I found my trot.
There it was, all the time, down the back of the sofa. The red mare, moving lightly within herself on a loose rein, as composed and collected as a 19th century marchioness doing the gavotte, twitched her ears in the Scottish air as if to say: yes, yes, I think this was the item you were looking for.
Then I went for a drive and looked at the blue land in the sunshine and felt lucky.
I did some other things as well, but it’s Friday, and I don’t want to bore the arse off you.
(Wrote book; made soda bread; ran errands; had long and soothing conversation about the human condition. Same old, same old.)
Felt particularly pleased that I captured an image of Stanley the Dog with the Scottish sky in his eyes. All the time he was posing he was itching to be off to the undergrowth, where he heard the rustle of tempting critters. But he goodly stayed, and I got my shot.
There have been some interesting pieces of wisdom floating around on the internet lately. I find these reassuring, as the news gets madder and badder. (Greece; Putin; Libya; chaos and sorrow and insoluble problems.) The small wisdoms restore some sense to the stretched mind. One of them was from a lovely man called Ira Glass, and it had at its heart: don’t give up. Keep trying, keep pushing through, and you may achieve the beautiful thing you wish to make.
When I get frustrated with my bumbling horsemanship, I have to remind myself that I was off a horse for almost thirty years. I sat on a pony before I could construct a sentence, but that long gap meant that old, good instincts and muscle memory had atrophied and even disappeared altogether. The people I admire and wish to emulate have been doing it, every day, for those thirty years. They can do things without thought on which I have to concentrate very, very hard.
I can write a sentence which pleases me because I have been practising with words for those thirty years I was off a horse and at my desk. I knew a lot of the theory when I was in my twenties, because I read all the books and I had an avid mind. I went to all the great ones for example and advice. But I could not quite yet get my ducks in a row, because the knowing is one thing, and the doing is another. The fine doing comes only from the years and years of practice. Do your scales; play your arpeggios. Don’t give up. Embrace your mistakes, because without them you learn nothing.
I can write a sentence because I worked at it. I’d still like to write a better sentence, so I’ll go on working whilst I have a brain that functions and fingers that type. I’ll go on striving to be the horsewoman that my mare deserves until they have to hoist me into the saddle with ropes. It’s never finished.
Don’t give up. Keep trying. Stretch your sinews to the sky.
That, slightly to my surprise, is my thought for the day.
Every day, in every way, I love that face a little bit more. I should not have thought such a thing were possible. I did not know one small human heart had so much love in it. It’s sort of crazy that it’s a horse who has unlocked this bounty, but I do not look gift mares in the mouth. (Except of course when her teeth need doing.) Love is love, wherever it might be found.