photo shoot

Pat Fish
Santa Barbara, CA - July 3, 2009

How we photographed Pat's hands holding her mule's hoof – what she considers sacred, holy or an outward representation of her inner self.
Run time: 1 minute

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Pat's statement about her hands portrait

Hands and hooves and hearts aligned. My tattooed arms embrace the sturdy hoof of my gaited mule Tobe, representing my Sagittarian equestrian destiny, Pat Fish holding her mule Tobe's hoofbecoming the centaur, with Tobe the agent of my personal transformation. Learning to communicate with him, to correctly interpret his sensory awarenesses, is the most challenging work I am engaged in. When I prepare to ride I say a prayer of gratitude to the people and deities who have helped me to that mounting block. I focus on the positive, thanking my teachers and guides and religious metaphors, and then I put my left foot (tattooed with the Viking Helm of Awe) into the stirrup and I vault up into an ascended viewpoint. I leave the ground and meld into the collaboration with the mule that raises me into a heightened state of awareness. He and I both know he has better hearing and eyesight, he's far more experienced at being a mule than I am at being a rider. So on the trail we become one, a team, enjoying the journey and reacting to potential dangers. We collaborate to be the Centaur. And through the process I become stronger, burning through fear to achieve an alert focus, entirely in the moment.

Pat Fish | Pat Fish's blessed hands


fulfills a vow to honor women in a creative way - with portraits holding something that represents their deepest values.

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Blessed Are These Hands
by Susan Kullmann &
Marvelle Thompson
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