“The forest did not tolerate frailty of body or mind. Show your weakness, and it would consume you without hesitation.”
― Tahir Shah, House of the Tiger King: The Quest for a Lost City
A few days prior to this photo shoot I had been hiking this trail for the first time and found the forest alive with magic. I had taken a snapshot with my phone cam to post on my Instagram feed and later looking at it knew I had to go back and re-shoot with myself in the photo. It needed an added element of life. Yesterday, I gathered my gear and hiked down the same path to the same spot. As I put my gear down and began setting up I had a strange sensation of something feeling 'off'. I shrugged it off as it just being the fact I had awoken with a very painful pulled muscle in my neck that morning and had grabbed the wrong tripod adding some extra challenges to the shoot. As I changed into my dress I suddenly noticed out of the corner of my eye a dead mutilated deer not 30 ft behind me. I let out a shriek staring at this beautiful intact face with an open body and limbs astray. The entire forest in that moment became dark. It quite literally took on an entirely different feel than what I had felt just two days prior. I rushed through the process of trying to create something..anything..as my frame of mind shifted into almost a paranoia state. The forest felt ominous. Dangerous. The dark tantalizing my every being. I did not want to be there. I quickly snapped a few frames then gathered my belongings and started to hike out. There was so much movement and noise going on around me it felt as if the forest was coming alive again...but not out of magic. Not today. Something darker seemed to be present and I felt it within every part of my being. Maybe the dead deer was an omen. A sign to not stay long. Maybe the sight of such a violent death rattled me to the core. Whatever it was the energy was powerful. I practically ran out of there and thought to myself nothing good would come of these photos. I chose to post this one out of only two that I reluctantly decided to edit. The first photo,which I didn't post I seemed to have just crawled out of the woods and stare straight ahead towards the light. It has a wild desperation feel to it and then there was this one. I found a sense of strength...with the dark closing in behind me...I stare straight ahead with determination. I stand halfway between the dark and light. I am still and yet everything around me breathes with shadowy movement. It is gritty and murky. I seem to be awaiting something or perhaps deciding something...which leaves the viewer to ponder.