I am officially back in the saddle again. I can’t explain what it means to me to be able to be around these amazing animals. No matter however brief the time may be, I always leave refreshed and humbled. I didn’t always love horses. They scared me so much as a youngster. There was no traumatic event that occurred, they were just so big! I didn’t stay on a horse until I was about 19. I would be put atop a saddle and then immediately wanted to get off. I had just moved back from California and reconnected with an old family friend. She had a horse farm that abutted the National Forest in Hector and I went out there to ride twice a week. I am by no means an expert rider in any way. Actually, I am not that good at most of the stuff that I do but it has never deterred me from continuing. We would mostly ride the trails in the forest smoking cigarettes and chatting; intermittently hanging forward in deep bends to swat at deer flies circling the heads of our horses. Sometimes we would just sit on the ridge looking out at Seneca Lake as though we were the only humans alive. Once I could post a trot she wanted me to buy a Percheron and move to Wyoming and be a ranch hand. I nearly did. I came closer than anyone knows. But something came up. I can’t remember what. Something trivial I am sure like a new job or a boyfriend (both ruin everything), something important to a 19 year old. So ended my magical trial riding days in Hector. I still have dreams of the horse whose invitation west I foolishly declined. Now I ride when I can. I found a great farm nearby called Kelviden and really enjoy spending my Saturday mornings deep in concentration, flushed, sweaty and as dusty as Pigpen. Smiling all the while.
Ah, another Monday night at Ron Don’s. My brother Mike behind the bar, baseball on TV, chicken wings at the ready and bottomless beers. Perfect. I have this wonderful friend Jenna who is very inquisitive. She asks interesting questions, sometimes inappropriate but always thought provoking and fun! We often get together on Mondays to catch-up with each other. She somehow manages to get her laundry done while I can barely manage to get myself home at a decent hour. Tuesdays are rough. So, last Monday Jenna asks me and our friend Emma “What is your favorite part of your body and what is your favorite thing about your personality? No thinking allowed.” Me: my bum and my genuine compassion; Jenna: my breasts and my ability to make people happy; Emma: my calves and my deep empathy. And it is all true. We are some sharing and caring cuties. So there we sat laughing and drinking, getting to know each other better and ourselves better. But now I ask you dear reader, what is your favorite part of your body and your favorite thing about your personality? No thinking!
Um, most of us are pretty Googleable at this point. I found out that I have a whole town in Ontario. That is an awful lot of responsibility and I'm not sure I am ready for all that. I should probably take a trip up there this summer to say 'hello,' check-in, maybe do some fishing.
Music is affecting me more than usual. I mean, I can feel the blast of synapse firing - I'd light up an MRI scan like a Christmas tree. I've been watching Austin City limits again and was brought to tears a few months ago by the beginning of the Avett Brothers performance. Sometimes a song will come on my ipod while I'm running and destroy me. I'll sprint until I drop. Lately it has been either Ambling Alp or Don't Let Me Fall and anything by The Clash. I have to be careful about my play lists. I was supposed to read 'Musicohpilia' in my book club last year but I got sidetracked by my own goings-on. The book is about the incredible effect music has on the brain and about how this phenomenon is uniquely human. Though not well received by the ladies in my club, maybe I should actually read it or at least something else by the author. I wonder if this new sensation is because my heart is so open and raw these days. So hopeful for and terrified of love. Probably why I started swimming. I swam in Cayuga Lake everyday last year until I couldn't any longer. The water gets pretty cold come October so I then I began running. I hate running - every second of it. I think about swimming, I think about having a drink (or five) when I'm done, I think about how much I hate running. So, the heartache led to the swimming which led to the running which led to the music and now I'm a walking around with my deep sonic sensitivity on my sleeve. In a way all this exercise is paying off. I am stronger both physically and emotionally because of my new found sportiness. I have also been asked to swim as part of a relay triathlon team this summer. And all this moving keeps me moving in a fantastic cycle. I hear music; I move, I dance no matter where I am. I'm spellbound. It is all very good but also a little alarming. Hello new emotive Vanessa. Nice to meet you.