I have been (for as long as I can remember) a very fearful person.
I have flinched and suffered under the myriad things that fear whispered would happen
if I dared to live.
To live well.
To speak my art
and my mind
and be seen
When I was a singer-songwriter I fought that well-meaning beast so hard.
I played out all the time and never once did I become comfortable with the process,
always the gurgling stomach before a show.
Always the Munson in the back of the venue.
During my twenties I would have dreams where I was living or a visitor in a house surrounded by big cats. None of the doorways or windows were secure
and for some reason there would always be a reason to cross a courtyard
where lions and tigers languished,
watching me, winding around my legs as I walked.
I would wake up in a cold sweat.
Into my thirties the dreams became more benevolent,
with more freedom in my dream-heart to move amongst the beasts
and less fear while I walked.
Just last year I dared to touch them.
Eventually after more than a decade of this kind of progression
it became clear to my waking mind:
these magnificent dangerous cats were protecting me.
They were my guardians.
It would not be shocking then to learn that in my daily life
fear became a more passive participant:
I still feel the cold fingers ever single day
but I am less inclined to confuse them with instinct.
Chalk it up to the magic of getting older and more clear about my purpose.
Clarity of purpose makes for a less timid soul, I think.
This Big Cat journey was so profound that I am now inked with a tiger.
While I was dreaming of my appointment with Camille
I was also dreaming of a bag. Deerskin.
Goddess profile portrait.
Protector on the flip side.
When I was in Minneapolis it was all I could think about.
I sketched and schemed and pre-built all the bits.
All excitement, no fear.
Circe's face is that of my dear friend Michelle, a beauty in both body and soul.
I was so honored to tool that magnificent profile
and make her into the Sorceress.
Goddess of Magic.
There is something in the colors, the stone deerskin, the ruby suede…
something that mirrors the human body, skin and blood.
On the back is Circe's Hawk - Circe actually means 'hawk', the feminine version.
In essence, Circe's Hawk is simply Circe, wild and all-sensing.
The strongest parts.
In the same vein my dream tigers are simply the part of me that is fierce and vital and
so not to be fucked with.
Though we may find our saving graces in the totems and talismans and symbols,
really isn't it all just the strength of spirit we're holding out for and on to?
I believe the animal soul we are most drawn to -
its energy and strength -
has a twin in our own physiognomy somewhere,
that we truly embody the hero we seek
if we commit to living our best and most honest life
Circe and her Hawk will be in
May your own symbolic protector be with you when you need it most,
in whatever form it takes.