Days 26, 27, 28, 29. This writer’s creative license to catch up on the series. The collective may be found here. Or by clicking the 31 Days 2012 tab at the top of this home page.
It is like a full head on train wreck of the senses.
Down in the deep it lays dormant but when it is given some air, water, fertilizer and freedom it bursts on the scene like a herd of wild horses.
There is power in a word. And we don’t always know how much.
Or we don’t know how much to give it, or allow it. Or release to it.
There is power in words and there is memory there too. You can let it out to graze and give it roaming privileges in the pasture, unharness the power, unleash it.
Let it rip, unbridled.
Loosen the girth. Loosen the grip.
I am young and leaning in the saddle, feeling the first passion of my youth. The challenges there in the ring, on the trail, in the stirrups, over the jumps.
Brushing the back and combing the mane, smelling the hay.
Learning to post and blistering up, bearing the pain on the boney knee, as a dancer on pointe feels it on the toes, and on balls, and in the ballet slipper. The pain of struggle. The passion mixed with pleasure.
The smells mingle in the air and they say that it is the longest memory or is it the strongest memory. The smells , they linger in the heart.
The smells of childhood and all the senses’ memories, mixed in a toxic remembering of joy and loss. Blended in a batch of story, the narrative of your living. Rooted in early youth. A launching pointing, a jumping off.
The dirt and dust and leather. The blends of animal and barn. The grasses and hays and helmet, black velvet hard a smell like no other with sweat of brow blended in and staying.
We take all the pieces of a life. Don’t we.
And ride off into the grasses greener, grasses leaner and carry them in the saddle with us. The horse that was an elusive dream. The one I never owned. A longing of my childhood. Spending hours at the barn. Longing for ownership. To name an animal, train it up. Call it mine.
And when my knight in shining armor rode in and swept me up, they came back again, the horses.
And later too, in a mid-stream season of intersecting with the hooved loves of my life.
And even just a few nights ago, they came racing back, trotting back in.
A blaze of happy memory. The wild ponies on the coast of my youth. The stories. A thread between the life of an old salty captain who crossed my path and smiled his toothless grin as he shared with me a co-mingling of memory. Captain Froggy, the Shrimp Boat Captain and I. And the horses.
The wild ponies of the banks were a piece of me and a piece of him.
And these threads that run through a life, they can keep running if you watch carefully.
This thread of memory, the horse, of course.
The earliest memory of passion for getting on the back and being free, happy, brave and scared all together. Of breathing smells and waving manes. Of feeling strong and feeling the hearts beating in tandem, human and horse. Horse and human. Rocking in the leather, galloping through at break neck speed, taking a jump.
The rocking in the saddle, like a baby in the sea of uterine waves. Rocking. Like the baby in the cradle lulled to sleep by the slow pitch to and fro.
The holding on, steering the bit, to the left to the right in the ring and beyond. Guiding in love. And it was always the eyes. The deep piercing orbs that pierce the heart and poke into the soul.
A word can wield a lot of power.
And we take all the parts and pieces and they are living metaphors. Or are they life itself. Following the thread, woven and weaved. Seeing the messy and the missed, the beauty and the treasure. In the all.
And the horse is not through with me yet.