I’m quite aware that I do my share of complaining, so I try to balance it by reporting on the good things that happen as well.
Yesterday was one of those good things.
I’ll preface this by saying that one of my first animal loves as a child were horses. Some of my earliest artistic memories are Crayoning purple horses with abundant, cascading manes and tails. But actually having a horse was not to be in my future, so I tried to forget the original longing as much as I could, although it resurfaced every time I was able to encounter horses.
I recently became friends with an especially awesome girl who, it turns out, has a horse named Freddy. Another friend of mine, photographer Brooke Shaden, and I discovered we both had photo ideas which needed a horse. In stepped Freddy’s very generous owner, and before I knew it, I had a shoot planned!
Between my neighbor’s construction taking place a few feet from my bedroom window, my sleep study last week (more on that later) and my ever-present chronic fatigue, it had been a very tiring week. I was going to have to get up very early for the horse shoot, and while a part of me cringed at another night of not-enough sleep, I was also very, very excited about the shoot and felt it would be worth it. I kept thinking with anticipation how lovely it would be to sit on a horse and pet his nose and smell the magical horsey scent.
The three of us and Freddy met up this morning, and Freddy was very patient while Brooke and I clambered over his back. At one point I was draped upside down across his back, keeping myself up with one hand braced against his hip bone and happy thoughts, and sweet Freddy never complained. Feeling his soft hair, and warm, hard muscles under me, with the sun just rising, the world quiet, joined by two good friends, all the while making art, I filed the moment away in my memory to remember as a very good day.
After Brooke and I finished our shooting we returned Freddy to his stall and gave him apples, and he gave us wonderful, horsey, snotty kisses. Bliss.
This is the first of the two self portraits I shot with Freddy, both dream-related. And thanks to Freddy, Freddy’s mom, and Brooke, for getting up early and making the shoot happen… and extra thanks to Brooke for acting as my shutter release when my remote was acting up! I have a feeling that my brain will conjure up more horse-inspired ideas, if, for no other reason, that to get a few more horse kisses 🙂