Allie Crewe

Journal The Horse Who Whispered
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Fable 1: The Horse Who Whispered

Trigger Warning - contains references to abuse

A girl fell in love with a palomino horse. She took her dog and went to live in the field with the mare. For shelter they had the trees, it was summer so they had the sunlight which shone off the gold of the mare's coat. They were free to dream together, safe in the herd, they bathed in the stream and one day the girl realised that she would not need her clothes until the autumn, so she was naked. Her hair created a cloak, that looked like a tail or a mane, depending upon how you looked at it. She grew hooves and had four legs. 

The mare was called Savannah and the dog, Bear, for he was wise.  One hot afternoon sitting by the stream and listening to its music, the girl wondered how she could ever return to the world of the humans as they were evil people who had fractured her shoulder, skull and jaw. She held pelvic injuries. She buried bones in the rose garden, (crime reference 06*P/2*602/*2). She fought them, but there were many; her parents, grandparents, doctor, and elders. They sought to tame her with violence to maintain their secrets. The dog looked at her,

" You know in your heart of hearts the path of your destiny. You must define who you are; and who you are not. Learn that yes and no are equally important to define your edges. Others will not respect these boundaries but if you come from strong love, without malice or aggression, you will attain the only power you need. One day you will no longer be a child and you will speak your truth."

That autumn as the nights drew in, she returned to the world of her family. Many years passed and still she spent summers with the wild horses and sometimes visited the forest to hide with her dog. She buried her dreams in  the soil but left no grave marker. She became a mother, and as her child grew up she had more time for herself. She lived in a house but her heart ached for the light on the moor, the reflection on the lake. She would lie in the field with her chestnut mare and smell the heat of the earth and ask the horse how to heal.

One day whilst working with a herd of horses, her creative self called out to her. Could she transform her sorrow, and use this gift to tell the stories of other people also denied a voice? 

She visited a healer who lived on an ancient hill where the ley lines converged and asked her to cut the cord with her ancestors. She retreated to a sacred place to ask for guidance. She asked her dog and an old friend to come to the forest of her childhood to seek the dreams she buried when she was a child.  But the landscape had changed, the paths had moved, the trees had left to seek a safer place. 

She meditated and her red horse spirit counseled, 

"Let go of the illusion that you are somehow a victim. You have a choice, let go of the belief that you have to suffer or endure. Let go of your embedded shame, open your heart space and make a connection to your earth mother root. This is the path to freedom and autonomy." 

She began to speak her truth using photographs and invited others to join her. They asked the queen to help the tribe to become powerful. 

Her horse died one bright, cold autumn morning and as she left, her life force passed through the woman's body. It left a trace of the wilderness inside the woman, who could now never truly return to the human world that traps women and steals their soul voice. A world where men domesticate girls until the animal self whispers,

"Gather the bones from a place of deep love, find the wolf and horse within you and run."

Fable 2: The Woman Who Became A Horse

There was a woman who bonded with a fiery chestnut Arab mare. She awoke longing for the smell and warmth of her horse and slipped out into the darkness to find her each morning as if seeking herself. At dawn she saddled her and they travelled through the land feeling free and needing only each other. They instinctively felt as one body, one breath. The woman would often become lost, but the mare was a pathfinder.  

One day, her husband, becoming jealous sold the mare, complaining that his wife no longer spent enough time looking after him or the home. The housework had been neglected and his  dirty laundry lay on the floor. The woman cried and would not go to bed. At daybreak she was gone, nobody knew where. 

After about a year his hunting party came upon a herd of wild horses and amongst them was the woman. She had partly changed into a horse, her hair had grown long like a mane and her pubic hair had become her tail. Her arms and legs had changed but her face still bore some  resemble to her original one.

The husband sent some men to hunt her down and as she could not run as fast as the wild horses she was caught and returned to him. He watched her for some time but she could not settle. He offered her gifts, bribes and threatened her, but she continued to be restless and became diminished. 

At last she escaped and he gave up trying to own her. The following year, the hunt party, chasing a fox, saw the herd of wild horses again and she was amongst them. They were grazing in a clearing in the forest and stood in a pool of golden light. They looked like a painting from an ancient cave, her soul and red coat shone, only her eyes remained human. She whinnied and stamped her hoof. Fearful of a woman who is creative enough to shape shift they turned back. 

Based upon The Woman Who Became Horse. A story from a number of Native American Tribes.

On Photographing The Healing of Others

A thought on healing: “A photograph might be the trace of what has happened, or the prophecy of a human memory yet to be achieved.”  John Berger

I used to have four legs, but now only two. Connected by reins, stirrups and thighs, maybe you closed your eyes and dropped the rein, to let go and trust the horse to choose the path? Or cantered and opened your arms to the sky? If you can ride with your seat the separation between the horse and rider can change as if our molecules mix and we become one being, alchemy. I could join my twin this way. Beneath me, her spine and muscles were mine and we drew the same breath.

We do not understand all of the dimensions of the world. If we permit the coexistence of different realities we may subvert existing power structures and resist the cultural dominance of patriarchy. A photograph becomes a tool to construct a feminine identity, it disrupts the belief that men may domesticate women and steal their soul voice. 

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