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February 29, 2016: Subjective Memory and Yesterday’s Riding Lessons

In yesterday’s dispatch, I recounted salient details in talking about the day’s two group lessons. If I wrote about every single little itty bitty thing that happened I’d have added over a hundred pages to my lifetime number. Readers would, of course, lost interest well before getting to page 99. So I wrote 500 words or so, all statements supporting my premise that the day’s lessons went really well, to a large part, because I was successful in lowering everyone, including my own, energy levels.

24 plus hours have passed. Because of this my memories relating to yesterday’s events is now more subjective than

previously. And the more time that passes, the more subjective my memories will become.

In talking about yesterday with others, I first provided a lengthy, detail-ridden overview. Today, I provided less length and few detail. The same will hold true for tomorrow. This is the way story telling works. As time goes on, we cut to the chase faster. And of course, we shape memory so that it fits with whatever claim we might be attempting to make.

Beryl Markham begins her collection of essays, entitled West with the Night with the statement “how do I make order out of memory? I would like to begin patiently, like a weaver at a loom for there shall be no other . . .” Here, she gives herself permission to do as Nabokov urges in Look at the Harlequins and “invent, play, create the world.” Yes, memory can get increasingly more sketchy – but this does not matter. What matters is that the writer fashion detail in order to get at certain truths.

My own account (of yesterday’s lesson) is going to become less lengthy and less detail ridden. But my story will have a framework upon which the details will hang. My premise – and I am going to hold to it – is that yesterday was a great day because I lowered energy levels, consequently keeping horses and riders calm, cool, and collected.

In the telling, I’ll leave out the parts where the energy levels rose, most notably when I got us all to tossing the big ball around. The horses did get excited – and because they were together, they spooked, with one jumping up and landing on the other.

Rather, we’ll focus (mainly) on that wonderful first mid-day lesson, me taking the time to have everyone do their stretch/relaxation exercises. After, the three other riders followed young Jonathan around, as he led them in a game of follow the leader. He was brilliant – he got everyone thinking and finally literally focused on their breath. I stood by and watched as the horses, four Icelandics altogether, became calmer and more collected. Jokla had a really hard time with Jokla, but no matter, it’s all going to get better and better.

The second group followed suit – Heather (in the second group) even noted that the first group was “really mellow.”

I could have easily, without even thinking about it, flipped the metaphorical food container around, and instead talked about all that went wrong. Nothing really did but you just never know.

So this is my story – and the story that I’m going to continue to use, that is until another story materializes.

Next: 59. 3/1/16: Time and Time Again

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