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October 25, 2013: Mr. Siggi’s Legacy

It appears as though my article about Mr. Siggi isn’t going to appear in the Icelandic Horse Quarterly. First of all, it’s too controversial. Many know that Mr. Siggi had some conformation issues (for example, he was base narrow and one rear foot turned outward). I could counter this by saying this was not why what happened, happened. And secondly, the article isn’t really suited for the publication in question since the focus is on breed promotion. I could counter this by saying that in this article I write about how wonderful these horses are, in both a direct and an indirect fashion. And thirdly, there is some new age wu wu stuff going on here. I could counter this by saying that what happened after wasn’t wu wu. Rather, it

was real life. But why bother? An article based on countering others’ claims isn’t really much of an article.

I concluded the article by saying that what I learned from Mr. Siggi is that risk taking goes hand-in-hand with long distance horse trekking. And furthermore, that Icelandic horses are happiest when they’re doing what they were born and bred to do, which is to be out on the trails. The onset of this began in 800 a.d., when they were imported to Iceland.

But I’ve since come to another conclusion about what I learned from Mr. Siggi. This came to me yesterday, when I was (of all things) getting a haircut. The woman who cuts my hair, Betty, is a very wise woman. She’s not one of these people who is cutting hair because she’s too dumb to do anything else. She’s cutting hair because it enables her to connect, both literally and figuratively, with people. She does both extremely well. Case in point – she’s able to connect with me. I am somewhat of what my biographer Christopher Benson calls a misanthrope.

Yesterday we got to talking, and after I told her about Mr. Siggi, Betty told me about her recent loss. This summer she broke up with her long time male partner. Betty said that after, she got to thinking about it, and decided that life is like going down a river. Sometimes we float along and sometimes we get stuck in eddies. Makes sense to me, as did her statement that love and loss are interconnected.

From what I can tell, stories about loss beget other stories about loss. This, the stories we tell, are the common denominator that keep us all connected. This is a very sobering thought. Could it be that Mr. Siggi was aware of this? Most likely not. But the events that followed in the wake of his death have led me to believe that this is yet another life-lesson that I need to internalize.

Perhaps there is more than one life lesson. How many can one cram into an essay? After a bit, readers will say “oh come on.”

I have not moved on past Mr. Siggi’s death. I am obviously, stuck, stuck, stuck in an eddy. Just have to be patient. In time I’ll again head downstream.

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