What a swell word. Has to do with statistics, mostly – as in the consideration of erstwhile moments as indications of probability in a system. Or something. I am choosing to mean it thus: any given moment in the past may very well indicate the state of my present life. Which means I am harvesting moments of last year—tiny things that I wanted to write about and never did, swallowed up as those moments were by the rush of circumstance that has become so indicative of our present realities—and trotting them out as typical.
By the way, I am in Santa Fe, sitting next to Ginna as she enters endless strings of numbers into Quickbooks, catching up with her own hardly peaceful life and its responsibilities. She is working; I am finally answering every comment made by my dear ones over the last couple of months. When we are finished, I will be the one who feels, I think, the deepest satisfaction. I loaded up Flickr with a bunch of photos so that I could actually do some blogging here. So – let it begin:
I was standing in a line. Somewhere. And here was this kid, carrying a soft drink that was half the size he was. Phone shot. How could I help myself?
I guess I never did write about this. The day I thought Dustin was going to die. It started so suddenly – I was bringing the guys in one late afternoon, and Dustin wouldn’t come. So I grabbed him by the forelock and hauled on him – which usually results in his resigned cooperation. This time, he didn’t move. He was like a statue horse. So I hauled harder. When he came forward, it was awkwardly, horribly so. And as I watched him, I realized that he was putting absolutely no weight on his rear left leg. Not even touching the front tip of the hoof to the ground. The leg was tucked way up. And I was chilled.
I fell all over myself, apologizing to him. It took us ten minutes to get up the driveway to the barn, and I felt sicker with every step. I called Geneva – they were at a play of some kind, I can’t remember now. I can’t even remember what month it was this happened. I hovered over him, sick at heart. And Geneva, bless her heart, came to the barn at about eleven that night, after she’d dropped off her family, still dressed for the outing. She had lost her beloved horse not very long before. And the two of us examined him, our eyes glistening in the dim barn lights. She thought he’d broken his leg. We could hear the large bone in his hip grating. And if it were true, it would be the end of him.
All night, I tried to deal with the knowledge. I had to go to Chaz’ house at nearly midnight and tell her. She was much better with it than I was. Then I had to spend the night processing. Next day, we took him to the vet. I didn’t include here the pictures I was sure were the last I would have of him. His is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen – those great dark eyes and the noble head of him. It was very hard.
We led him into the examination room where our trusted vet was waiting. He poked and prodded, worked the joint. Then started picking up Dustin’s foot. I kept waiting for him to say it – that this was a break and nothing could be done. But in the end, it turned out to have been “nothing” but a horrible abscess in his hoof. Really horrible. An inch and a half deep and half an inch wide, and I’d never seen him limp till that moment in the pasture. The thing must have been growing in his foot for a week.
He had to wear great, massive bandages, which lasted about fifteen minutes each, and a poultice tucked up into that gaping hole – all of which I had to change – except for the time Geneva came and did it for me. Finally, she leant me a boot so the meds could stay put. And it took weeks before he would walk on it. He lost about 200 pounds, too – moving so slowly and carefully. And dignity. The others got a bit cheeky, but none of them had the courage to do much. Dancing just out of reach, but too smart to trust his temporary reluctance to trounce them.
It was a really hard night. But the relief the next day, when the Doc said that magic word, “abscess” was totally awesome.
Cleaning out the tack room. It had been a couple of years. Anybody who has horses will tell you about the dust. Anything you put in the arena – wood chips, gravel, fist sized rocks – quickly gets pulverized by those hooves and ends up turning into dust. Coats everything. Enters through keyholes. Slips between molecules. So I dragged the stuff out (I have no shots of before), cleaned each piece of everything, then re-organized. All by myself. I used to make the kids help. There’s a blog about that, too – spring of 2008, I think. Anyway, I felt pretty proud of the whole thing when I was finished.
Looked pretty bad, though -
Burning bush. I love it in October.
Phone shots of this fabulous rainbow. Too bad I had to shoot it with all the stupid, blessed power lines in the way. Old rural roads are like that. It was HUGE.
So I headed for the church parking lot. SO cool.
The shot Gin sent me when I wondered if the boys had liked their Christmas Ponies.
And the mountains. They kinda scare me. But they keep off the tornados. And in Autumn, they burn with beauty.
Dying leaves can be so beautiful – even at their latest hour.
So there you have it. Each picture a truth in my life. Each one a story with a moral. Fear, joy, beauty, redemption, reprieve, wonder, reassurance, love, absurdity – mortal life is so complicated, light mixing with dark, sometimes exposing beauty so utterly breathtaking, all you can answer it with is awe.
There. That counts as a blog, right?