The first time I ever saw her was on the cover of Audubon.
The photograph had been made into a wrap-around cover, but because the magazine was on a waiting-room coffee table back-side up, all I saw at first was the the left half--the half with the spider web sparkling in the sun and all the pink wildflowers and prairie grasses back-lit in the misty early morning. It was absolutely beautiful, so perfect that I thought it was the whole photo: Imagine my amazement when I turned the mag over to find the the other half with that doe looking back at me!
I stole it (sorry, Joen).
I kept that magazine for years, thinking that I'd eventually figure out a way to mat and frame the cover without ruining it. And then one day, some time after Google, it dawned on me that the photographer credited inside might sell prints of his work... duh. Which is how I discovered Carl Sams's website. This particular photo had actually become quite famous as "The Audubon Doe." I ordered a print for myself and eagerly awaited its arrival.
What I got instead was a polite e-mail from Mr. Sams saying that he was sorry, but the photo was out of print. Oh, boo.
But some things are meant to be, I guess, because in a week or so instead of a refund to my credit card, lo and behold I got the print in the mail. There's a wonderful framer down the street from my office who did a perfect job on it and now "The Audubon Doe" hangs on the wall in my office, right across from the Little-Old-Lady-Bad-Back Chair from which I work.
She is so serene. So unto herself. Her huge ears, pricked forward, are backlit pink in the morning sun. Her eyes are large and round and soft and shiny and dark. Her big, black, moist nose dominates her velvet face; long, sensitive whiskers adorn her muzzle. She is all perception, all sensation, her attention totally fixed upon the human before her. She is, in short, the perfect therapist: Silent, attuned, waiting, receptive, ready.
She reminds me to just, simply, be.