The horse's pasture to the East...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


To be stuck or to come unstuck, that is the question. Whether tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to torture my readers with butchered Shakespearean quotes, I am here and working on it.

This past year I've had a major brain freeze in the emotional side of myself. Seems that when I set myself up to break an arm, I was really giving myself a kick in the keester...BIG TIME!

I have forced myself out of a shell that had become increasingly thick, making my world rather narrow. Bad news blues for this artist. Although I need large blocks of time to work by myself, I'm basically a social creature. I'm an extrovert who needs my people fix!

Even before the great disaster of 2012 (I'm teaching myself to see it in lower case and not caps. Time to move on and let go.) I was becoming reclusive. I thought I was cutting myself off in the name of REALLY focusing on my horse-man-ship. And I was learning but I wasn't taking the steps in to the GREAT UNKNOWN, in to the zone outside the zone where I need to go to learn.

 Now, that doesn't mean I have to be reckless to learn. But it does mean that I wasn't taking any chances, not really. I was going back over the things I already knew and trying to perfect them when I SHOULD have been working on the pattern of "making my good better plus one new thing", just to keep it fun for all of us. 

I knew that but I didn't want to admit that I knew that. (Sheesh...this is beginning to sound kind of Zen. A little Ying, a little Yang.) If I can put this in to words without confusing myself, I'm hoping I won't confuse you either. You know that adage, the one that says " Things happen for a reason." ? Well, sometimes you have to get a ways past the event to begin to understand what the reason was. In my case I was stuck when I didn't know I was stuck. I was standing in a deep, gunky quick sand trap, going down and asking for my afternoon tea while it happened. "Sinking? Nope, not me. I'll take sugar and cream with that please.", pleasant smile and all.

Love this picture. This is me looking at my self-now with the horse by my side at the gate I broke my arm on saying " Hey, self. YEAH, YOU! Pay attention dear. Life is more than one layer, more than one event. It's hundreds and thousands and MILLIONS of moments that make you who you are. And that includes adventures outside your tidy little world. " 

Obviously I didn't listen. I set myself up for success in the long run though because I'm now at that point where I'm looking for help. I've never been very good at treading water. Boring, boring, boring. I like to dive, to swim in the deep end, to backfloat, butterfly, and do cannon balls. I love to make BIG SPLASHES. So what was I thinking of? Well, I wasn't wrong to focus. It was just the wrong kind of focus. I was micromanaging myself. 

Whew! I feel better. I got it out. I said it. I WAS MICROMANAGING MYSELF and I damn near did it to death! No wonder I broke my arm, my dominant arm too. Heavy, isn't it? (Yeah, I'm a Boomer. I still use some of the old slangs. This one works though.) Heavy! 

I had made myself HEAVY with too much focus and not enough flow. I was out of balance and my herd helped me to see that. WHAM! (NO, I don't think they broke my arm on purpose. Horses don't think like that.) I was repeating the same old same old, got complacent and an accident happened in the blink of an eye. I knocked myself COMPLETELY (sorry about all the caps today. They just sort of fit this time.) out of my groove, so much so that I can't remember how it happened. I've lost about 60 seconds and, just between you and me, I hope I never find them back. I'm more about the lesson and not dwelling on the pain.

I've found a group of people, being instructed and supported by Petra Christensen, a former Parelli Professional who has taken her own steps in to the world of "zone outside the zone". All of us, in one form or another, are stuck. Petra is helping us to take baby steps until we learn to walk our path(s) again, using forward motion as opposed to sideways or backwards (excellent games to play with your horse and not even so bad if you're just reviewing yourself). 

Yesterday I drove in to KC to work with a friend of mine who specializes in ceramics, especially sculptural ceramics. We sat there in her amazing studio with the music turned up and we rocked! 

We talked about our children, politics, art, the past, whatever comes up when women who are friends talk about when we work together and heal together. 

I was way, waaaay, WAAAAAAYYYY outside my comfort zone while I worked in three dimensions. I slammed my clay on to the working surface and let my fingers wander. I squished, I tore, I pinched, laughed, cried ... you name it! It really was a case of "the horse was in there, just waiting to come out" for me. It was Apache, his essential self, the one that comes to me in my dreams and, ever so brief often, when we have one of those five minutes of perfect together. 

I have no idea where all of this is going to take me...AND THAT'S WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT! I am, slowly, deliberately, breaking through that thick crust I'd built around myself. There's a teeny, tiny hole and I can see daylight. And I can not wait to see where it will take me next.

Let the thaw begin! 

I am, Nancy, hands up and dancing a jig because, for the first time in a long time, I FEEL LIKE IT!

Oh, and smiling too. In fact, head back and laughing...

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