Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chasing Zen

I miss running. I compare running to psychotherapy. I remember thinking during one of my sessions that if it weren’t for my evening treatments I would be clinically insane. I love that alternate state that is reached after ignoring all cries of “are we there yet?” from the body. Only after the messages from the physical are hushed can communing with the subconscious begin. Is that “Zen” or “Nirvana?” Fasting only faster?

Well, one leg injury and six years of snowballing emotions and shallow introspections later, I think I’m insane.

But, there is some good news for us all. Last night hubby and I hit the trail. I thought we were there for a romantic stroll when he asked, “Think you are ready to run?” I felt like a parakeet who had been given permission to leave the cage. I’m very competitive so if hubby is jogging I have to jog faster. I won’t stop until hubby stops. Eventually, I was covered in sweat, doubting the effectiveness of P90X -- this only after a few steps. How is it that I can get through an hour of Plyometrics but only jog for a few minutes before I am physically spent?

After my injury I did walk in the evenings, but the rewards weren't the same. Walking takes you out of yourself only as far as nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear the cicadas and watch the setting sun, like Midas, touch and turn the landscape into gold, and smell what people are cooking for supper… A few of you were BBQing last night and one was playing Tejano music. I'm Czech so Tejano feels like home.

I want an escape that’s deeper; one that transcends time. Will I ever reach that sacred place again?

This morning when I woke up I could walk without pain. So, if I can have patience, there’s hope. My lack of patience is what caused my injury in the first place.

I look forward to being able to bring my everyday problems, stresses, and wounds to that invisible spacetime in the universe to be assured of how insignificant they really are.

I miss running.

I'm chasing running.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Love at First Sight

I want to talk with you about love at first sight. I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about a type of love that results from when your soul recognizes itself in another. A love that won’t die even though you know you will never see him again. The vision unreachable; a soul-mate found and lost in one day. Your gut wrenches and the artist is born to safely channel the feelings.

I’ve experienced this type of love once in my life. The first time I saw him he was standing in the sun. His temper matched his fiery red hair. He was intelligent, melodramatic, and tricky --and I was in love. I understood him. I related.

His trainer said that he was one of the meanest horses she had dealt with. My mom told me that he was too young and too green for me. Green? He was a chestnut! I remember staring at him as he stood in the round pen resting from giving someone hell.

We drove home from Seguin to Port Lavaca without Ibn. But I was melodramatic and stubborn too. I cried for Ibn. I drew pictures of Ibn. I wrote stories about Ibn.

Our discussion of love at first sight ends right where our discussion of fate begins. Do you believe in fate?

Fast-forward a year or so to my eleventh birthday. No one showed up to my birthday party. The lady who taught me horseback riding lessons pulled up to our house hauling a horse trailer. Guess who was inside? Fate.

My mom had learned that someone in Port Lavaca had bought Ibn and that they were ready to get rid of him. He was living up to his name.

(I explained the meaning of his full name in my previous post.)

I don’t remember IBN as mean. I remember him as my best friend. I could relate to horses better than I could relate to people. People wounded and horses healed.

He was playful. Before he would let me catch him and halter him he would run about fifty tight circles around me as fast as he could with his head in the air, his nostrils flared, and his tail over his back. He may have been three-quarters Arabian but he acted like he was 150% Arab.

I told you that he was Rebecca-trained. He responded to my voice commands as quickly as to my physical cues. I could jump on him and tell him to “canter” and he would go from a stand-still to a lope in one movement. He wouldn’t do that for anyone else. I also trained him to bow and to rear on command. He was a fast learner and an even better teacher.

We were soul mates.


I don’t know if “fate” is the best word up there but it is shorter than destiny. I'm too lazy to look up the right word. I was also too lazy to saddle Ibn and I usually rode him bareback and barefooted with just a halter.