Monday, October 30, 2006


Sadly there is no photo to document the magic of today's riding lesson on Keil Bay. Keil has a huge, grand, floating trot that I have seen in the fields since the day I brought him home... but under saddle it was a big trot for me to ride. We've hit it off and on in our work together - sometimes he was on and I was off, other times vice versa.

Today, we were doing focused lateral work and my wonderful trainer was pushing both of us to get it right. Something about me being extra tough with Keil (very hard for me to do, as I generally think he hung the moon no matter what he does!) opened up that gorgeous trot and for the first time ever, I was riding it very very well. We've had stretches of canter that were like this - as though his feet aren't even touching the ground. Light and weightless, in sync. And it didn't stop the entire lesson.


It's made my whole week.

Fun With Shakespeare

In continuing the Hokey Pokey theme from last week (and buying myself some time to take several photos for the next blog entry waiting in line) the following is from the Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit "instructions" for something/anything, but written in the style of a famous person. The winning entry several years ago - the Hokey Pokey - as written by The Bard himself:

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl,
To spin! A wilde release from Heaven's yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.

This made me laugh out loud when I saw it years back, and again yesterday when I was cleaning out a desk drawer. I'm pre-empting this busy week even before it arrives. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Busy week... feels like I'm rushing to keep up but for what/whose race? Right Now I'm going to put on Liz Story, light a candle, and write for an hour. Tomorrow I'm going to get in a good hour of riding.

And then, the Hokey Pokey. :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"I wake up in the morning with a dream in my eyes."
Allen Ginsberg

I woke up this morning with a dream in mine. It was a long and intricate dream that began with pages of my novel in galley form and me being somewhat astounded at the profoundness of my words on the page that way. Switched to a labyrinthine journey with my horse, Keil Bay, by my side, the regular path blocked, detours and new directions to take, (horse folks will appreciate the detail that at one detour I noted a gigantic stack of Adequan boxes, filled with vials of the expensive glucosamine fluid - the fluid of ease of motion, forward motion, relief...)

Ended with me and Keil Bay in a room, facing several doors: one that led to a wall, another that was blocked but passable with some work, one that was locked, and the one we had come through, marked "exit."

Remarkable to me was the feeling of peace and stillness that ended the dream. It was okay to wait, to be, to Not Act, which, by the way, is often hard for me to do. Being without action. :)

Feel free to share.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

quiet in heart, and in eye clear

the wise eye of zen-master Keil Bay, with quiet-hearted Salina in the background.. a horseback ride in our back field, picking wild grapes from vines hung low, the persimmon tree down the lane, geese honking overhead, and this poem, which came to reside on my little altar last autumn when we moved here, and has this year come true:

The Wild Geese

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Wendell Berry

Friday, October 13, 2006

Time for the annual William Stafford (that lives on the inside of my laptop all year but is particularly apropos in this season):


You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightning before it says
its names - and then the clouds' wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles - you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rocks, and years. You turn your head
that's what the silence meant: you're not alone
The whole wide world pours down.

William Stafford