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January 8, 2018: Holding Pattern

This dispatch title came to me yesterday as I was doing my body awareness work. I immediately considered it in the context of the premise of body awareness work, which is to release habitual tension. This is something I have been doing and with very good results.

Being more flexible physically enables one to be more flexible mentally. It’s as simple as this – if you are walking along, face looking down and cocked to the side, you do not see the distant trees or mountains. And therefore you remain engrossed in your own private thoughts. And remaining engrossed in your thoughts prevents you from coming up with new and original thoughts. Your thinking subsequently remains circular. This can be likened to being in a holding pattern. And if you are in a holding pattern, you can’t move forward physically or mentally.

I have considered myself to be in a holding pattern for some time. The primary reason for this is because I have always equated physical movement and moving forward with travel. My looking up and out has changed my definition somewhat. I say somewhat, because I’ll always believe that movement, which is inextricably linked with travel, is the best means of moving forward.

Days like today, though, are days in which the holding pattern is just a metaphorical illusion. My sister Eleanor (who is really my best friend, ever) constantly reminds me how good I have it. And I am slowly coming to realize she is right.

It began with my spending considerable time, close to two hours in fact, in recording and then doing my body awareness work. The cabin was toasty warm and the south-facing sunlight filled the kitchen and living room. And when, finally, I did venture outside, my gloves and hat were toasty warm because they had been sitting on the enamel pots on the woodstove.

Once outside, I set up the agility course in the Playground of Higher Learning – Pete had plowed it a few days ago, and the surface was snow-free. I then took Tyra on a run through the course. She’s in the starter division, which is really easy – we were doing just fine until a blast of wind came through and blew some of the obstacles around. She looked surprised but did not spook.

Next, I took Hrimmi and Tinni for a walk. Pete had gone skiing – I met him and Ryder on the road coming home. The two horses really enjoyed the outing – I stopped and took photos of Hrimmi racing around. She’d been working hard the past few days, so this was a nice break for her.

Came home and then went for a ride with Pete. He rode Raudi and I rode Tyra. By this point in time it was fairly cold and windy. It was about 4 p.m. when we finally got to the trailhead. I had decided to ride Tyra, minus stirrups. It was a wonderful ride – Raudi maintained a slow, steady pace and Tyra did the same. I had expected her to be jumping around because she was on her trails. No, she was quiet and calm. I put her in the lead on Siggi’s trail and she just ambled along, once in a while picking up the pace.

The best part of all was how I felt after. No stirrups, my knees and hips were not at all stiff. Now I need to find a way to ride Raudi without stirrups because I can’t remove them from her saddle.

It’s now evening – I have resumed working on the Fork in the Road book. Pete’s gone to a meeting in Wasilla – it’s hoped that the City of Wasilla will ban plastic grocery bags. I should be there, but I do need to get some work done.

Holding Patterns – This will be the title of my next book. But first, I must get Forks done. Uhh huh I am leading a rough life.

Post Script: The City Council for Wasilla voted 5 to 1 to ban the bags!

Next: 9. 1/9/18: The Writing Life: A Snow Day, Sort Of

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