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December 7, 2020: Like Wading Through Quicksand

There’s a place outside of Anchorage, a lengthy stretch alongside the Seward Highway, called Turnagain Arm. There exists one of the world’s largest and longest stretches of quicksand. Several individuals have died in the mire. The area fascinates me – when I go by there I think of myself caught up in the sandbar and doing what I’ve heard is what you should do if you want to live, that is lie still, on your back, very quietly and wait until rescuers come. The impulse of course would be to struggle and struggle hard. But then you only go down. Glub glub. Your last is a mouth full of wet, slimy sand. You then can’t kiss your ass goodbye because it’s too far gone.

Ryder and Shadow

The quicksand analogy occurred to me today. Past, present, and future tenses to be exact. I slogged, I slog, I will slog. When you are slogging, this is what you think. Your past and present raise their ugly heads and grin at one another. And there you are, betwixt and between.

It wasn’t a day when nothing went wrong. It was a day in which nothing went right. I didn’t sleep well, my sore shoulder, undoubtedly a rotator cuff injury, sent pain shooting down my arm, into my elbow and wrist.

I have two teeth that are letting me know that I will soon have to have them extracted. They seem to be having a conversation with one another about this.

And the ponies, when I asked them to touch the target, pretty much gave me the bird. Raudi flicked her tail, Tyra turned her butt to me, and Hrimmi (sweet Hrimmi) pinned her ears back.

Pete and I went for a ride – the three-point rigging works in that the saddle no longer slips from side to side. But now it slips forward over Tyra’s withers. Three times in the past two days Tyra has, when going downhill, leapt off the trail and bounded through the snow. Amazingly, I’ve stayed on.

I finished (for now) my bicycling essay. I sent a second draft to Christopher, my biographer. He responded immediately, saying that he’ll read it with interest, but he has other editing assignments that need taking care of. Whoa – is this a brushoff or what?

So, I am learning that when you feel like you’ve been knocked down into the dust, to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on. Right now, I’m sitting upright and deliberating about whether I should lie down or stand up. A tough call, made even tougher by the fact that my inner voice, which is that voice that tells me to cut out the whining, has taken off on vacation. I said goodbye, be safe, and don’t forget to wear your mask when you are in public places.

All dispatches should end on a good note, and this one will be no exception. I did do some body awareness work, and this alleviated some of the stiffness and pain. And I continued to work with the grumpy ponies who did finally, when asked, go into their enclosure of their own volition.

Tomorrow will be a better day. That’s what you say when you’re down but not out.

Next: 337. 12/8/20: A Conversation with Hrimfara about Learning to Paint

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