I got GOOD NEWS today.
I’ve been working on a secret project, something quite new and faintly unexpected. It was all because of my friend The Playwright, who rang up one morning and said: ‘I know what you should do.’
As all members of my family know, I do not take kindly to being told what to do. I’m not normally touchy, but, for some mysterious reason, in this area I’m like an Oscar diva being told that her manicure is all wrong. I can bridle and kick out at even the mildest suggestion. Even though I know most of them are meant kindly, and gently, the cussed bronco in me sees them as insidious judgement. What I want to scream, but mostly don’t is: are you telling me I don’t know how to run my own life? Or: do you think I am a snivelling IDIOT????
So it is some reflection of the love and awe with which I view The Playwright that he is pretty much the only person who can say this kind of thing to me and live.
Anyway, I followed his suggestion. The secret project was born. It went through a few twists and turns, stops and starts, jerks and swerves. It got reviewed and reincarnated, and then, hesitantly, I mentioned it to The Agent.
She asked for a lot of material. I wrote it, madly, rushing up to a hard deadline. Then: silence de glace. She was busy, she was in New York, she was being an International Woman of Mystery.
After a while, I convinced myself that it was so bad she genuinely did not know what to say. She had run out of pages in the thesaurus. I suspected that she was hoping if she went very quiet I might just forget about the whole thing and move to Canada.
Finally, this morning, the email arrived. Luckily, I was too busy to avoid reading it. If I have too much time to think with these things, I will procrastinate like gangbusters.
She likes it. She really, really likes it. She said kind things. There is a lot of work to do and a long road to travel, but the glimmer of gold stars was there.
The funny thing is that this has not sunk in yet. I am delighted, of course. But the week is so packed and fraught, my logistics are so demanding just now, that the brain appears unable to process Good News. Yes, yes, it says, immediately firing back an email about how the work can be done and the required changes can be made; yes, of course, it says, already mapping out the twisting way forward.
There is a little tinny trumpet in the background, echoing plaintively, offering a little tattoo of triumph. But I could not hear it very well.
It is good. I am happy. I’ll process it later, when my shoulders are not up around my ears. I’m going down to Red now, to tell her. She doesn’t really give a bugger about agents, but she is very excellent about pretending she cares.
This morning, when we were doing schooling circles, she suddenly stuck her tail straight up in the air and began doing a prancing, snorting canter. We were really only doing quiet work, but some devilry caught her. She was not being naughty or evasive; she was doing exactly what I asked of her. But the wild grigs were in her, the voices of her ancient past calling, her fine blood was up, and I looked at her and felt overwhelmed with delight.
So, it’s not as if I’m not feeling anything. I suppose the feelings she generates are incredibly simple ones. Mostly love, but also amusement, awe, admiration, and some visceral connection to the animal world. She does something wonderful, I am happy. She does something absurd, I kill myself with laughter. Yesterday, with her delicate mouth, she picked up the little hopper that we use for clearing the dung, and handed it over to the Horse Talker, as if to say: this field needs a bit of work. It cracked me up.
So it’s not as if my emotions are shut down. This is the kind of news that normally would have me doing cartwheels, yet I am not, quite. I feel a little battered and disbelieving. I suppose work is always complicated. Perhaps I had tensed myself for failure for so long that it will take a moment or two to realise that there is now the glimmer of success.
It was a beautiful day today. But I have not had time to go through the pictures. So this is a small archive selection:
Sleeping in the snow:
And just sleeping:
And doing her Minnie the Moocher:
M the P:
Autumn the Filly: