Thursday, June 30, 2011
Well, did hear some thunder, off yonder, night fall, and we did get a couple a showers. Nice and cool this mornin'.
And, I did get the ranch truck put back together; hauled another tank a water, over the hill and out to the wild bunch. I got a steel tank, out in the middle, up north, in a grove, by a big pond, but the pond's been dry, two or three weeks, now. I been haulin' a couple hundred gallons, every other day, since. I wouldn't say it's just the horses, takin' advantage, though, judgin' by the fur and feathers I'm skimmin' out, there's critters of every size and shape, for miles around, comin' by for a drink and a bath.
I also, got out early enough, where I could visit; check everybody for cuts, bumps, bruises and bites; add a scratch with a curry comb. It's kinda like havin' two lives; one around the barn, with the chores, repairs and the mustang boys, one, out yonder with the wild bunch, just wishin' I could camp, travel and work with them. They are pretty happy out there, but we all know there's more; each other, hearts, stories, "get a long" ta work out. And, in the process, ta get affected, changed, where even the same old pasture, can take on a brand new "shine".
It reminds me a my glasses; they're old and pretty scratched up. Add a layer a dust and the world can start lookin' kinda old. Every now and then, in my genius, it occurs ta me, " dunk 'em in the horse tank, pull out a shirt tail and give 'em a rub. Wow, that's better!".
Have a great day!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Well, the thunderstorms are still tryin', but ain't quite put it all together; hot and sunny in the mornin', cloudin' up afternoon.
Another, "put the cowboy back together" day, yesterday, followin' my follow-up with the neighbor's horse Monday. I think it's the heat and me forgettin' ta eat, when I get so involved with the horse; kinda works, short term, kinda burns, long. But, I did get a good cold bath and some fresh clothes, and fixed the leaky fuel line on the ranch truck.
It still amazes me how and why the horses touch and move me so much. I think about 'em, wonder how they're doin' and if I did right by 'em, days after a workout; carry their faces and eyes, their actions and reactions around with me, siftin' and searchin' for anything I missed or didn't consider fairly. Hopin', knowin', I'll take somethin' of "us" on to the next and we'll all get better, closer in our understandin' and happy co-operation.
It's a peculiar world, right on the table, but largely unknown. My pleasure, one little corner a the universe, I can quietly love, try to understand and support. In the process, maybe, understand my place, just another bit.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Well, no thunderstorms, least here local, but it did seem like it was tryin'; outta practice I think. And, that's understandable; every spring, seems, it takes me some doin', re-adjust ta summer.
Otherwise, another day with the stud horse, over at the neighbors. He needed a pedicure and we were supposed ta re-visit the trailer and "backin' out", calm, as opposed ta the more explosive turn and leap. It's funny, workin' with other folks horses; which I don't do too much anymore and precisely, for the pressures and agendi, they cook up, which often don't suit the horse. There's so much ta watch and pay attention. to, really build a strong relationship with a horse. But, most times, folks just see the external "doin'" and think, that's the whole picture; "if, he'll do this and do that and accept the other, well, then, everything is wonderful!". Never consultin' the horse.
It just makes me consider, how far we've got from honest communication; from really lookin', from really listenin', to anything. And, maybe most important, ourselves. "I really wanta be like this" or, "look like that", never askin' if it really suits "us". Sometimes, everythin' ends up stuffed in boxes, like so many round pegs, jammed in square holes; everybody wonderin', how come it's so hard ta breath.
Anyway, it all went pretty well; just wish I hadn't rushed back, like the owner urged. He's such a sweet horse, but the owner, never really got the "thinkin'" part and, seems ta me, he coulda used some more time, absorb the loadin' we did Saturday, 'fore I asked him ta "think through" the backin' part, Monday. It all went pretty well, but I could see in his eyes, he was pretty far outside his comfort zone and he couldn't really appreciate and enjoy the process, like we had Saturday. Makes me wonder if an essential part of real learnin' isn't the appreciation, which can depend on timin' and practice. Just like the "thunderstorm", didn't quite happen; outta practice.
Have a great day!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Well, sunny and hot. The breeze has dropped off and they are startin' ta talk about thunderstorms, even if the chances are still, pretty low. But, even the possibility is welcome word.
Still, reelin' some from the horse work, there, saturday. Pushin' through the midday heat, the physical, mental and emotional "give", they take a toll, but I can't think of anything more rewardin', same time. Seein' a fine critter like that stud horse, findin' his heart and crossin' a "scary bridge", seein' his pleasure and satisfaction, the light in his eyes; it's really a gift and inspiration, just ta be there. I can't think of anything, more precious than that encouragement in my life; "yes, I can, rise above!". Just, that; "yes, I can, rise above!".
How could I not love, anyone, give me a gift like that? Two legs, four legs, language, culture, who cares? We share that kinda heart and try, together, all the cards on the table, eye to eye, no promise but the moment and the facts; light happens and both are changed forever? You tell me, how I'm not ta love; deeper than blood, beyond all differences, no time, no space, no circumstance, nothin' gonna change or cancel, what we saw, the bridge we crossed, alone, together.
Have a great day!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Well, sunny and breezy, again. And, I did wake up kinda slow; long day with the ponies, over at the neighbors.
The baby I needed ta trim was all agreeable and happy for the attention; a pleasant interlude in his breakfast. Fascinated by the funny lookin' fella, me, that likes ta rub on him and pick up his feet; we'd been through the drill, once before. Nibblin on my belt, jacket and rump; bendin', balancin' and when the occasion presents, liftin' my hat off by the brim and givin' it a shake and a fling.
The older, stud horse, well, he'd had some unpleasant episodes with "the go-away wagon", trailer, and the owner asked if I'd work with him, see if we couldn't get around his refusal ta re-consider gettin' in. So, we spent about three hours, with a coffee break, forgettin' about it, mostly, just movin'. I was tryin' to explain to the owner, that it ain't about, knowin' how, or the trailer, for that matter, but, seems ta me, the "what if", of him gettin' in. So, the "key", trust! And, most people figure, "well, sure, he has to trust me". I venture, "nope, he's got ta trust somethin' inside himself; end of the day, he's got ta get in all by himself". We won't ride with him, far as he knows, and, far as he knows, we won't necessarily be there, when and where he get's out. It's really huge, I think. Most folks can't imagine what it'd be like to, essentially, have no say and no guarrantees and still, be o.k. with life.
So, we moved and we looked for free, happy, forward motion. We moved this way and we moved that way. We took some breaks, for rubbin', a look and a sniff on the trailer, but mostly we moved. If the issue was "between the ears", the solution was in the "heart", and motion is the "heart a the horse". When the motion, started comin' round and "what if" was lost to the life a the horse, he climbed in and quietly munched on the hay, the neighbor had put up front. His eyes were bright and clear. I waited and let him turn and come out. We moved some more, then I asked again. He climbed in, then, after a little wait, I got in, see if he'd get nervous. He was fine and I give him a rub. This time I asked, real easy, see if he'd back out. He got the idea, tentative, but rushed, a little nervous, with the step out. So, we moved a little more, loaded, tried again, real slow, lots a lookin' and he backed out slow and steady. We had a good rub. Walked a few figure eights. Another rub. I got a flake a hay for "the horse". He munched in the shade; eyes peaceful, clear and bright. The owner cried.
Some folks consider that horses are dumb. I consider them "heroic" beyond measure.
Have a wonderful day.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Well, mild and breezy, so far, but the sun's got a mind ta shine; you can feel it comin'.
Never did get much done, yesterday. Headed out ta work some horses for a neighbor, but I had ta go get gas, for starters. Well, turned out the pumps at the station are gettin' old and they quit workin', afternoons, with the heat and all. So, there I am 20 miles from home, work on the line and not too sure I got enough ta make it home and back 'fore I'm plumb out; not ta mention groceries and budget. Anyway, I did make it home, put the groceries up and give the boys a flake. Then, attitude rehabilitation; only thing I could figure is ta shade up a few. Never seems ta get me anywhere jumpin' in ta things, when I'm sour; and I was some with all my plans in ashes.
Anyway, them few minutes made a difference. If nothin' else, I sure noticed I needed a bath and some fresh clothes, which, also, improved my outlook and, who knows, might even impress those horses I'll, hopefully, see today.
Better run; beat the heat to the pumps. Have a great day!
Friday, June 24, 2011
One of my favorite stories, is one I heard about a centipede, got stuck, 'cause an ant, he met one mornin', asked him which foot he moved first, when he started out.
Kinda, wanta apologize, for the last few posts; a cross 'tween that trip ta Colorado and the mark it left and me, the centipede, thinkin' a little too much about what I'm writin', based on a few well meanin' questions from an ant I met one mornin'.
Otherwise, the crows are about; ravens, I'm told. And, they are a noisy bunch, but, I noticed the snakes are keepin' a much lower profile. And, that's a sympathetic turn of events. Not that I wanta get casual, but it's nice ta consider, that things do balance out, given the chance.
And, now, I'm off ta see the chickens, set them free, speakin' a balance; try ta strike a good one, 'tween the livin' and the writin'.
Have a great day!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Well, the heats on, though it's really been merciful mild; june can really cook and we likely need the heat ta generate the thunderstorms and turn the grass back on. It's gettin' pretty crispy.
Still findin' my feet from the hay run; older ya get, harder it is ta sit, seems, leastwise in a truck. And, I suppose, it ain't really the sittin' that's hard, it's just that all the systems work better, when yer movin' around with the chores and the critters. But, that's always been my nature; inclined to stay outdoors, active and engaged, one way or another. It not only keeps the "physical plant" happy, but "my computer", also runs in happier circles. If I had ta put it in words, I guess I've always felt that everything has a song, and, while I've done some listening ta "steel and plastic", rubber and road, I've always preferred the song a wind and wood, dirt, grass and critters. And, might as well include the humans; get a bunch goin' on a happy song and that'll warm yer heart.
And now, speakin' of "happy circles", it's likely time ta jump in; chickens need out, ponies need checkin', water needs haulin' and fences fixin'.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Well, got the hay in, now, see if I can fence a patch for the boys, stretch the feed in ta August, hopefully.
And, I reckin' that's about it! Six hours in my neighbors truck, she was drivin', I was listenin', payin' for gas and kickin' in some extra horse work. Bein' away from my critters, loadin', un loadin'; all that "civilization", southern colorado. I'm "wooped".
Have a great day!
P.S. Thanks to Santa Fe Photograhpy Pro, photo and Sage Valle Farm, ride.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Well, another cool night; sure is pleasant. Older I get, more, it seems, the heat's a little harder ta work with.
Gotta make a hay run today; the mustang boys 'er about out. I'm workin' on a small pasture, also, give 'em a little more room ta roam and stretch the hay a little further. They been real patient, even if I do try ta cut 'em a bushel basket a fresh grass, most every day.
It's a trick, tryin' keep everybody up on the essentials, things in repair, generate the dough, keep it all workin' and find time work with each one, but it's sweet and beautiful exercise. It's kinda like a school, in the best sense; ya gotta pay attention and ya gotta try, but ya grow in the process and learn ta enjoy every part. Especially, the "work with each one" part. That's like the icin' on the cake, 'cause it's the most like "play", dressed up like work.
All the questions that come up; nature and habit. Assumptions of each other and ourselves that get questioned; rules thrown out and agreements reached. The great happiness of discovery and re-discovery that the "why's and how's" aren't near as important as "together".
Have a great day!
P.S. Thanks, again ta Brandon Johnson for the camera work.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Well, actually got a shower last night. Certainly not a gully washer but, a shower, nonetheless. Cool and breezy this mornin'.
Kinda disoriented these days; a curious combination a gettin' older and more inspired by the power of simplicity. As I mentioned the other day, our first notions of simplicity are apt ta be external, like a movie set, that satisfies our imagination. But, the fact of it takin' root, within a heart, a life, boy, that'll shake things up. Somethin' so powerful, somethin' so unexplainable, somethin' so undeniable, it takes some gettin' used to.
There's an old story, 'bout a buddhist monk, long time ago, asked what he did before enlightenment; his response, "chop wood and carry water". When asked what he did after, he replied, "chop wood and carry water".
Personally, speakin' of enlightment as an event or, as if I even know, exactly what it means, makes me kinda uncomfortable, but there are some very very authentic people on the planet, who are very very serious about this question and I've spent most a my life listenin', considerin', puttin' ta practice, some a the best. And, I gotta say, even a humble 40 watt bulb, can find itself altered and moved, despite a deep rooted suspicion that such transformation belongs to the very very few.
And, so I thank that old monk and my lucky stars; I got horses ta feed, fences ta fix and hay needs haulin'. Those things I know and they offer me the cover of "normal appearance", even if I'm reelin', lookin' for my balance on the inside, find my way in a brand new world. Afterall, it's not only beauty, in the eye a the beholder, it's the whole "kit and kaboodle".
Empty the eye and it can all appear very, very "new"!
Have a great day!
P.S. Thanks to Brandon Johnson for the Photo!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Well, Fathers Day they say, but the earth just goes on turnin'; the sun come up and the wind's still blowin' , here on the divide. And, while I got nothin' against "special days", sometimes they just make me lonely for "any day".
Often occurs ta me, how life is like this amazin' conversation, that can really engage a fella/felli; full of questions and possibilities, hints of answers, meant for livin' and knowin', just like this wind a blowin', the sun a shinin' and the horses wantin' feed, company and places ta go. All questions, lookin' for my best answer, like a choir waitin' for the "solo" come back with that harmony.
It reminds me, old Tom, my horse mentor, sometimes he'd talk about people and the way they listen. He'd remark how, often, when he was talkin' about somethin' really important, he'd notice folks, kinda gettin' impatient, lookin' at their watches, wonderin' when he was gonna get around to sumpin' "important".
Yesterday, I was trimmin' a horse for a neighbor. Don't know why, or how, but it was one a those days, when I was just feelin' old and foolish, doubtful about my plans, aspirations and situation. Wasn't anything I particular, wanted to talk about, ya know how cowboys feel about "discouragin' words", but there it was. Well, me and the neighbor were talkin' about this and that, horses and people, as I worked my way around "old ace", one very sweet and very cagey old ranch horse, when this neighbor friend, started talkin' about her grand daughter and how she doubted ever ownin' a horse. She turned and looked at me, as if ta make an important point and said, "I told her, just 'cause ya don't know how yer gonna get where ya wanta go, doesn't mean ya can't or won't!". I musta looked kinda dumb, starin' back, one hand on "ace", my nippers in the other, kinda stunned, as the words sunk in, settin' off all those rings and ripples, like so many pebbles tossed in a pond.
I knew she had no idea why this mighta stopped me so, so, I non chalantly collected myself, give "old ace" a good rub on the withers and returned to the task at hand. What a good old horse. What a fine afternoon. Sunbaked breezy and all; middle a nowhere New Mexico.
Have a great day!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
It's amazin' how cool the mornins can be in the mountains, or foothills, in this case, and how quick it'll heat up. We are startin' ta get some cloud formation though, and hopefully sooner or later that'll turn into some thunder bumpers, which we could sorely use.
Got out and trimmed a few more feet on the wild bunch yesterday evenin'; they'd come in to the low gate, just north a the barn. It never ceases to surprise me that, despite their fairly luxurious life, friends, grass, trees, and room ta roam, every few days, they come ta see where I am and what's goin' on. Even when I got out the halter, steady a couple, needed work on their back feet, no eye brows were raised and noses looked happily for the nose loop, heads held low and quiet while I fastened the top loop. Everybody gettin a good scratch with the curry, 'fore they settled back ta grazin' and I headed home ta feed the cowboy.
Here's a poem from the book I put tagether last few years; Like a Pond to the Sky.
A Little Prayer for All of Us.
Oh, could our lives play simple,
Like the needle plays simple ta North.
Just a wee draw on the Heart;
Soft hand on the rein a the Horse.
Have a great day!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Well, how's everybody? Just got a note from a friend, mentioning that they'd been readin' this and I gotta say, it's hard ta believe, but a happy concession.
Then, a course, there's my "editor", another old friend, speakin' of patient and lovin' sorts. The only thing I can figure is, if nobody says anything, ther ain't much ta talk about and I guess, that'd be right up there with "wherever ya go there ya'r".
But, I should add, in all fairness to him, I never seem to take his advice, which hopefully, gets him off the hook and allows him to fully enjoy his "honorary editorship".
Otherwise, new dimensions of simplicity, this my hope and aspirarion. It's one a those things, seems ta me, looked at it from a far, like a pond, it might seem like a flat surface; "oh, that's simplicity!". But, ya move up to it and start ta look into it and a whole world opens up. Another one a those things, though, ya really can't approach with yer head; more like a prayer to something, lives on the other side a reason, least as we're apt ta know it. Maybe like horses.
I live in a tent in the woods
It's my affection
Be close, the horse spirits
I cower by the wood stove
Nurse hot bowls a beans and rice
They stand watch in the trees
Alone with their breath
Each other and the night
Naught but the mornin' star
Crunch of snow
I wake to the thrill a their comin'
Get up! Get up!
Wade into the dawn
And hot butter rum a them selves!
Have a great day!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Well, it's been hot dry and windy for about a month, here, Northern New Mexico, but, if I'm not mistaken, there's a hint of moisture in the air and that should spell "thunderstorm". And, we sure could use 'em; the grass is shuttin' down and all our dirt tanks, that'd be like a pond, for those unaccustomed, are dry.
It's a right of passage, out here; folks from "else where", always gotta get lost, at least once, when a local tells 'em, " just go thataway, about two miles and turn left, when ya come up to the tank on the right.". The new comers, then wander off into the sunset, lookin' for some kinda "metal" tank, passin' the humble pond, intended to mark the turn.
Been thinkin' a little more on this question of my inclination ta spend time with and trust in the critters, earth, weather, plants and trees. And thinkin' how it's not only a question of "duration", things tried and true, but also a question of "drift". Ya know how yesterday, I told that story of the farmer, wantin' ta borrow his neighbors tractor and thinkin' a little too much, as he walked? Well, it occurs to me, that this is a part a my reservation when it comes ta people; we get so tangled up in our thoughts, that may, or not, have anything ta do with fact, that "drift" becomes a really good question. And, top it off, we often "enlist" our neighbors and cook up a "community stew", turnin' "drift" into "drive", without ever considerin' the fundamental wisdom, started the "whole ball rollin'".
So, it seems, this has turned into a fundamental "prayer/way a life", that I can "keep it simple, keep it true" and be careful a the stories I listen to and tell; most of all, the ones I tell myself. Like anything, ya might wanta build, stronger the foundation, longer it's like ta last and happier, more peaceful yer occupation.
I seen and heard, so many stories a folks gettin' a horse, like it'd fulfill their life and they'd be "free" and "ride like the wind" with their "new and best friend", with whom they could "share their soul", only ta have a big "wreck", hurt themselves pretty bad and end up sellin' their "best friend". Seems they didn't think ta check "their thinkin'" with the rest a creation, 'fore they headed out. It's a good practice.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Woke up this mornin' wonderin' about the difference, 'tween what we "think" and what is. I remember a simple little story about a farmer goin' ta see if he could borrow his neigbor's tractor, where his had broke down. On the way he started thinkin' how the other fella was so together and likely thought he, with the broke down tractor, was not so. As he was walkin', he started to get kinda defensive and irritated, upset that, this neighbor he was goin' to see, might harbor such an attitude, when he always did the best he could, even though he did hit some bad luck, now and then. Anyway, more he walked more upset he got. Finally, when he reached the neighbors door and knocked and the neighbor came out, the fella'd been walkin' and thinkin', just hauled off and slugged him, without a word.
I reckin', I'll just leave that right there. Have a great day.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Well, sunny and cool. Still workin' on the "open space", spring cleanin' project. Which goes hand in hand with the "no corner left behind" project and the "mouse relocation initiative". Ya can't blame the snakes for bein' hungry, and ya can't blame 'em for comin' round, if their lunch is under yer bed. Folks used to talk about "new math", but hard as we might try, even my horses know, two and two, most always, make four.
Woke up this mornin' thinkin' on that question of "bein too honest" and the likelihood of endin' up in the "balmy" house. But, whatever the reason, and most certain, time spent in the woods from tender age, it's just a part a me; respect and consideration a the natural world. And, not accordin' to the books and the folks, look at it through a microscope, far away in some laboratory, but accordin' to me and it, alone and face to face.
It just makes me laugh, those diagrams, show the course a history, when ya consider how long "mankind" has been around relative to the rest a creation and the critters. And, 'less we take the whole planet with us, how long they're like ta be around, long after we're gone; if deaf and hard headed are any indication of "longevity".
So, visitin' with critters and listenin' to their stories, well, maybe it can seem foolish, but, if ya reconsider the "foolish-longevity" equation and consider we've only been here some few seconds compared to the years a "workin' it out", the critters a put in, well, my bones say listen.
Do ya understand the havoc we raise and continue ta raise, every day, on systems refined over millions a years? We can think that little rattlesnake had an attitude, but compared to us humans, man, what a reasonable sort.
So, why shouldn't I listen to them that have, and will, last; those that'd criticize and condemn, aren't showin' any hopeful signs of duration. And, neither would I criticize and condemn; ain't no cause. It all works out, just like it has, just like it will and we are free to choose; deaf and hard headed or, thoughtful and attentive.
Permanence; what a great word. I think it has ta do with shining, like being and "per" that'd be like across, maybe time, in this case. Now, don't that sound good; to shine across time! Like the sun; now there's an old timer that knows about lastin'. And, I just bet, that old sun likes ta listen ta stories. Night time, if ya go out and listen, the stars are all talkin'; it's a fact.
Have a great day!
Monday, June 13, 2011
Well, hot, smoky and windy, again. And, more spring cleanin, inspired by an argument with a young rattlesnake; the topic, who lives where and whether that'd be negotiable. I've noticed that the older snakes are more open to reason, havin' been around a while and understandin' that gettin' along is best mixed with a little compromise. This youngster was not so inclined. He wound his way up to the "bar", the bottom shelf of my pantry, a few feet from my coffee table, and announced himself, as if to declare that he liked this spot and everybody else should just find another.
Well, I got the rake, chased him back and forth around the tent a few times, and finally managed to herd him off to the south, some distance from camp. Only, for him to come back, an hour or so, later. Well, by this time I'd had a chance to reflect on the difference 'tween young and old and figured I needed to ramp up my rhetoric. About a quarter mile out in the woods, havin' gently hooked and flipped him thus far, I finally relented the point and waited, see what he thought of my presentation and based on it, which point a the compass struck his fancy. Well, southwest seemed just right and that bein' my repeated suggestion of the past half hour, we let it go at that.
It's funny writin' about my life out here, as it often occurs ta me, I might not wanta be, too truthful; I mean, I can think of any number a folks'd figure, "it's time ta lock him up!". But, I'm afraid, that's always been my nature; a stubborn inclination, understand how things work, really! Not how "joe" thinks they work, or my grandfather thought they worked, or some professor is sure they work, but practical, matter a fact, feet on the earth, me and whatever, face ta face, how; what's it look like, what it feels like and does it work for all parties concerned, long term?
So, maybe I sympathized with that young snake; I sure remember, often with remorse, bein' young and dam sure a "myself". But, otherwise, in my efforts ta understand, I've always looked to my dreams, for hints and clues; havin' some faith in life and how smart life can be, especially when were not so "present" and inclined ta slow it down and twist it. And, so many times, they've proved an amazin' source a inspiration!
So, when I dreamnt, some time ago, a meetin' a huge rattlesnake, like 100 yards long, and there was no fear and he spoke to me kindly, thanked me for not killin' his children and indicated he'd help me in return, with some a my absurdly ambitious endeavors; I kept that, on file, quietly in the back a the office.
Have a great day.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Cool mornin'; warm and windy later they say. Them firefighters on the Arizona/New Mexico boarder, like ta have their hands full.
Read an article yesterday, about writers. Jist of it was how a writer can't do much else but write, if he/she wants to succeed. While I admire the fella's determination and the likelihood of his judgement, I'm afraid I'm apt ta take another trail. However much I enjoy writin', I just can't see spendin' all my time talkin', when there's so much ta learn, livin'. And, I never wanta forget how much I got ta learn and remember. And, maybe most of all, my proportion and my place in the amazin' scheme a things.
A very wise man I once met, cautioned me, "there is nothing more devastatin', for a human bein' than ta forget!".
And, so I love my life with the critters; ya just can't get too high on yer horse, takin' care a critters. The heat, the cold, the liftin' and haulin', tryin' ta get along with the different characters, the wind and rain, keepin' everybody in feed and water, the fences and neighbors, human and other, I'd just never wanta forget, my size, my place and my need for the "heart side" help, makes it all work.
So many folks I've worked for over the years; ranches, Montana to New Mexico, Maine ta California. The toughest, always the owner, sat behind a computer all day; they'd come up with the wackiest ideas, notions and timetables, you could ever imagine. And, when on occasion, they'd come out ta help; god help me. Whatever they tried ta do, ya'd have to wade through it, wait 'till they were gone, then take it all apart, start over and do it right.
So, god bless the fella, wants ta sit there and write. And if it works for him, I got nothin' ta say but "good for you"; honest. But, I'll do a little in the mornin', maybe a little in the evenin', then show me the fence needs fixin', the horse needs trimmin', the fresh air needs breathin', or throw away the pencil and paper; I just can't see where I'd have anything honest ta say.
Have a great day!
P.S. In the name a good nature, I oughta mention somethin' fine I did get outta that article and that was somethin' he mentioned at the end; some a his words a wisdom and there was some, but this one really hit home. He said, " always reach out with both hands; one ta get ahead and one ta help someone else get ahead."
Saturday, June 11, 2011
No, this isn't a story about parcel delivery, but it is a question of location; ya know, like GPS. That, for my less technical friends, is that new fangled, satelite/radio system of figurin' out "where the heck am I?".
I got thinkin' on this yesterday, after talkin about "Old Tom". Don't know if ya ever saw the movie, "The Horse Whisperer", or read the book, but that was inspired by my mentor, Tom Dorrance, though they called him "Tom Booker", in the book/movie. And, I'm kinda reluctant ta call him my mentor, or mention his name, a) 'cause I never "met" him and b) 'cause I would be very shy ta suggest that my work, truly bore any resemblance to his.
I did get ta spend some time with some a his best friends though; by and large he had retired by the time I got started, workin' with the young horses. I call him my mentor, nonetheless, 'cause I always had the sense, despite my great respect for the horsemen and women I met, who had known him, that Tom's understandin' was still out there, some ahead a the pack; I heard it and felt it in every little story, video clip, and/or piece a writin' I came across.
So, here comes my question of "UPS": my "grand hypothesis" of universal postionin'! When "a" loves "b" and "c" loves "b", "a" and "c" begin ta gravitate, and, given some time, will find themselves orbitin' a very similar part a the universe, or the psyche or somethin', describin' the way we think and feel and understand, as a "place". And, things, folks, that live, work and play, in the same "neighborhood", tend ta get ta know one another; often very well. And, it's just possible, I believe, that this deep affection is so powerful, that even, the apparent walls of time and space, can't stand in the way.
And, ya might consider, that I've definitely fallen "off my rocker" this time, but, I'd invite ya ta look at some a the quotes of Albert Einstein; yup, that's right, a cowboy that's read some a Albert. (The simple stuff, not the math part.). There's one I remember, in particular, where he talks about this very possibility; as if time and space were a sort of prison, "optical delusion" I think he called it, and only by love, we free ourselves. I ain't kiddin', a modern day scientist, echoin' the very same song, we find in our best old books a wisdom, from the very "other side a the coin".
And, ya know how, yesterday, I was talkin' about "Lonesome Dove" and that cowboy, had made a promise to his, then deceased, partner, and all the trouble he went to, keep that promise? Well, I'm gonna take it a step further and suggest that there are promises that we never even speak, ta people we have never even "met", and, they might be the most bindin' of all. And, I think it has somethin' ta do with this "UPS"; what we love, where it takes us, what we end up seein' and feelin' and understandin'.
I mean, you tell me, how ya walk away from what you've come ta know, walkin' the path of what ya love, maybe inspired by someone ya'll never "meet", and if ya can't, wouldn't that be like a promise ya never spoke?
Have a great day.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Well, change is afoot; always wondered about that sayin', but at least it's still "afoot", what if change got a car, things'd change so fast we'd never keep up.
But, ya, so much to appreciate; so little daylight. Been makin' a point, work with the mustang boys more, since the weather and turf has come around. So, interestin', see 'em change and get used ta the idea a workin' together. Some folks ask me, "you, still, workin' with those mustangs?". And, yes, I know, it's been a while, but I just can't resist, throwin' all the rules out the window and just goin' "slow" and watchin', enjoyin', every little change and experimentin', ever so gently; a little a this, a little a that. I mean, these boys are supposed ta come from one a the oldest pockets a spanish horses in the country, and they're disappearin'. And, this bunch has been, by and large, undisturbed for some hundreds a years. THIS OPPORTUNITY WILL, LIKELY, NEVER PRESENT ITSELF, AGAIN! (And, definitely, not to me!)
I mean, just the notion, sharin' "intent" with a human, do ya understand, what a radical notion that'd be for a horse like that? And, ya, I could "show 'em the hammer" and "getter done", but my mentor, old Tom, the title a his book was "True Unity", willin' communication! And we share(d) a passion for the horse and the amazin' intelligence they possess. And, if we loved, then I am in the happiest of debt, take that love and the best questions I can muster and carry them far as I am able. This is my most impractical pleasure. Kinda like "lonesome dove II", where that one cowboy, goes ta all that trouble, take the dead body a his friend, back ta Texas; unbelievable! Why? 'Cause he promised.
Have a great day!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Well, cool nights, warm days and still smokey. Just heard on the news, they figure the Arizona fire's like ta keep burnin' 'till the monsoons come; that'd be another month. Then, a course, 'fore they get to the fire, they gotta talk about the politicians; speakin' of "outta control" conflagrations, consumin' resources, and ruinin' the air quality. Now they're talkin' about all these legal battles, try ta overturn some law they just spent two or three years passin'. I wonder if anybody ever considered puttin' a "financial clock" on these folks, keep track a their salaries and how much we're spendin', goin' round in circles, only ta end up back where we started. I keep hearin', we can't afford this and we can't afford that. Well, how about, "can we afford them?". Wasn't it the politicians cut funding for "experimental theatre"?
But, the up side, seein' as we can't afford ta take care of the mentally ill, at least we know where most a them are, which should offer some comfort to the rest of us. Anyway, they've been around since time, I suppose; whatta they say about "the worlds oldest profession", or am I confusin' my topics?
But, I did get a good chuckle yesterday; had ta go revisit the burros across the valley. Their feet had got pretty bad and I did the best I could, last month, try ta get 'em back in the ball park. But, I'd told the owners I'd come back and follow up this month. Well, I give 'em all a go round and then there was "grand pa", the old, and very small, stud; these guys are only two feet high. He's got one really bad foot in the back; almost nothin' can be done. But, there was a little more I could try. Well, I followed him around the pen a few times, waitin' for him ta figure, "o.k., go ahead.", when he stopped, suspectin' I reckin', exactly which foot I had in mind, he relieved himself, right on the foot in question. For "a jack ass", that'd be the proper name, that struck me as a genius and innovative attempt ta steer the situation; speakin' of "resource allocation". Anyway, we worked it out and everyone wandered off, pretty happy, when I turned 'em loose. Two mommas, one grampa and two babies; the babies out front, runnin' and buckin', enjoyin' for all their worth.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Well, topsy turvy kinda mornin'; wild bunch come in through the bottom gate. Seems the girls just had ta have another look at the mustang boys; spring and all. Then, a course, I let the water tank dry up and everybody wants a drink, then a course a flake a hay would be nice and, "oh, a little rub, right back there where the flies been bitin'; that would be, ever so kind!". What can ya do, but smile oblige and figure ya'll catch up later.
But, I sure could shake a leg; I gotta patch up that fence and rig a pasture for the boys, get them some grass and stretch out their rations. I still got some wormin' needs doin', some more feet need trimmin', they all need workin' and I gotta try ta get this website up and runnin'; see if I can't find some help for summer.
And, midst of all, enjoy. A wise man once said, "it's meant ta be great!". And, I gotta consider, he mighta had a point. Ya look at the old stories, however they came about, the old folks, seems ta me, were tryin' ta say somethin' about creator and intent, when they talked about the first man and the garden; I mean creator coulda just made hell and not even bothered with earth, if that was the end game anyway.
And, I gotta say, with the horses, it ain't the "chores" that count, in the long run, it's just that there's so much to enjoy, lovin' and learnin' together and only so much daylight. And, if that's all I got ta complain about, well, I may as well just skip right over ta "thank you!".
Have a great day!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Well, more heat, more wind, more smoke, but it did turn cooler last night and it's fairly fresh this mornin'.
Gotta say it's tricky writin' about my life out here and the horses; same like any "news" outlet, I suppose. Ya never wanta turn it into a sideshow, where the story's more important than the critters, myself included. The horses, myself, we're livin', breathin', feelin' critters and I sure don't wanta forget "that" importance. And that might sound kinda melo dramatic, but, for myself, it's that sense, alone, that makes all the sense.
It's kinda like my uncertainty about tellin' that story yesterday. I was thinkin' on "why?", and considered my concern, that anyone put the safety of their horse, second to some adventure, that might turn into a "good story". But, it's just my love for the critter. Since I was young, the horse always seemed to be far more present and intelligent than the humans I encountered. And, later workin' with young horses, when ya start ta see and feel them trustin' ya like they do, dam, ya just gotta consider, what a huge and tender thing that is and somewhere deep inside, ya start wonderin' about the meanin' of "holy". And, maybe, by and large, "people" are apt consider that yer pretty much ready for the "funny farm", but, 'tween me and any sense I have of "creator", play fast and loose, with that kinda trust, that'd be thin ice.
That horse I was talkin' about, yesterday, I got him up in Utah, when I was workin' with an old friend; a fine old horseman, got me started on the young horses. I wanted ta get a horse I could work on all by myself; always figured there's no better way ta learn, than makin' yer own mistakes. (And livin' with 'em). We found him in a pen, knee deep in mud and manure, scared ta death, as the folks that owned him didn't understand a lot and most a the backward ideas they'd tried, only left him lookin' for some hole in the ground or fence, that he might crawl into and disappear or die. Anyway, long story short, despite, some a my mistakes and limited resources, we had ta travel together in a pickup truck with a stock wrack, that's a cage like deal, slips into the bed a the pickup, by the point a that story yesterday, he had come a million miles in trust and still wasn't, too sure. But, this might give ya some sense a my appreciation for his effort and try and my concern for gettin' him into a bad jam, "because" he trusted.
I just believe that trust is a huge and powerful thing. Abuse it and you play with the very fabric of life. Cultivate it and ya start ta discover the sweetest and richest belongin'.
Have a great day!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Well, nothin' went quite the way I figured, yesterday; heat, smoke and wild winds, kicked up by passin' thunderstorms, kinda kept me guessin' and reconsiderin'.
I did get a phone call from an old friend, though, talked a little about life, gettin' old and some of the good, young folks are findin'; ways of connectin' and maybe workin' together for a better world.
We go back quite a ways, me and him, teenagers back east, full of dreams and questions, inspiration; we weren't about ta settle for nine ta five, a wife, a car, a house and 2.5 children. And, we both made some unusual choices; got ta know each other, heart and soul, doin' volunteer work overseas, in some tough situations. Now, old, both of us penniless, by any "civilized" measure, the questions some times come and he was sharin' some a his. We laughed and talked about the stuff that always mattered and how happy and lucky we were, and are, and the peril of gettin' distracted; lookin' right or left, other folks, what they have, comparin' ourselves.
I remember once, I was workin' on this ranch in Northern New Mexico, right on the Colorado boarder. Me and my horse were lookin' for strays, up in the hills and we headed out across this ridge, that was pretty thin, dropped off pretty steep and pretty far on either side, but it was the only way we was gonna get where we needed ta go 'fore we run outta daylight. Well, we were doin' o.k. 'till we got near the end and we run into this pumpin' station built right on the end a this ridge. I'd got off my horse some ways back, thin and steep as it was, and with daylight fadin' there we were, a couple miles out, no way ta turn around, barb wire on one side and chain link on the other, about two feet between 'em and no promise that we could get out once we started in. My horse, still pretty young then, clearly didn't like the look a things and I could tell, he was considerin' "a rodeo", which stood no chance of endin' well. He was lookin' around kinda wide eyed, his breathin' was gettin' short and irregular and he was startin' ta back peddle. I wasn't too happy neither, I sure loved that horse and it'd a been some tough, ever forgive myself for steerin' him into a jam like that; as the consequences had shaped up most likely fatal, either way but straight. I did the only thing I could think; I gave him a good firm bump with my lead line, get his mind back and started in, as if I had no doubt. Well, about 100 yards later, and one tight 90 degree turn, barb wire rubbin' him on one side, chain link on the other, whole way, we come out the other side. If he could talk, I reckin' he'da cussed me pretty fair. But, there we were and only 6 or 7 miles from home on a nice sandy oil field road.
I never figured on tellin' that story; when yer that dumb and that lucky, sometimes it's best just, keep yer mouth shut. But, honest, I had no way a knowin' that little ridge'd turn into a jam like that, just looked like the short way home from the far end.
God Bless and Have a Great Day!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Well, more spring cleanin' and another day ahead. First round I got two sides opened up, but the night time mouse traffic on the north side was gettin' so furious, I had to tear that apart. Today, hopefully clear out the debris; summer and heat calls for light, air and open space, visibility. It looks nice, feels nice and critters got no where ta hide. It' one a those things, where, if, there's no hope a keepin' everyone out, at least ya can seen who's who and easily adjust the guest list to avoid confrontations.
I remember, a few summers back, this huge spider comin' out from under the bed; it must a been three or four inches front ta back and side ta side. Pretty much tarantula proportions, but a little more colorfuI and not quite so round. Well, it sure got my attention. "A" I'm not a big fan and "B", absolutely not "that" big a fan. Turned out he/she was just passin' through, musta had a ways ta go and wasn't in the mood for a detour. So, I watched, feet raised, as he/she proceeded on east, across the floor, past the stove, down the step, out the tent, on through the foyer/mud/wood room, out the door and on into the night. I did move the bed a few more inches from the west wall, just for good luck, case there was anymore traffic, 'fore I went ta bed.
But, that's life out here and to a fairly large extent ya just gotta trust that everything has it's place and it's way and for the most part, it's reasonable and workable; long as nobody gets too excited.
So, time ta feed the cowboy, get on with the cleanin', see if there ain't some daylight left, visit the rescues out yonder; still got some feet ta trim and some wormer needs takin'. Not ta mention the cowboy enjoyin'.
Have a great day!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Bright, sunny and still; I guess the wind died over night and there's a lot less smoke, from the Arizona fires, hangin' in the air. I pushed the envelope, some, yesterday; a strong cup a coffee, afternoon, stead a lunch, try to trim an extra horse and still play with the boys 'fore dark. Woke up kinda foggy but, up.
Got a great picture from a friend, of some horses playin'; email. And I'm still amazed, how I live and work with horses, everyday and still touched by 'em; even a snapshot. I can only suppose it's their authenticity. Imagine, havin' ta put up with people and fences and all the weird ideas us humans come up with and still findin' a way ta be yer self; and even see the good in the human. Now that, is miraculous.
And, that's somethin' that's really impressed me, since I been workin' with horse; how willin' they are ta believe us humans and how little we understand about the "reality" we spin for 'em. I remember headin' out ta check the horses, last summer and passin' this old stump, along the way. A rattlesnake perked up and gave a shake, let me know he was considerin' a homestead. Followin' an abrupt relocation, several yards to the north, the rattle comin' from the south, I turned to appraise the old homesteader and realized how fascinatin', mesmerizin', he was; almost cameleon like. Mossy green, sorta, but decorated in such a way that ya just couldn't be too sure, where he began and the forest floor ended. I tossed a small stick his way and stood up straight, as a question, considerin' that homestead was kinda close to the horse path and he seemed to agree, that further south might be a better option.
So, maybe it's natural, that we all impose a certain "mesmerizin' reality" on our environment and neighbors, but as humans, seems ta me, we have the ability ta consider, exactly what that might be and if it comes from our head or our heart. And, what are the ups and downs, short term and long. That might be somethin' like wisdom. And, if wisdom is a good thing, it probably has somethin' ta do with a well bein'.
Like horses playin'; I think it keeps 'em well, allows 'em ta shake off impositions, natural or un and just get back to their amazin' and spontaneous self.
Have a great day!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Well, after all my astonishment at the wind, or lack of it yesterday, it proceeded to blow like a banshee, the rest of the day. And, again today it seems it might not, but I wonder if, after two months now, it might not be gettin' tired, and wakin' up a little late; that would seem perfectly reasonable.
I must say, I still am askin' myself what I'm doin' writin' every mornin', with so many horses needin' attention, fences in need of fixin', bills in need of payin', and some kinda future in need a plannin'. But, I haven't come up with an answer, either way and somehow or other, I'm inclined ta keep on 'till it's clear; quit! I guess it reminds me of a native american radio show, they have here on public radio, sundays, called "singin' wire". They have old drum songs, contemporary rock bands, call-in "shout outs", announcements of pow-wows, you name it. And, it always strikes me "that's good livin'"; people connectin' and celebratin' the moments of their lives. Sometimes, with the more corporate media, we can get so obsessed with "the big picture", we can forget that we exist; sun in the sky, earth under foot and air to breath.
I did haul a tub a water out to the "wild bunch", last night; my rescues, out on pasture. With all the wind and no heavy rains, the dirt tanks are pretty low and pretty murky. Gave everybody a rub and, a couple, a pedicure. Always amazes me how much they enjoy the attention; almost as if, that moment together, gives 'em a new lease; reminds 'em they aren't alone. Then, they go back to munchin', content.
As I've said, on occasion, if human means "god in man", wouldn't that be the love? And, weren't it natural, we'd all feel good, when that's about?
Have a great day!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Well, see, just when ya think the wind'll never quit, here it comes, still and hazy; I'm told there's some fires over in Arizona, up in the mountains, on the New Mexico boarder.
Yesterday, I did get off some, on this notion of discoverin' yer self and it's a large and open question how that all works, but it does remind me of my journey with the horses, over the past years, since I met Ray Hunt. While I am speakin' primarily of the internal journey, I suppose we have covered some good old dirt as well, but I remember when I first met Ray and how attentive I was to everything and anything he did or said, havin' already spent some months with an old friend a his, that started young horses, up in Utah. I'd grown up with horses and knew just enough ta know that most folks didn't really have a clue, but what I'd seen, even with that old friend a Ray's, had definitely got my attention; as if someone was offerin' me the keys to the universe.
Anyway, one thing I noticed and, curiously, dismissed, was that ol' Ray didn't talk much; I guess I just figured he was a crusty old fella and it just wasn't his way. People get all "romantic" about cowboys, but reality is more often, long days, tough conditions and quantities of miles and cows and fences and weather, take the chrome off any old truck.
But, some years later, I noticed how quiet, I'd got when I was workin' horses, and it wasn't just for tired. I'd fallin' into a quiet world of "data sharin'", too fine and too quick for words; maybe why Tom always struggled with 'em and came up with ones like "feel".
I'm inclined to suppose, that that's not only the doorway to a vast new world of horsemanship, but a whole new beginnin' toward knowin' myself, beyond the clunky categories I and others, try to put myself in. Words, sure, have their place, but if they were sufficient, why would creator a made a horse? Or me.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I guess it'll never stop blowin' this spring; not even 9 o'clock and it's all wound up and flyin' across the hills and through the trees. But, god bless, the spirit, it just keeps doin' it's job, popular or not, and I sure admire that quality.
And, I gotta say, that's a pretty neat coincidence, as this mornin', wakin' up and turnin' the pages of my dreams and intuitions, I found myself thinkin' on that very question. Part of my settlin' out here, was the very intent ta kinda find out who/what I was made of, most other opinions aside; get down to the stuff that just comes out spontaneous, natural. Then, it seems, once ya kinda get the hang of it, ya gotta learn ta trust it.
And, somehow or other, that's an amazin' process. I might not understand but a fraction of it, but I'd have ta say, it's likely one of the most excitin' parts of bein' alive; the notion that somethin' made ya, just like it made the wind, with a particular part ta play. And, growin' up, all kinds a folk'll tell ya how ya should be, but knowin', end a the day, there's one that really counts; "did I really try, be true to that, popular or not?".
I don't think I could ever say enough about that "equation", how fluid, challengin' and rewardin' it can be. Kinda like, every day is Christmas and yer the present, if ya just remember.
Silly little sayin' but, too cute to ignore; "The past is history. The future a mystery. This moment a gift; that's why it's called the present.". O.K., so, one more, fill in the picture; "wherever ya go, there you are.".
Have a great day!