Happy Birthday To Me! | Free Desktop Image For You!

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It’s my birthday month! On the 27th of February my parents will be celebrating 31 years since that historic day…that Elizabeth Taylor and John Steinbeck share. I knew there was a reason I had a passion for jewels, California and road trips with dogs. ☺

This month’s free desktop photo give-away was skimmed from the top of the stack. It is high on my list as one of my favorite photos…but even more so as one of my favorite experiences as a photographer.

Two years I met Uncle Fred, a Kickapoo/Sac and Fox Native American Elder from Oklahoma who founded the Seven Circle’s Foundation. Through Fred’s ceremonial offerings, I was able to attend, participate in AND photograph a plethora of Native ceremonies from sweat lodges to visions quests and sacred pipe ceremonies. As a white girl from the Mid-West my relationship with Native American culture was limited but my fascination was not. I can’t necessarily explain the connection I feel to this culture and ceremonies considering there is no proof of Native American blood in the family. But if there were proof of past life existence, I’m sure I was an Indian Princess.:)

This image was a bit of happenstance as I did my best to prepare for the ONE mid-early morning break outside of tipi during the nearly 12 hour long ceremony. Not ever participating in this type of ceremony, I was anxious about what to expect…specifically in the realm of the medicine given…consisting of Peyote in three different forms, all of which I tried. I spoke with the leaders beforehand about what I can and can’t photograph knowing that photographing the actual ceremony made little sense. There was no way I could capture the experience on camera nor did I want to. Participating is much different than documenting and sometimes there is no real way to understand without being a participant. I reserved this sliver of time for whatever magic would ensue.

Sometimes I feel like my place is really just to push the button. As if all things come together by forces beyond my own. I can try to control…and being a control freak as my friends would tell you, I do try. But in those moments of letting go and letting be, beautiful things happen.

I was the last person to return into the tipi after the five-minute break. The Gate Woman who held the door approached me as I hustled to set up, shoot shot and take down. I was expecting a “you can’t do this” as I sometimes would get in these types of situations. But instead she gave me a “way to go!” “Awesome”, I thought. Not only did I get the shot. I got a high five! I took three total, packed up the camera and headed back in to not return until well after the sun rose.

To see images from the entire weekend UNCLE FRED’s TIPI

Website with Uncle Fred Photostory

and just cause you might be interested, here’s an interesting article on Peyote Religion

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