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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Songs to sing

At riding on Monday, I was told to pick a song. I should sing this song in my head when I'm riding to keep the pace. I should sing this song out loud in an emergency, to calm the horse and keep myself breathing.

"Mine's a James Taylor song," the instructor said, adding, "I picked it in college."

So what's it going to be? I spent the car ride home cycling through options on my phone, none of them quite right. Most too slow, others I didn't know well enough to be able to count on in an emergency.

I was tempted to pick one of Cheryl Strayed's,  El Condor Pasa.


But that song's more for walking, of course.

Two of Us is the top contender at the moment. Other suggestions?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Begin Again


The stars, the planets, the moon, all tell us things. I don't mean like whether you are thrifty or dreamy or match well with the person in your bed. They tell you direction -- where you're going, where you've been. 

"Look where you are going." 

The ground was soft dirt, loose and dry. Rocks, hoof prints. Grass spread under the fence on one edge, where a horse might like to grab some. Edges of jumps, sometimes too close. Barn cats near the fence. She told me to look where I was going, not at the ground. 

"Look with your head, your shoulders, your hips." 

So I tried to see with my whole body, creaking and cracking and panting (this didn't feel like exercise when I was ten) but it didn't happen tonight. It doesn't happen all at once, learning to see with your whole body. 

"You're trying to lead him with just your fingers. Use your whole hand. Use your arm." 

I've been trying with just the parts that don't hurt. They are few: fingers, eyes. Mind, sometimes. Restriction in anticipation of pain or breaking. 

"Whatever you do with your body, the horse will also do." 

So this is how I will move. Paired with one who mimics me. 

Driving home, headed east, the moon was low, full, and russet. It reminded me of a moon when I was small. In the car, speeding through the night, it always felt like the moon was following us. One time it inched so close it took up half the urban sky. 

Tonight, it felt closer some moments, more distant others, but the message was clear: go on.