Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Man Who Loved Snakes


I met a man recently who loved snakes. This was discovered during the few minutes I spent with him while he fixed our computer. He had one snake tattooed on his left forearm in black with little wiggles on either side indicating serpentine movement, and another larger snake in green tattooed on his right shoulder, coiled around a large red heart indicating love. He shared these tattoos with me in pauses between fixing the computer.

I asked him what he loved about snakes and he told me: their territoriality, their ability to defend their own, their protectiveness.

This was a gentle man, a sweet-hearted man, the kind you might immediately want to hug if it could be done without embarrassing him. You would want to do this because you could feel his good heart. This very gentle man had wrapped himself in snakes because they give him a feeling of power. Somewhere in his past he had become too vulnerable - too unable to protect himself or those he loved. His history was written on his left forearm and his right shoulder.

Identification with qualities of animals is a positive way of creating a goal in life. It creates an image and intention toward embodying that quality. Native peoples have done this for as long as mankind has lived on the Earth. In animals, they found strengths, wisdoms, and capacities that they, too, wanted to have. So it was with this very gentle man. His snakes were protecting a very sensitive and vulnerable heart, and not only his heart but the wellbeing of others whom he loved as well.

I put my hand lightly on his back in a gesture of friendship though I had only just met him. He smiled, and received the touch with warmth and shyness. "You are a very sensitive man," I told him. "I try to be," he said. Shortly after he was on his way.

This was a blessed meeting. A moment in time...

3 comments:

  1. Thank you Julie. I love this story! I love how deeply you see and honor each of us.

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