Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Xena and Selves
Just over two months ago, Xena (aka, Megan) was airlifted to Harborview Hospital clinging to life after being extracted from some concrete pilings that had shifted at a shipyard, crushing her legs. The other night she was clinging to the man who used a crane to lift those pilings off of her, her fiancé, Selves. Well I guess if Xena is the Warrior Princess, and since she and Selves are now engaged, hmmm...should I call him "Prince". Or "The Crane Operator Formerly Known As"? Well, I guess I can figure that out later. For now I'd just like to share some of the portraits that I took of them in my studio the other night.
Megan didn't just dodge a bullet in that accident a few months ago, she dodged machine gun fire from multiple assailants and she miraculously will soon be literally "walking away". In fact, this Friday she hopes to be taking her very first steps with her new prosthetic leg. Her comeback tour now is already well underway. The evidence I think is in these portraits. Megan's spark is so apparent, as is her love for Selves. Selves, to say the least, not only scooped Megan up out of the jaws of death, he has been looking after her ever since. He spent every single night with her at Harborview and judging by the size of the engagement ring on her finger, he intends to be in this relationship for the long haul.
That night in the studio was the first time I had the chance to hang out with Selves. I came away very impressed by him, especially his love for Megan. I was also impressed by his arms! I told him that he's a natural as a crane operator because if the crane ever breaks it's pretty obvious that he could just lift whatever he needed to by hand.
I was constantly struck that night with the realization that I was photographing a woman who recently was so close to death but instead was brought back by the skill of so many people (including some nifty helicopter handling). She was given a new lease on life and here she was enjoying it with Selves and being as loud, goofy and beautiful as ever. I love the last photograph below. In it she seems to be saying, "Yeah, whatever, I lost a leg, I'm over it, what's next?" Well, the next thing is learning to walk...again.
23 years after taking her first steps, this Friday she will try once more.