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7.18.2014

I Miss Tom

There's a couple dozen times and places in my life where I can transport myself with a deep inhalation of breath and a quiet room. There's perhaps a few places where, no matter the bustle, the grief, the chaos around me, even gasping for air, I could find myself in an instant.

The one I'm thinking of today is Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building during Tom Lantos's memorial. I remember listening to Ellie Wiesel speak, and his words fading in and out as the sun came bursting through the cupola window above my head. I remember the swell of souls in the room, and making one of the most sacred vows of my life, that I would not forget or neglect Tom's work. We must stand firm against atrocities, we must reward movements of equality, we must live and enjoy these precious brief lives that we have no right and every right to live.

The ways that I have feebly gone about upholding that vow are embarrassingly distant from what I thought they would be, and sometimes I feel as though I've done more than my share of enjoying my life and not enough standing firm.

As atrocities of all kinds, in all countries, whip around us in the heat of summer unrest, I miss Tom and his unbending and unapologetic demands for human rights. I wish he were here to tell us what to do. This morning, as I punched off NPR in the car and fought back the sting of hopeless tears about our human calamities and my uselessness in it, I suppose you could say that I had an experience of sorts. My claim to spirituality is a complicated one, to say the least, but call it what you will- enlightenment, inspiration, The Ghost of Hanukkah Past- but the calm and quiet thought that entered my head was a clear one.

Keep going. Keep learning. Keep growing. That time will come.

For a brief moment, I felt like my experiences in this life all added up and made sense and had their place...and quickly the lights went dim again and here I was with these peculiar jobs and a long commute.

So I'm going to try and do that. I'm going to keep living the exact life I have, but maybe with the deeply held hope that it will all add up someday. Even if it never does, I think it would be a better way to live.

And in the meantime, I hold the tender innocent citizens of this planet securely in my heart, and hope that a voice of reason, compromise and mercy will inspire the leaders of those who hold those innocent lives in their hands. Enough mothers have sobbed into their skirts already.

6.10.2014

Excerpts of a Horse Marriage

Said while stalking Kaley Cuoco on Instragram...

"I'd like to think that if I boarded my horse at the same barn as her, it would be nerve-wracking at first and I'd be all weird and shy, and then I'd realize she's just a normal horse person who happens to be on The Big Bang Theory, and then we'd have long talks about...poultice."

"Poultice?"

"Yeah, poultice."

"Like, herbs?"

"Well, like, horse poultice. You put it on their legs to bring down inflammation."

"Why would you want to talk to her about poultice?"

"Well not specifically poultice, I just mean... Nevermind."

2.13.2014

Riding and Writing Reconciliations

A totally superfluous and unrelated photo of Itxa


HorseNation informed me this morning that they'd like to pay me for the stories I write for them. I have little dreams, but getting paid to write about the thing I love most has always been one of them. 

When I was teeny tiny, I would make "newspapers" about the horse shows my model horses were having on the braided rug of my bedroom; envisioning myself covering the equestrian events at the Olympic Games someday. HorseNation is far from the Olympics, but it's sure a long way from the braided rug. 

As a little kid, you have so many dreams about what you're going to do. I think reading Great Expectations in high school was the first time I ever confronted the inevitable lesson of adulthood that all those dreams will probably be losses you will have to reconcile with your therapist someday. I have reconciled some of those losses, maybe never more than I did after working for Congress in Washington and then going to work as a glorified receptionist for some pretty difficult and jaded people. The glass ceiling was a heartbreaking discovery, and the politics of politics were too much for me. I knew I could fight for better, but it wasn't worth the fight to me.

But horses have always been worth the fight. Whether it's draining "mud" puddles up to my shins in February, taking a washed up racehorse from a field and turning her into a promising eventer, or begging a quirky upstart website to publish my stories on mustangs or crazy horse stuff on youtube, it has always, always been worth it. 

What "the fight" looks like currently.

That being said, I have to make some hard decisions. (That certainly comes with the territory of horses).  I can't do it all. I have to follow the trails that make sense. The Utah Trotter, despite how much I love it, and how much good it's brought to my life since I started it, has never really truly made sense. I haven't really found my voice or my audience there, and I don't know that it's ever going to contribute to the Utah horse industry the way that I envisioned it. So, I'm going to publish the last couple of stories that I've been working on, and then shutter the digital doors. It's done some great good- it shared Robyn's wonderful story as a mustang trainer (and turned us from strangers to wonderful friends),  it helped raise awareness and find homes for the starving horse herd in Spanish Fork, and maybe it's done some other good for groups here and there over the years as well.  But you can't always continue to throw good hours after bad. 

I'm a little under the weather, and today is a mixed day of emotions for me, but I'm content and confident and eager for tomorrow. There are many more stories to tell, and I'm humbled to be finding my place in it. most of all, I'm grateful that this dream didn't stop at the edge of that braided rug. 

    
      

1.15.2014

January Jingle Bells

While I really did this because I wanted the novelty of hearing my horse trot and jingle, I think I may just start riding her in these bells all the time. 


It blocks out all those fake sounds she pretends are terrifying, AND people will know when the crazy mustang is coming up behind them! Million dollar idea. Right there. 

12.30.2013

A List

1. I'm sitting at a techniglass waiting for a new windshield and glowering at myself that I forgot to charge my phone last night. 

2. Must stop breaking windshields. 

3. I work from 8-2 now, and it's life altering. Sunshine and all that. 

4. As a memory hoarder supreme, I am struggling with the entire idea of snapchat. Fleeting photos? Sounds like a great way of getting Facebook to buy your product for $3 billion without ever having to pay for a server. 

5. Itxa has had a couple weeks off except for grooming and groundwork. I did not get a couple weeks off from paying her rent or scooping her poo. Horses are funny like that. 

6. I have a hard time believing the Olympics is really that much cooler than Utah's Wild Horse and Burro Show. Therefore, we are in training for the coolest thing since the Olympics. 

7. There's a musical freestyle, guys. A musical freestyle. 

8. Wouldn't it be hilarious if one of DoTerra Oil's products was Snake Oil? The answer is yes, yes it would be hilarious. 

9. My friend Lauren has a baby that looks just like Mowgli. Obviously, he is adorable. She is unwilling to sell him, if you're wondering. Said she wouldn't even consider a trade. Some friend. psh. 

10. Apparently 5 days off of work was what I needed to clear the necessary headspace to finally watch Lawrence of Arabia. Glad I could turn off Hoarders long enough to have that breakthrough. 

11. I'm trying a new thing where I only eat meat twice a week. This is in response to getting sick to the point of pukage after eating too much sugar. Don't ask why this makes sense to me, it just does. 

12. My goal in the new year is to be less flaky and better about responding to people in real time, but with that, being more honest that my life is now, and will probably always be, a hectic place. I have been blessed with a plethora of amazing humans and amazing animals throughout my life, and I refuse to let the best ones drift too far. But the downside is, I never get to dedicate as much time as I want to each of those people and creatures. 

I'm glad I live with Dan so we both get the time we need together. If I could live with Itxa, I would. Since I can't, my time with her has to be my absolute priority. She's not just a hobby-she's a living being, an athlete, a business partner, a friend. Sometimes a very obnoxious, belligerent and dangerous friend, but a friend, nonetheless. Also, she poops about 30 lbs a day, at least. You can't ignore that. (well, some people do, but I hate those people.) 

So, here's to looking forward with balance. With honesty. With integrity. With eagerness to see the beautiful mugs of all you lovely folks out there and spending a glorious 2014 with the lot of you. 

And sometimes having to buck up with the truth and say, "I can't. I have to ride my horse."



11.11.2013

Seeing Both Sides of One True Statement

"The horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you may not like what you see in the mirror. Sometimes you will."
-Buck Brannaman


11.05.2013

Death by Pure Soul



Believe it or not, from 6:50 a.m. to about 7:10 a.m. every morning is one of the best parts of my day. My car may be cold and frosty, the traffic may be horrible, and my breakfast corn dog may not have heated evenly in the microwave that morning, but this is all secondary to the 20 minutes I spend listening to Pleasant Grove High School's morning radio DJ.  This kid is my hero.

First of all, he has surprisingly good taste in music. His self proclaimed favorite music is Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, and Fleet Foxes, and he regularly introduces me to bands that he likes for the same reasons he likes said bands, and I glean my small shred of music coolness almost entirely from him.

Second, his oldies palette is dead-on. Motown, Beatles, Beach Boys, the Byrds, and the occasional Pink Floyd. He also references these sounds in the new music he plays, which again, I love.

Third, he clearly has the worlds dirtiest teenage boy crush on Lana Del Ray, and I find that charming.

Fourth, this kid is the most enthusiastic half asleep kid I've ever heard. He talks slower than a snail spits, but he means what he says, and often uses phrases like, "freaking awesome", "killer tunes", and "so excited I couldn't sleep", even as you are wondering if he is in fact asleep at that very second. I love a good walking contradiction.

Fifth, he has been known to play full albums in their entirety, stopping between each song to talk about how awesome the last song was and the next song is.

Sixth, he has said the following things on the air:
"So about halfway through this next song, Al Green is going to hit a note that isn't humanly possible. But anything is possible when you have the reincarnated soul of Marvin Gay inside of you. And Al Green does." 
"I apologize to anyone who had a heart attack during that song due to pure soul."  
"Lana Del Ray could sing about sad people living in trash cans and, like, how McDonalds gives her indigestion, and it would still be freakin' hot."

The only thing worse than the fact that I stop being able to pick up KPGR at around 114th South every morning is that someday this kid is going to graduate. Then it will be back to NPR, I suppose. Ugh.

Maybe he has a half asleep younger brother....