half ago, leaving behind three adopted children whom he adored and who adored him, and a loving wife.  My father and mother died 25 and 20 years ago, as impossible as that seems.  Dad and Mom died this time of year.  And my best friend, Wendi, died shortly after.  All of cancer of some sort or the other.  But they all loved horses.

We now live in Millbrook — horse country.  Horse farms dot the countryside.  My father and mother and Wendi would have adored it.  My brother was the only one to visit Millbrook, coming with his family whom we put  up at a nearby horse ranch. They all  had the time of their lives.  One of my fondest memories of my brother is from that visit.  We are holding hands as he is relaxing after a day of riding with his kids.  He is drinking and smoking (what eventually killed him) and we are taking in the sunset on the porch of the dude ranch.

I love horses, too.  It is in my blood.  Dad played the horses and my brother worked on several racetracks, including Belmont.  Now I abhor horse-racing,  finding it cruel.  My brother had horror stories to tell of how the horses were drugged and run hurting.  I have seen horses being put down– all for a senseless sport.  Dad and I would quarrel about this if he were still alive.

I remember stroking a horse once at a show nearby and the bliss I felt was mystical in a most spiritual way.  I wanted that moment to last forever.  And the happiest I have ever seen my husband was on a moonlit ride we took in a canyon in Arizona on our honeymoon.  Horses bring happiness. My husband knows it. Dad knew it.  Tony knew it, Wendi knew it and to some extent, Mom knew it.

Too old to ride now I pet horses when I can, and admire them as we drive by horse farms.  I photograph them when the spirit moves me.  I ache inside for my parents who would have adored it here in our little barn.  For my brother, the cowboy, as different from me as night and day, but bonded by a deep love and shared losses.  For my friend, Wendi, with whom I shared a not-to-be replicated link of love.  Merry Christmas, Tony Baloney, Mom, Dad, Wendi!

My blessing comes from the love I share with my husband who married me despite my mental illness. It comes, too,  from our spiritual connection to nature. I admire my husband who works with society’s outcasts as a clinical social worker.  My giving is on a much smaller scale– tiny things here and there– online activism and such.  You play the hand you are dealt.

Christmas can be a hard time, and New Year’s, too, and I know there will be the inevitable meltdown into tears over losses of loved ones, over mortality, over our material nature.  And perhaps you will also have your own moment of bleakness.  But I hope that you, too, will be able to touch your bliss at Christmas and find a blossoming hope for the new year.

Blessings of joy to all!!


Away in a Manger

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Unmistakable pride

in the smile

on the mother’s face

bonding with her

babe asleep beside her

in utter security

in utter trust

of their caretakers

unknowing of their future fate

at the bloody hand

of man.


An Apparition

Apparition

Here one second,

the next, gone,

with traces only in our hearts.

The ephemeral nature

of all life.

Our loved ones,

people and creatures,

here with us

for a pause in eternity

and gone for seeming eons.

            *

It is as the Hindus say

all “Maya,”

a dream of life,

an apparition,

some form of us

awakens one day

somewhere

we know not

when or where or how

right now.


A Hug Without Arms

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Do they think because

we have no arms

we do not hug?

Do they think because

we have smaller brains

we do not love?

*

We hug

neck to neck,

chest to chest,

coat to coat,

in a warm embrace

of pure love,

a love as pure

as theirs,

perhaps more so.

*

They think

we do not love

because it makes it easier

for them to drug us

for so-called sports,

for their so-called fun,

and race us past injury,

and, yes, they even kill us

for their gustatory pleasure.

*

All we want to do

is love our families

and run free.

But we are willing

to serve them

if they treat us right.

*

Now I ask you:

who here is superior?


Springtime Blues no. 2

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With my fetching dreadlock bangs

and my au naturel French poodle coat

offset by my dreamy, brown velvet eyes,

if I could just blow this joint

I know I’d find me a man!


The Haunting

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The haunted look

in the eyes

the plastic tags

in the ears

the bit of grass

in the coat

of a tender soul

behind bars

*

One day

the haunted

will arise in glory

their souls ablaze

with triumph

*

One day

 we will pay

our dying hearts

 haunted

by the very souls

 hunted

by the likes of us


Within Blue Prison Walls…

love happens

 hugs and kisses

within the pen.

Love triumphant

over blue confinement.

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No. 149

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You look at me

and see hamburger,

filet mignon,

roast beef au jus.

But I am a mother/father/sister/brother.

I look at you with curiosity,

and innocence

and in the end

I will be betrayed.

But I don’t live on a factory farm

so I don’t know that yet.

I offer the following short short video by Paul McCartney for educational value.  I leave the option whether you want to view it to you.  It contains graphic and upsetting images but meat eaters should know how the meat comes to their plate and how factory farms operate.  Taking pictures of farm animals and this video made me stop eating beef, pork and lamb– am working on eliminating chicken and fish. 


Snow-Doe

This “tres sensible,” furry doe appeared in our backyard one morning, showing no fear of us as we went about our activities.  It pains me that Vassar College has hired hunters to feed deer, luring them to their death for mercenary gain in some non-sensical culling.  As if hunting season weren’t bad enough.  My heart sank for this fearless doe, unafraid of us.  She must learn to be afraid of humans because humans are cold-hearted killers, hiding under the guise of sportsmanship and pest control.  What kind of sport is this to entice deer to an area using food as bait and then, when trust is established, shooting them?  It makes me ashamed of the human race.   Issac Bashevis Singer, who fled the Nazis himself, and whose mother and brother were killed in the Camps, writes most eloquently on the subject in his ode to a mouse:

What do they know—all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world—about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.”

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