Rise Together

Rise Together

This morning the flour and fat,
Butter, yeast, and salt
Work beneath my hands until
Velvety smoothness emerges.

This sensual act necessary.
The satisfaction in change,
The hope for stretchy perfection,
The gratification in feeding my people.

I’m kneading away hate.
This emotion, call it love,
Infusing this dough,
Can’t find a way forward.

Powerless to change the omnipresent news
So odiously orange,
So vitriolic,
so vile.

I bring together the parts I can control.
Roll them into smooth harmony,
Watch them rise together,
And dream this will literally come true.

Bridesmaids and Bad Boyfriends

Love Coffee

Recently I watched my “oldest” friend’s handsome, upper-level dressage horse trot back and forth under veterinarian commands while they tried to determine what was causing some lameness problems. Even I’m surprised at how willing I am to watch a flexion, then a trot, watch a flexion, then a trot. I don’t think there is anything about horses that I don’t love. Every one of us with this addiction to horses has found ourselves in this position.  I will often call my horse a bad boyfriend. Devastatingly handsome and charming, he and all the horses I’ve known, regularly break my heart.

I know a thing or two about broken hearts. I’m going through photos before our move and I must have had a thousand pictures of my first wedding.  I just hadn’t quite sorted through them in the fourteen or so years after the event. Suddenly I found myself holding a picture that made my heart sing: Me and My Bridesmaids.

We should learn to pick boyfriends as well as we pick bridesmaids.

My friend with the stunning dressage horse? She’s there. And our fellow U.S. Air Force Academy Equestrian Team founding member and friend who stopped by for a chat when she returned to town for a school reunion two weeks ago. My best friend from high school who regularly chats with me over social media is there.  There’s my roommate from college who took me out to dinner for my birthday last week.  My maid of honor, of course, was my very own “Sissy,” who is stuck with me through blood, but has been my best friend for most of my life.

In a lifetime of bad boyfriends, be they human or furry, the women in this picture and my other girlfriends are the constant positive notes. I’ve read more than one article on how mean women are to each other. Back biting, bitchiness, bossiness overwhelm the possibility for friendship.

My tribe of beautiful, strong, indomitable women forgot to read those articles.  I love everyone of these ladies and find myself brimming over in gratitude that they are part of my life.

To all the women who helped me through those furry, and not-so-furry, bad boyfriends, thank you.

 

 

Idiomatic

You have to break some eggs to make an omelet,

But there’s no crying over spilt milk.

We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Still a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

And I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Listen, that dog don’t hunt,

Like an octopus wearing socks,

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

You have to pay the piper,

You know, where the rubber meets the road.

Luckily, it takes two to tango.

I know I’m not just whistling Dixie.

It’s just not over until the fat lady sings.

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.