Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Cathedral

[I wrote this segment on February 15 but left it unpublished until now. A huge work-related upheaval had played itself out earlier in the week, which I will explain further below.]

One of the blogs I follow is Adventures of a Horse-Crazed Mind, a prolific fellow British Columbian with a wonderful voice. The following passage was taken verbatim from a recent post of her's about learning to overcome a fear of horses.

"Why would I ride horses, if not for the love and reverence that their fleet limbs and heart inspires within my own? If not for the bond that fuses me to him- so that when he runs, pure of mind and ardor, our spirits run together? If not for those heavenly moments wherein there is no definition between where my body ends and his begins? For the awe of their beauty or for the solace I've found in the touch of a downy muzzle against tear streaked cheek? Horses are for me, absolutely worth any risk their infinite strength or lightening fast reflexes present. To feel that magic is one of the greatest joys in my life...a joy I lost for a little while but thankfully found again. My hope is that on my last day, and on many days in between, I will have been touched by that magic- by a horse."

Charles Darwin said "The rainforest is the cathedral of my religion", I'm paraphrasing but that's pretty close to the quote from his diaries. I'd like to be able to say something profound like -- Missy's stall or the arena is the cathedral of my religion, but alas, I cannot. I don't hear angels singing when I ride, I don't see my own soul in her beautiful brown eyes, and I haven't experienced that heavenly moment Horse-Crazed describes where I lose the sense of where my body ends and her's begins. Maybe 2 1/2 years just isn't enough time. Or maybe I should stop trying to find this mystical connection and let it be what it is.


I've been floundering of late, adrift in a sea of depression and feeling like I don't do anything in my life well. On the heels of my setback with Missy, this is largely due to the fact that for the first time in my 7 years as a consultant, a client has asked that I be taken off their account. I made a mistake, I take full responsibility for that, but despite my best efforts at damage control the management could not get past it and I will be replaced by another consultant from my company. I'm sure this happens all the time, but not to me. My manager has been supportive and thanked me for the 2 1/2 years of work that I put in at this client, even though apparently that made little difference in their decision.

Nobody is more surprised than me that I ended up in a profession where much of my time is spent working with numbers. I am a words person, always have been and always will be. My job has changed over the last 5 years, and especially over the last 3, becoming more and more of an accounting job. There are still parts of my job that I like, but more and more of it not only do I not like, but I also feel like I am over my head as far as the skills that are required. I could take a few years' worth of accounting classes to get to where I feel I need to be in order to be the expert that I am supposed to be, but I don't see that happening. I do not have an affinity for it and I am not that motivated. This makes me feel like I am spinning my wheels, dreading certain projects or certain clients, and to some extent, a fraud.

I know that this feeling comes directly from my history, I have to be perfect or everyone will see what a terrible person I am. I need to find a way to feel good about my work again, and I know the only way I am going to do that is to find a better situation. Unfortunately the job market is very tight right now, so in the meantime I am going to have to do a better job of taking care of myself and asking for help when I need it, which is very hard for me.

I was able to ride Miss yesterday; between her lost shoe and the weather that's not been possible lately. I was grateful to be able to walk and trot quietly around the arena, reconnecting with my body and my voice to the beautiful creature beneath me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Like A Circle In A Spiral

Last Sunday we took the dogs down to the beach for our usual walk along the coast. Sorry all of you stuck in the icy grip of winter, but it was absolutely gorgeous and about 72 degrees.

We could hear music as we came around the little building in the picture (which is a surfing museum), which isn't that unusual. When we turned the corner we see a bunch of people dancing while hula-hooping, if you enlarge the picture and look closely you will see a guy holding juggling pins as well. He says to us: FREE HULA HOOP JAM!! Come and join us. Or, you can borrow one of these bikes for a spin!!

I'm guessing that the lady on the far right is a brave tourist who decided to join the locals. About 50 yards away there was a bongo drum circle forming, also a normal occurance in our quirky and wonderful little beach community.

I'm grateful for all the wonderful advice and comments on my last post. My ride after the aforementioned runaway was quiet and uneventful. We have done a lot of work on using the inside circle to slow her down, it just didn't work well when she was galloping and there was nowhere for her to turn other than into a jump. Unfortunately, a few days later she lost a brand-new shoe and I haven't been able to even lunge her since then. Her farrier is in Guatemala tending to his dying mother and our backup farrier has been unavailable all week. Oh well, it rained on and off and I was completely swamped with work all week. I'm looking forward to getting back on her and cantering in a circle for the next few months.