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March 2, 2019: Har Har

I have this theory that the reason why the sunny weather is putting people in such a good mood is because the light is a source of vitamin D. Never mind that we are still fairly bundled up and wearing hats and gloves – the minimal exposure counts for something. Plus, now it is light out at 7 p.m. And it’s not even daylight savings time.

Spent a better portion of the day inside, in a room with no windows – both Pete and I are students in Dorothy Adler’s Wilderness Responder course. I did get out at noon and went running in the woods adjacent to the college. My hip is a bit sore, but my lower back felt fine. And once I got warmed up, I was cruising. The endorphins (of course) kicked in, and I

Alys and Ryder do down dog
Alys and Ryder do down dog

wanted to keep going, but I forced myself to turn around and head back to the school after being out for twenty minutes. All total, I did a 45 minute run.

It feels really good to be running again, after a very long hiatus. I’m going to keep at it, knowing that for now, I ought not run that far or for very long. That will be the hard part.

Got home in the late afternoon, had daylight to spare. I first tended to the horses and then took Tinni and Tyra for their respective walks. Tinni maintained a steady pace – Tyra raced around at the trot and canter – every time she returned to my outstretched hand.

I have recently realized that, in general, I am an anxious person, usually fretting about this or that. There are medications out there for people like me, I am sure. But for some odd reason, I feel calm, and sometimes euphoric when I’m around or interacting with the horses. This has to be hormonal. My theory is that when I’m in their presence, my posterior pituitary gland is secreting oxytocin, which is a relaxant. This would complement the horses’ outward appearance – soft eyes, fluffy coats, endearing (most of the time) dispositions.

It ought not be this way – I should not need a horse fix. But far better this than antidepressants, which I am told stifle creativity. My creative side is a big part of who I am. Wipe this characteristic off the proverbial board and I’d have no reason to live.

I have either become more creative as I’ve grown older, or more aware of the fact that I’m creative as I’ve grown older. This genetic trait was my mother’s gift to me. In this respect, we were very much alike. I remember that one winter she took her art portfolio to the CEO of Fanny Farmer Candies, in hopes of getting a job as an artist. He told her that her work was not what they were looking for. For her efforts he gave her $10.00, which she used to buy El and me Christmas presents.

She then had no choice but to take a job teaching elementary school. Her aspirations as an artist had taken a major blow, but she just kept on creating – bulletin boards, lesson plans, worksheets for the students. This was because the drive to create was innate.

And I, more than anyone, understand why she could not be bothered with things like computer-related technicalities. It just takes time away from doing the fun stuff. For her, in her later years, it was photography and ceramics and the like.

If I have any regrets, it is that neither one of us took the other’s artistic endeavors very seriously. She didn’t know what to make of my cartoons, and I did not know what to make of the mediums in which she chose to express herself.

I will always be glad that I was with her in her final days because in drawing together we came to accept the fact that we had a shared commonality. One of life’s greatest unfairnesses is that this is usually the case, those left behind come to important realizations after the fact.

I take great joy in having a creative side – maybe some of the fun things that I’m doing with the ponies are my way of giving voice to this side. I don’t know. I’ll never know. Har har.

61. 3/3/19: A Conversation with Tyra

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