Thursday, January 10, 2019

What's Real and What Really Delights Me

...any of those others 
that smother with their rich expectations 
and leave a woman lonely for herself. 
Yes, for herself, if she can remember,
 then come back to what's real 
and what really delights her.

I had a poem published in 2004 titled, Unraveling Woman.  It's a long poem, in sections, but that is a portion of section 2.  My husband and I have been reorganizing our entire house for a remodel project we're currently in the middle of, and also moving a lot of our office furniture here, which called for a major spring cleaning.  We came across the journal it was published in, and I reread that now fifteen year old poem and realized...dear lord

how right I was back then!

As I was playing with the horses today, I finally came up with my goals for 2019.  I was struggling with them before--I've done the 100 days, then the 150 days, and last year, the 183 days of training.  But the word, "training", just wasn't doing it for me anymore.  It's not where I'm at in my journey with horses.  Personally, that's not what I think it's about.  It's much, much more about learning one another--horse and human--our boundaries, our shared joy, fears, adventures--it's a partnership.  

And, it's a delight.

So, in 2019, my goal is to seek those moments of delightment with my horses.

One definition of delightment--in the urban dictionary--is "pure pleasure."  And, that ladies and gentleman, is what I'm after.

Here is what delighted me today:

Tumbleweed walked over the bridge for me, at liberty, and I was able to hurriedly grab my phone and capture the moment!  

I must tell you, he invited ME to the bridge, rather than vice versa.  He made it clear he wanted to do an obstacle with me, we walked over together, I walked over it, he thought for a moment, then up and over.

Yes, I was delighted.  It was a moment of pure pleasure.

Then, there was this, as he danced around me.

and, these moments, where he chose to explore other obstacles...

and lick everything. (Foxy's like, is that food?!?  You're acting like it's food!)

Tumbleweed also went through these huge puddles with me, something he would not do a few months ago.  One of them, the widest, was boggy and soggy, but he did it.

He is officially a "yearling" now, and all grown out of his baby halter Shirley made for me.  I ordered two new ones from Knotty Girlz.

I also had play time with Cowboy and Leah.

A bareback ride with Cowboy, and puddle and obstacle work with Leah.  Both delighted me to no end.  The trust, willingness, and desire to spend time together.

This is what it's all about.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A New Year, Indeed

It has been a few weeks since I last updated the blog and, as you can imagine, a lot has happened.  We had a very busy few weeks before permanently shutting down our practice and then, two days before Christmas Eve, we moved out of our four office-suite.

The rugs, desks, chairs, shelves--all gone.  Much of it was moved into our house (which created another set of problems) and much of it was stored in a shed we purchased--until we can find homes for the stuff.

Oh, it's the closing of a huge chapter.  HUGE.  And already, there are big changes in my psyche.  Very big.  Too big to list here.  It amazes me that I'm feeling so much change, and yet, it hasn't even really sunk in yet that the office is closed.  I have to remind myself over and over that this isn't just a vacation--this is my new life. 

I guess one change, of the many, is that I submitted my poems to a literary contest.  I don't expect to win, but it was a step forward.  I've only submitted twice.  Once, my poems were accepted, and the second, they were rejected. For some reason, almost two decades later, the idea of rejection doesn't bother me anymore.

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with family, and I am so looking forward to 2019.  I have a lot of goals--or habits--I want to start, and I have journals to record my hopes, dreams, and progress.  Mostly, the journals are to help organize my priorities.

Oh, and I can't end this post without showing you what my kids gave me for Christmas.  A personalized rope halter and stocking!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Goodbye to the Crippling Desk

A Goodbye to the Crippling Desk 

The crippling desk, for six years,
granite topped, and bright
with the computer's glare,
the tapping of keys,
the winding path of a mouse,
the click, click, clicking,
a sickening tick-tock of life.
Today, I say goodbye,
trade you in for a beautiful chaos,
throwing oneself to the world,
the raven, the falcon who tried to enter
through the upstairs window,
the horses and wolfhounds,
with their joyful lope and pounding
of the ground, the music, the words,
the gray, but wide-open sky.

Today, I have reason to celebrate.  My husband and I opened a practice together over six years ago and, though it was successful (almost too successful), it required many, many days tethered to chair, and desk, and computer, and keyboard.  I have sore wrists, sore pinky on my right hand, impinged ulnar nerve, and I also had a tachycardia that sent me to the hospital where they stopped by heart and gave me a second chance at a different life.  That was when I told my husband, I can't do it anymore.

And, it was time.  Our plan all along had been to only have the practice long enough to move into working from home--and we accomplished that this year.

So, today is definitely a great day.  It's our last day in the office, and the first day of the rest of our lives doing what we love.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Happiness Is Finding a New and Wonderful Poet: Ada Limon

Sometimes it seems poetry is everywhere, and nowhere.  Lately, I have been finding more and more of it.  Little gems, I hadn't read before.

Here is one I want to share.  It uses the birth of a foal (be still my heart) to describe the kind of love that doesn't need effort--it hits the ground fully formed...kind of a like a certain foal who hit the ground running to my heart.

(Photo was borrowed from Shirley.)

What I Didn't Know Before

was how horses simply give birth to other
horses. Not a baby by any means, not
a creature of liminal spaces, but a four-legged
beast hellbent on walking, scrambling after
the mother. A horse gives way to another 
horse and then suddenly there are two horses,
just like that.  That's how I loved  you. You,
off the long train from Red Bank carrying
a coffee as big as your arm, a bag with two
computers swinging in it unwieldily at  your
side. I remember we broke into laughter
when we saw each other. What was between
us wasn't a fragile thing to be coddled, cooed
over.  It came out fully formed, ready to run.

Poem by Ada Limon.

You can hear her read it here.

I just ordered her book of poetry, "The Carrying,"  It was named one of PBS's best books of 2018.  I'll share more little gems after it arrives.  The picture of the cover, below, is a live link to it on Amazon where you can find more poems in its description.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Inspiration From a Presidential Funeral: Quotes From George H.W. Bush

"Failure is part of a full life, but never let yourself be defined by it." 

George H.W. Bush

No matter what your political persuasion, most people agree that former president George H.W. Bush was a man of honor and integrity, and he definitely lived a full life.

I was inspired by his funeral today, the way everyone came together, despite their differences.  That's what our nation is about--peaceful transfer of power. I was also inspired by a few of his quotes. I thought I'd share those quotes, and a few pictures from around the barn this morning.

George Bush never hated anyone.  "He knew what his mother, and my mother, always knew, 'Hatred corrodes the container it's carried in.'"

"I had no choice." 
George H.W. Bush on how he was able to be so kind to his political adversary.

"We are not the sum of our possessions."

“I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.” 

George H. W. Bush