Over the winter, I have been working on a piece of art for a big bare spot on a bedroom wall. It’s a rather large, abstract and some might say narcissistic piece of art, being that I am featured prominently in it. Well, parts of me, and pieces of The Unbelievable—the result of my hot-summer-day attempt to fuse myself and my maxi-me together for one brief nano-second in time.
Jerry (my human beloved) has commented more than once now on the 3’ x 4’ work in progress. I was terribly afraid that he would hate it, but in fact he likes the pic so much that he asked me for a copy of the original selfie and has made it the screen saver on his phone. Ah...I love that man.
“I love your eyes.” Jerry said of the photo. “How they are so big, like a wombat, and how when I look at them I think I know exactly what you are thinking,” he continued.
“Oh yeah?” I challenged. “And just what might that be?” I chose to skip over the wombat comment for the moment, then later decided to interpret is as a compliment, since they are such terminally cute creatures.
“That you can’t believe he’s really here. On our farm. In our barn. And that he’ll never be out of your life, ever again,” he shrugged.
“Wow,” I mused. “They say all that?” I said out loud while in my mind I was thinking he pretty well nailed it. After 30 some years, he should know me that well, but then my love for this particular horse is pretty common knowledge among all who know me.
Jerry’s words got me thinking about why I was so drawn to this particular photo when there were other, more ‘perfectly posed’ frames from which to choose. And while the hubs was correct in his assessment of what was likely rolling about in my subconscious that hot and humid afternoon, to me the image reminds me of what we (me and the Ubster) are. And are not. And of what we have gained and lost—together. Separately, we were so not brave. Together, we helped each other find ourselves again.
UB is blurry in the photo, just as he’s fairly fuzzy in real life. He is constant, and I mean CONSTANT motion. He is Mr. Equus ADHD…the horsey poster child for hyperactivity. And did I mention that he hates to be touched? That said, I have never met a more human-thinking horse, and he reads me like a novel so trite he only need concern himself with two pages—the first and the last. He already knows all the middle flim-flam and how that part will play out.
The Unbelievable has been, over our now 10-year journey together both my rock and my hard place on almost a daily basis. He bestowed upon me my very first win as a trainer, and an impressive win it was! He makes me question myself continually and manages to somehow leave my self-esteem in tatters before restoring a portion of it, just so, you know…the human doesn’t become too discouraged.
He messes with me constantly--mentally and physically—keeping me ever mindful that he could, if he so desired, squash me like a bug.
“But lucky you,” he says in his head (and I hear him in mine) as he pins his ears and dives at me, snapping his teeth shut delicately on my shirt sleeve but managing to avoid actual skin. “I’m gonna let you live another day with all your pieces and parts intact."
And he’s only half joking, but he will. Because he knows that somewhere on my person there is a peppermint hidden. He heard the plastic crinkle. And because we have this thing, he and I. The proof of it is on my wall.
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." Thomas Merton