This shoot was with the talented Andrew Kaiser (http://www.andrewkaiserphotography.com/) this last February on a chilly Sauvie Island. There were more photos in this shoot, but the look of being a bit uncomfortable in the cold took over my face in several of them!! Sauvie Island is an impressive and unique piece of land near Portland.

From the site  http://sauvieisland.org/visitor-information/history/      “Sauvie Island was formed beginning more than a million years ago in the Pleistocene era, from mountain sediments washing downriver, stopped by a ledge of large rocks. Over eons the soil accumulated and the ledge became the island’s northern end, today known as Warrior Rock. Annual freshets layered mud and sand to a depth of 30 to 50 feet, shaped eventually into soft, rolling contours, speckled with dozens of lakes and ponds. The result became an island landscape unique in the West.

Native Americans

The original inhabitants of the island were the Multnomah tribe of the Chinook Indians. There were 15 Multnomah villages on the island, and the 2,000 islanders lived in cedar log houses 30 yards long and a dozen yards wide. Each family would have its own entrance and fire pit within. They hunted, fished and gathered plants year-round. The Multnomahs were flathead Indians. Babies were tied to a flat board, with another piece of wood fixed across the baby’s brow, pressuring the skull to flatten in a continuous line from crown to nose, resulting in a look respected for distinction and superiority.

Women wore a mantle of animal skins and a fringed skirt of cedar bark, anointed their hair with fish oil and wore ornaments of white shells called hiaqua. Wapato, the arrowhead-leafed wild potato, was a major food source. The women would go out in a lake or pond with a canoe, and harvest the bulbs by digging into the mud with their feet. Wapato was roasted and eaten, dried, stored and traded to other tribes.”

It was also known as Wapato Island, and according to some of the modern female inhabitants of the island, it has a strong history of powerful feminine energy. There is a wonderful view of Mt. St. Helen’s from the island, also known as Loowit from the Puyallup Tribe, meaning lady of fire. 

This shoot and series of photos had me thinking alot on feminine energy, the female form, and how it is portrayed in modern media, and how that portrayal tries to detract from our power and beauty. So, I wrote something about that, as writers do…..

Her Body

My imperfectly perfect body

You either like it or you don’t.

But Im not asking you.

Im 5 foot, 3 inches tall, 126 pounds

I have grown and breastfed two babies

I exercise daily, I count my calories

I have fat on me

You can grab it

Im strong and sexy

I have the same experience of all women, which is the narrow minded patriarchy saying that our bodies aren’t tight enough, that we have too many stretch marks, we have big thighs, that there is too much of us

May the priveledged white patriarchy quiet its rude negativity

I am all woman, I represent all women, universe contained, made of stars, that which grows life

All lover, all goddess, soft and perfect

I have been called earth goddess

I have turned many heads and caught the attention of many

And I am also not everyone’s flavor

Made of carbon and oxygen and many other delicious things, but also made of the darkness that is opposite the light

Everything I have taken in feeds my soul and my cells

My body is part aerial yoga, dark chocolate, jogs, sweat, strawberries, love, disappointment

Its elderberry, and dandelion, and orgasms

Water, a fine Viognier, turmeric,and garlic

Shes been anger, and tequila, gummy bears and kale

Cinnamon and saffron

sex appeal, filth, and scabs

Part contentment and delusion, and iron and hydrogen

Menstrual blood, mango, vanilla, and sleeplessness

My body is joy and life.

Its downward dog, half pigeon pose, relaxation and anxiety

Elk burgers, cannabis, and green tea

Its self loathing, self acceptance, skinny, fat, stretched, and everything in betweem

She is a spectrum, with the history of humanity written upon the walls of my heart, just like yours

The health of my ancestors in my genetics

The fear of the earliest humans still etched in the DNA

Fight or flight

The power of the first women to trust our bodies to follow the moon, to bleed, to seduce, to give birth by the fire light, to nurture

To stand tall and fearless and command attention

To be able to admit when she is wrong

Is this not what we all are, male or female, or all in between the two? Arent we made up of eternity? Why is the female form picked apart so violently?

The image of woman exaggerated and pulled in the wrong direction in the modern media

As though she can survive on water and oxygen and lipstick only ?

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