The Story before the Story

Horse drawing on my Studio door
Horse drawing, using a brunt match,on my Studio door. (I completely forgot to take a picture of Chloe)

For a long time I thought that having a horse is like having a boat.  Expensive, time-consuming, lots of trouble and not worth the effort.  But before that, before I started saying that horses scare me because they’re so big, I did want a horse.  For some reason, at some point, I started rewriting the story, saying to my self and to other people, that I was never really interested in horses.  But that’s not the truth.

Until today I always dismissed my desire for horses as something that every little girl goes through. My Little Pony and all that.   I mean, I wanted a monkey too when I saw it in a pet store and believed my mother would let me have it if I could only convince her how much I really wanted it.  So what’s the difference?  Maybe if monkeys were domesticated and lived with humans as long as horses have I’d be living with a monkey. I can only say that it feels like the horses have sought me out.  That they keep coming back, no matter how many times I push them away.

I can see that the story about horses being scary and too expensive  and all that, is the kind of story an adult would tell.  It’s practical and “realistic”.  But it goes beyond that.  It’s also contemptuous  to compare a horse to a boat. And it makes sense to me now that I would want to see horses and their relationship with people as something to be ridiculed, because it was something I wanted and  didn’t have.

I spent this afternoon with Eli,  her husband is our farrier Ken Norman.  They rescue, own and board horses.  Eli and I spent an hour or so with one of their ponies, Chloe.  She showed me how to brush Chloe, scrape the mud from her hooves, saddle her and lunge.   (Lunging is when you have the horse on a lead rope and she runs and walks in circles around you with you letting  her know where you want her to go and how fast). We talked about me taking lessons and, if it works between us, me taking Chloe home sometime around May.

When I left there, I started thinking about the money and time I would be putting into learning how to ride and care for Chloe.  How it would take away from my work and how I would be making less money because of it.  And I was having a hard time getting past that.  When I tried to think about how I felt  about the afternoon, that was all I could think of. So I asked myself, if I put those things aside, then what was I feeling.  And that’s when I remembered the story before the story.  How I really felt before I started comparing horses and boats.  Before I convinced myself that I was afraid of horses.

And if I go back to the first story, that’s what I felt today,  being with Chloe.  The innocence and confidence of a kid that doesn’t know any better. The belief that it is actually possible.



13 thoughts on “The Story before the Story

  1. It IS possible, Maria. You will figure out how to make the time for Chloe and lessons and not take too much time away from your work. I look forward to following the journey.

  2. it is possible and you will get more than you can calculate. Horses touch womens souls like nothing else, (except maybe cats :)) Even a small and probably feisty pony soul! You are lucky that you have a perfect set up for a horse friend, space and pasture, they wont cost nearly what a boat does. And a boat cant hug you back. After you work 8 hours or more, nothing is better than spending the evening hanging out or going for a ride to let the work fall away. Go for it Maria, you will love it!

  3. Well I want to chime in too! If you risk upsetting your inner voice that tells you all the reasons you shouldn’t follow your heart – in other words, if you risk letting Chloe into your life – then you help me, and others who are your supporters on this blog – you help us take risks and follow what our hearts are trying to tell us too.

    And I have to say that the chair you are decorating with the farm twine – I forget what you call that chair – reminds me an awful lot of Chloe.

    1. I do like to inspire Janet, and I know that even though I worry about getting Chloe, I’m going ahead with it. That’s the important part. I know it’s going to be good for me (and her) in many ways. Interesting about the chair….

  4. Maria, this is powerful. “the story before the story…” Wow. I realized how often there ARE stories before the story in our lives. I had my own epiphany last year where underneath the layers of “responsibility”, being “grown up” etc. etc. there was an original innocent story to honor, acknowledge and recapture. Thank you for reminding me.

  5. You’ll find the time somewhere, Maria. We always do, when it’s something that important. And just think whatever new dimension this experience will add to your work. Yes, Chloe may slow you down for a while, but then inspiration will strike, you’ll head for the machine and you’ll look up to see a pony looking in the window, saying, “Can Maria come out to play?”

    And you made me laugh. I briefly had a pet monkey as a kid – or rather, my mom brought one home and it lived in our house for 2 days. Trust me, you’d rather have a horse. 🙂

    1. A monkey Karen, even for two days I’m envious. And you’re Mom brought it home. I can imagine though, I’m seeing that big open mouth and teeth! Chattering away. Not what I was thinking when I saw the monkey in the pet store. And you are so right, Chloe will inspire! and I do have time, it’s just my Neurosis.

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