I’ve been reading about Celtic shapeshifters, who were the shamans of pre-Christian Ireland. They could access the other side easily (spirit world), and were often considered poets, philosophers, creators - no doubt there was power-claiming and manipulation of status even for these animal-connected humans - but it’s dreamy to imagine a de-institutionalized version of spirituality (of which there are many examples in countries all over the world).
Shapeshifters were known to take on the form of animals, in order to access information they needed, to carry out a confrontation, or to simply build upon their current circumstance. A power, a freedom, a skill, an ability, a fluidity to existence and being and state.
Sometimes it feels as though I ‘shapeshift’ all day: taking in and letting out, absorbing the thrill of those around me. Other times my body feels like a cage. I understand others truly have to shapeshift on the daily just to survive in these united states.
These sacs of flesh we were born into are so huge in determining our circumstances, experiences, what we endure in this world. My white one provides some kind of protection, I realize - many kinds of which I will likely never be fully aware - in our continued white supremacist world.
I think of Nick Cave’s costumes, I think of animorphs, I think of ruby amanze’s breathtaking drawings, I think of the way we imagine freedom, I think of all the ways the privileged of us take our freedoms for granted and fail to extend them to all the shapeshifters around us.