Horse Lesson

The Horse statue that Pamela gave me.
The Horse statue that Pamela gave me.

Yesterday I left the Carriage and Draft Horse Sanctuary, Blue Star, with a  beautiful statue of a horse, four t-shirts, a video of Phillip Whiteman’s Medicine Wheel Model to Natural Horsemanship and a day of compliments, praise for my work, a new connection to Pamela, a ton of stories to think about and the experience of having ridden Piper, the giant horse I fell in love with the last time we were there.

So that’s what happened, that’s what knocked me off balance and kept my head spinning and me wondering who and where I was.  Too much?  No, all good stuff and a lot of it.  I’m just not used to it. I felt like Boo Radley coming out of the basement.  And it’s not like I’m not used to having my picture posted all over Jon’s website or meeting new people or even getting compliments on my work.  But yesterday was a lot.  A lot more than I’m used to, I guess.  And the thing is, I made this connection, all of this happened, because of my work.  Because as important as it is to me, my work is just what I do.  It’s special in  that it’s my passion and keeps me sane and is a part of me like my brain or my heart, but to Pamela it was so special and meant so much to her (she saw meaning in every part of it) that it seemed too good to be true.  And so a part of me wanted to doubt her sincerity and another part of me wanted to believe her and trust what was happening.  Because when things are “too good” (especially when it’s focused completely on me) I begin to think that at any moment someone’s going to start laughing and then I’ll find out it’s all a joke. And that someone will say: You look really stupid  on that horse and that thing you made is nice, but you don’t really expect me to use that on my website do you?  Ha Ha Ha etc. etc….

So I think what happened is there was a battle going on inside of me.  It was the trust thing again. (like when Lisa Dingle handed us the trip to Disney from all those nice people who really wanted us to have it).  But this time (I guess,  because it was about me and my work) grace didn’t step in.  And my heart didn’t exactly shrink, but it cowered in the corner, shocked and uncertain.

Which makes me think of one of the many stories that  Pamela told me yesterday.  This one about how horses have been evolving into what they are now for millions of years.  And they’ve survived, not by growing a hard shell but by opening their hearts to humans. By learning to live in partnership with us.  Which, of course,  requires trust.

So the question is, what will I do with my horse lesson. Crouch in the corner, hide in the basement or take a chance and choose to trust.  Actually, I think I already made the decision, that’s part of what happened yesterday.  My head may not have understood what was going on, but the rest of me was making the adjustment stretching my legs and opening my arms, expanding my heart, getting ready to believe without cynicism and trust without fear.

9 thoughts on “Horse Lesson

  1. Oh, Maria! You are definitely not alone in your reactions to your day of being the center of attention! Many artists can attest to that self same feeling of dubt with compliments! While we weork so earnestly to put ourselves into our creations, we cannot rid our minds of niggling doubt! What we create is, in the end, for ourselves and when others comment it always feels like a surprise … while welcome,we somehow feel embarrassment to be that center of attention.

  2. what a beautiful statue Maria! and it is graceful – perhaps a good reminder of the day. the logo you designed is perfect and I only know what I’ve read about Blue Star. Pamela’s face radiates joy as ahe holds it and you can tell how pleased she is. You did well!

  3. Your work is more than “Just what you do” dear Maria. The pot holders that came from you (Pink shoes designs for women to live by) are hanging in my kitchen and inspire me every day. I sent one to my Texan daughter but she returned it for my birthday–her family were grabbing it when they helped to cook and she didn’t want it become grubby and worn-out. I guess for them it was “just something to use” but to us it is art and an inspiration. The cushion is near this PC and I notice my husband’s eye lighting upon it appreciatively every now and then. He’s the silent type but he said when it arrived “This is you and she didn’t even make it with you in mind!”

    Today I have read about Jon’s fitbit flex. I cringed–not to my kind of gadget-hating taste at all! Aha! But now I know what my husband’s Christmas present will be. He walks miles most days but he has knee replacement surgery in his approaching future. This walking is his thinking time and he will adore a hair-raising fitbet flex to play with when he gets home…

    Both of you have added a new dimension to our living and I thank you for it.

  4. …and maybe turn horse lesson into horse lessons? my sister and I shared a Welsh pony who was such an ornery beast that we loved him for it. I spent 2 years in hospital (TB as a young girl in the early 1950s) and wrestling with this horse character was my first sense of “You can do it–keep at it”. I’ll never forget grey, hairy Joe. He was my first animal friend and as I write I can feel again his almost spinning me around as he searched for the carrot and peppermints in my riding jacket.

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