Arabian, Buckskin, Connemara

Gus 3 years old

Dartmoor even Freisian
Gypsy Horse
Icelandic
Jeju Kaju
Lippizaner Mustang
Norweigian
Oldenburg, Percheron
Quarter (Horse)
Rhineland
Saddlebred
Tennessee (Walking Horse)
Ukrainian
Venezuelan
Württemberger
Xilingal
Yemeni
Zweibrücker

Every breed, every shape,
Every hoof, every eye.

Every time.

In my mind’s eye…

Blog Change

Change.

Does anyone look forward to it?  Some of the very best things that happen to us can only happen through change.  Yet I drag my feet all the way from the known to the unknown.

Take Gus. He is the most lovely, sweet-hearted, adorable little baby (big horse) I know.  But it’s time for change.  He needs to begin his journey into responsible adulthood, but he needs to do it with someone better qualified to help him make that transition.  Once the trainer has spent some time introducing him to adult behavior, then we can work on it together.  That future where we build a relationship that includes riding?  That’s change I’m excited about. And still I’m dragging my feet to the impending transition—a transition to something great.

Take Vern’s new job. We’re only moving three hours away to one of the very most beautiful settings in Colorado. He will be outside doing work he enjoys. The work I’m doing can happen anywhere.  My friends are close enough to visit. Especially because I’ll be visiting Gus down at the trainer’s (which is only 10 minutes from where we live now, sigh).  It’s an amazing change and such a wonderful opportunity.  I’m certain we’re going to love it.  I’m dragging my feet so hard.

I’ve been reading a book my brother gave me, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. To paraphrase Gilbert, he says we envision a future and our brains see it as reality. Nearly five years ago, when my then-husband, said he didn’t want to be married anymore, I was devastated. The future I had pictured lay shattered before me in pieces too small to recognize.  Where had I been in that future? My identity had been part of that vision so pulverized that it was now drifting particles of sand. My imagined reality turned formless.

I knew I would eventually feel better and it’s hard to pinpoint when that began.  Tentative visions of a future would worm their way into my mind. I tested them out until some seemed like versions of a reality I was willing to try. It seemed sudden, although it was slow and took years, but I’m happy. Incredibly happy.

So, change. The thing is that, according to Gilbert, one of the reasons we become unhappy in the present is that the vision of the future we imagined is always perfect.  Even when we try to add in things that might be difficult to manage, we make them manageable. The hard things aren’t that hard.  The bad details, even when we try to account for them, just aren’t the same as when real challenges emerge in our present-day moments.  That’s my long paraphrase of Gilbert’s idea that our actual experiences can never match the perfect future we imagined.  Of course we’re dissatisfied at some level.  Our consciousness envisions the ideal.

I think we’re heading for the ideal in just a few weeks. I’m dragging my feet every step of the way. And I can’t wait to report happiness (still) from the other side.

The Horsewomen’s Litany

2017-03-16 08.38.11
-for Gus

You are the pitchfork and the muck bucket,
The pellets and the alfalfa.
You are the clank of Priefert panels,
The fingers of sunrise.
You are the pink of the pyjamas
and the blue heelers suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the rush of water in the tank,
the peppermint treats on the shelf,
or the rubber mats in the stall.
And you are certainly not the hay-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the hay-scented air.

It is possible that you are the mouse under the hay feeder,
Maybe even the silly tongue protruding from your serious face.
But you are not even close
to being the Black-Eyed Susan in the breeze.

And a quick glance at your reflection will show
that you are neither the wheelbarrow in the corner
nor the saddles asleep on the saddle racks.

“It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,”
that I am the sound of grain hitting the bucket.

I also happen to be the dawn full moon
the wisp of hay blowing down the aisle
and the basket of apples in the tack room.

I am also the owl in the trees
and the gelding’s soft lead rope.
But don’t worry, I am not the pitchfork and the muck bucket.
You are still the pitchfork and the muck bucket.
You will always be the pitchfork and the muck bucket,
not to mention the pellets and –somehow– the alfalfa.

–a parody of Billy Collins’ “Litany” (which is a parody of Jacques Crickillon)

Video of Billy Collins reading “Litany”