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November 20, 2014: Flipping the Day Around

For the past few days I’ve been doing things the exact opposite of the way that I’d like to be doing them, on account of the fact that that we now have less than seven hours of daylight. There’s a little chart on the weather app on our iPhone – this indicates what time the sun rises and sets. This time of year I pay close attention to it.

What I’d most prefer (of course) is to write in the mornings and ride in the afternoons. Problem is, it’s now really dark out at 4 p.m. I don’t relish riding on the trails and having to use a headlamp. Sometime, though, I’d like to do a full moon ride. And so, if say, I get out at 2 p.m. I don’t have time to do very much.

So yesterday and today my day began with Pete and me my walking Raudi and Hrimmi around the loop. Pete then went

to work at 10:30 a.m. After, I took the dogs out with Raudi and Tinni, who I rode individually. We all had a good time.

It was tough because the new trail’s footpath is barely discernable. I did a better job today than yesterday of looking for landmarks such as the tin can on a branch, the clothespin flagging, the overturned tree stump, and the branches that we laid carefully on the ground, adjacent to the trails, as markers of sorts.

I did get off track a few times. I assumed that the dogs would get me back on track. A word to the wise – it’s a bad idea to listen to one’s dogs in such instances because if allowed to do so, they will take you far afield. Then, after a bit they’ll look up at you expectantly, as if to say “Here we are. Surely you know the way home!” I can’t ever be annoyed with the dogs when they do this because they’re just doing what dogs do, that is with the exception of good Ole Lassie. Today, perhaps because it was blustery, the dogs were all business, so we made it back to the trailhead without me and either horse straying off the regular route.

Once back at home (on both days), I resumed working on Lessons Twice Learned. My friend Cathy Day once said that she learned some time ago that the best thing to do when one gets knocked down is to quickly get back up, brush the dust off, and then carry on like nothing is amiss. This is exactly what I’m trying to do. It’s not easy, but necessary. I could say I’ll never write again, but then if I did resume writing, and most likely I would, I’d have wasted a considerable amount of time grousing about it.

I’m now up to the chapter on missing a jump for perceptual reasons – neither one of us has very good depth perception. Raudi has this problem because this is the way horses are. And I have this problem because this is the way I am. I was originally going to write about the use of praise and the amygdala, but have instead decided to write about vision.

I learned in graduate school how to do research. My approach has always been to take a right brained approach, which is to read widely and focus on what intuitively feels as though it’s the right work to cite. It’s sort of like being faced with two trails, and then finally going with the one that feels like it’s the best path to take.

So I’m now going to continue to write about vision in this particular chapter. It feels good, and it feels right. It’s just a bit harder to do because I don’t feel as fresh writing later in the day. But I can do it. In a month and a day it will again start to get light again. This I can deal with.

Next: 310. 11/21/14: Raudi Speaks