These Ancient Eyes: Crawling Skin

Monday, October 1, 2012

There are some things – and you can never be entirely sure when one of them will get you – that trigger certain feelings. Movies can make you laugh, cry, even grieve along with the main characters. Sometimes a villain’s dastardly plot will strike a cord so powerful that you’ll find yourself hating this fictional character, like you’ve never hated anyone or anything before. You want to see them dead, and you look forward to their comeuppance. Maybe you even enjoy it a little – that’s what movies are for. Entertainment allows us to experience things we wouldn’t normally let ourselves – unleash the emotions inside and let them range free across the silver screen or the pages of a book for awhile.

But for a therian, this can go a step deeper. And I write this right now with the feeling of claws overlaying my hands, fur rustling on the back of my neck, body vibrating with barely contained strength and grace, lips twitching over fangs that cannot be seen – only felt. And what brought on this powerful shift?

Last night, I watched the movie Blood & Chocolate.

Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s an awesome werewolf movie. But I seriously don’t agree with the main character’s choices. In her shoes/paws, I’d have run the human off before it got to the point he was in danger. She had a good thing going with the pack, and she threw it away and unbalanced an entire society for one human man.

But I’m not here to complain about the movie – I’m here to talk therianthropy.

There’s part of the movie, near the beginning – the first Hunt we get to see. I always shift when I watch it, if I’m focusing on it in any way at all. But when I’m really watching the movie, focusing on it, not just having it playing in the background while I play WoW or do something else, it becomes overwhelming.

I watched it tonight, and I found myself completely sucked in. As the pack Alpha went on about the right to hunt, I felt myself getting worked up right along with the pack. When he cut the human, saliva pooled in my mouth and I felt the phantom shift start. Fur felt like it was poured out over me, from my head down my back, rustling, rippling with muscles. My shoulders tensed and flexed, my mouth opened and I breathed faster, as if I could draw in the scent on the screen. I almost felt like I could taste the thrill of the hunt in the air. When the human was released to run, tension ran through me – barely contained. I wanted to chase, to hunt, to bite, to kill, to eat.

I watched the hunt began, the wolves running through the forest first as men and women, then in their true wolf form. And as I watched them change, tears came to my eyes. I wasn’t upset for the human they chased, I cried for myself. I can’t do that. I can’t even run the way they were when they were in human form – I’m overweight and out of shape. But within me, in my soul, the wolf longs to run.

The shift has stayed with me for quite some time after that scene. Even right now, I can feel it – a full phantom overlay. But at least I’m thinking clearly now. Though I’m on the verge of begging Lona to take me out to get a hamburger so I have something meat to tear into.  Tonight when I sleep, I’ll dream of forests and plains, of running, pounding paws, blunt claws tearing up the sod, body stretching to it’s limits just for the joy of running.

And some day I will be healthy enough that when I get these feelings I can just slip on sneakers and take off for a jog around the neighborhood to work off the tension. But that time isn’t now, and that day isn’t today. So I try to release the tension in other ways, feeling my skin crawl and itch with the impatience of a caged wolf.

How about you? What triggers your strongest shifts? Thoughts? Scents? Music? Movies? Something else? Please, feel free to share!

[image credit: Aunt Owwee, mape_s, cryptowolfe]