Dudley [War Navigator] was a great horse. He was twenty-one years
old, a big bay Thoroughbred. Donna and Dudley were the perfect pair.
When Annie and I first came to Maple Row they opened their arms and
welcomed us into the family. It was almost too much but I learned that
Donna's generosity is genuine and real. She and Dudley were our most
frequent riding buddies.
Donna loved Dudley with maternal pride and devotion. She was the 'Felix' I had in mind in my grooming post.
She rode Dudley with
love and intelligence and he responded.
Who knew that Tuesday was
our last ride together? The four of us rode indoors. Donna and Dudley
trotting haunches in was such a beautiful sight, I had to say out loud,
"He looks so handsome!"
The next day he was found lying down in
his stall, unable to get up. The vet was called. Before the day was
done Donna said goodbye to her friend.
I stood in front of his empty, cleaned-out stall and cried. Other
boarders speculated about what caused Dudley's sudden undoing. That's
what we do when we try to distance ourselves from the fear it could
happen to us. Really it doesn't matter. What matters is we will never
again share in the grace that was Donna and Dudley. A sad loss to us; a
brutal loss for Donna.
Many of us have known great horses who
have passed on. We know the team we were with a particular partner can
never be duplicated. Pressing my face against Annie's warm, fuzzy neck,
I thanked God for this gift and for the time I have with her.
True love is reasonably putting off our own happiness for the happiness of those we love. In that spirit I joined my daughter in her quest to be among the first to see the next installment of the adventures of Gabriella and Troy's senior year.
We arrived two hours before the showing and were tenth in line. Within an hour the theater lobby was packed and the line we were on coiled around and out of view. My daughter was in heaven.
It's odd to admit, HSM3 wasn't terrible. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 was much, much worse. Afterwords I could actually discuss the nuances of Troys existential conflict and not gag!
Tickets to the movie: twenty bucks. Annoyance factor when the ten year old sitting next to me broke my ear drums: off the charts. The feeling I got when my daughter thanked me for sharing this special evening with her: priceless.
She was mesmerizing, cleansing and energizing! When a person is trying to shake fear it is powerful to witness a beautiful woman beat the hell out of a traditional drum kit producing brilliant sound! Wow!
OK, maybe it will help for about five minutes but after that we live with regret and worse, guilt. Emotional eaters [yes, I am one] are having a really hard time keeping calm these days and even optimists say we may need to keep our seat belts on for a while. How can we resist eating our way through the Recession?
1) Take action. DO SOMETHING! 2) Be a picky eater - Put down your kids' Goldfish and go for white fruits [they're naturally soothing] and choice, crunchy carbs [low sugar, of course] 3) Skip the caffeine - the last thing we need is to be wired plus caffiene makes us hungrier 4) Call a friend, your sister. Call me! 5) Wait 20 minutes - If you can resist the dark force for twenty minutes and you still want it, treat yourself to a small portion. 6) Use aromatherapy - Lavender calms, Rosemary sparks. Engaging other senses besides taste 7) Drink a lot - skip the alcohol, go for clear liquids, flavored water... 8) Meditate for ten minutes or take cat nap
Last night I woke up at two in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep. The problem was too much on the brain. From the world financial crisis to guilt over eating too much chocolate brownie (It was Girardelli! Who can resist Girardelli!) my thoughts were like tiny ping pong balls bouncing around inside my skull.
Drastic measures were needed. This called for a trip to outer space.
To prepare for my trip I made like a rag doll (corpse pose for you yogis) and focused on my breath. If I concentrate on breathing in slowly, breathing out slowly, I'm not thinking of dollar bills with little wings flying out of the bank. Sometimes this is enough to relax me and fall asleep.
Last night it wasn't enough. So I went to Saturn. I find my favorite spot on a big asteroid swinging slowly in Saturn's orbit and gaze back at Earth. Still breathing slowly, the beauty of Earth and the Universe overwhelms the smallness of my worries. There is music, like the resonant Om of Tibetan monks. Breathe, relax, peace...sleep.
Blind belief that everything is OK is not optimism, it's delusional.
"Optimism is the ability to clearly see a bad situation – like the climate, energy and financial threats we simultaneously face – and work diligently for the best possible solution, even though these threats are enormous, complex and deeply unfair. Optimism is the ability to reframe crises as opportunities. Optimism is attacking a problem with vigor instead of tuning out or laying blame elsewhere."
~ Letter to the New York Times editor, by Deborah Fisher of Brooklyn
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