I’m still not there yet. But I’m closing in on it. I essentially have, all of my life, lived in two worlds – I have also been an equestrian. And I have always been a writer/reader. The two have never converged. Horse people tend to look off into space when I’ve talk about my writing and reading life. And writer/readers tend to become glassy eyed when I talk about my horsey life. This has been akin to having two objects occupy the same physical space.
So, I have learned to flip the proverbial switch, and focus on the predominating interest of the group in question.
I know that there will never, ever be any convergence occurring. And I have accepted this for what it is, unfortunate but no big deal. I just consider myself lucky – I enjoy both working with my ponies and reading and writing.
I have experienced self-convergence. I have been writing first person accounts about my horses and horse experiences for some time. And I’m now finishing up a major horse-related book project. I think this book will be of interest to those who have an interest in horses and as well to those who have an interest in memoir writing. We’ll see. I have just one friend who has an interest in both horses and writing and one friend is enough.
Painting by Jacqueline Welch
The scales since moving to Palmer, Alaska have been tipped in favor of horsey friends and horsey doings. They will never be balanced, but most likely, for the remainder of my life, will either be weighted on one side or the other.
Right now, the scales are tipping in favor of reading and writing. I say it’s about time. I am enjoying this a great deal, in fact so much that I’m spending more time than I might otherwise, mainly talking with new and old cohorts about reading and writing.
I have even found myself going back in time, as if to make up for lost time. For instance, yesterday, I was sorting through books, I picked one up, and said to another sorter ,“Check this kid’s book out! This guy, Mike Mulligan, he dug this huge hole with his steam shovel and he could not get out! Us kids, when I was growing up, asked one another, what did he do when he had to pee?” I did not, as I do with horse people, get a blank look, but rather, a knowing nod. Both of us resumed sorting, and the rest of the afternoon we had similar exchanges.
And this is why I am investing so much time in the Bright Lights Book Project. I am satisfying an intellectual need that I had to abandon when I acquired Raudi, now 16 years ago. I am being gluttonous. It’s like being at a huge potluck and filling my plate to overflowing.
Balance, balance, the scales can continue and most likely will go up and down, never leveling out. My friend Jakki once did a painting of a marmot speaking to a Dalmatian –the marmot remarked to the Dalmatian, “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.” And well, this is exactly how I feel.
Next: 20. 1/20/20: Home Sweet Home