Horses and Ravens

horses and crow

Sometimes we fail to remember that life is about partnerships.  The popular theme of today seems to be me, me, me.  We can push our way around partnerships with people, but the horse will only bend so far.  I commented after the Kentucky Derby that I would have questioned the jockey’s decision to whip so aggressively when California Chrome was so obviously in command of his race.  I did not see the Preakness, so I do not know how that race went, but I do know that the insistence on the nose strips for the Belmont confirmed my suspicions that CC might have lung stress.  Excessive whipping can exacerbate lung stress because the stride lock phenomena in horses necessitates them finding the optimum stride pattern that fits their anatomical design.  An occasional whip stroke can be a reminder to seek this optimum, but excessive whipping can drive beyond the natural optimum which is why so many racers become bleeders.

During an interview with Victor Espinoza this past week I heard him comment something along the lines of  California Chrome could be moody, but when he rides him he shows him he is the boss and he is in charge and he has to do what he says.  I remember reading that he could be cocky and I know it to be common amongst jockeys and he certainly has had a successful career.  However, the comments weighed heavy on my California dreaming for a new Triple Crown icon.  I went back and watched the Derby run after hearing those remarks and I began to worry that the partnership element might not be the priority required for the crown.  As I posted in my pre-race comments I was trying to hold to the dream, but I was not feeling it because I sensed a communication breakdown on the horizon.

Armchair jockeying is really not a fair game because there is no way to know all the elements that intertwine, but I know the heart of a champion and I know respect is an integral fuel.  In my knower I saw the mutual respect bridge that creates the needed partnership between man and beast was hampered by the weight of control lust on the part of man.  I saw the shadow of the raven set in flight by the power grasping words that some would label confidence.   Horses bred to race love to run and to win.  A  good jockey learns to partner with the dance born of that fire.  Chrome was not dancing today.  Something damped his fire and no amount of rejected whipping could stir its embers.  I believe his champion’s heart would have gladly danced in partnership with skilled urging from freeing hands pumping in rhythm with his heaven ordained heart and lungs.

Our words come from what rules in our hearts and they often proceed the results of that rule.  The raven is the symbol of the power of the spoken word.  I don’t know when the music stopped for Chrome, but it stopped short of the crown and that dance will not come again.  Quote the raven

NEVERMORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Dreaming

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I recorded the Kentucky Derby because I had to attend an early Mother’s Day pizza party for a dear friend who always includes me in her family get togethers. The race result was spoiled when someone there announced the winner via their smart phone, but I still watched the recording. I find the California Chrome story very inspiring and very timely in light of current events. The two owners, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin were called dumb asses for their $8,000 purchase of Love the Chase. Instead of becoming defensive they incorporated the name into their partnership by calling themselves the Dumb Ass Partners. Their racing silks and CC’s blinkers proudly proclaim DAP on the front with a buck toothed jack ass on the back. That is the perfect application of my current belief that true freedom comes from ignoring negative comments or better yet incorporating them to show self-esteem and individual value does not ride the fickle winds of outsider opinion. This is so much wiser and more productive than the current rush to paint any opinion not considered positive as defined by the current definition of political correctness as an evil to be punished. First amendment rights guarantee any citizen room to make dumb or insensitive comments as long as they don’t threaten harm to another person or property. Political correctness and the desire to legislate opinion has turned us into a nation of wimps and tattlers ever ready to point a finger at anyone whose opinion is judged offensive. In the process we are selling out our freedom of speech on the altar of collectively accepted opinion. Bravo to two men who have the courage to stand in the face of negative opinion and prove words have no power unless we assign them power.

When the filly proved unsuccessful on the track they held to their belief in her and bred her to see what kind of foal she would produce which is basically a three year blind faith commitment before the foal is old enough to ride. They say Perry studied her pedigree and thought it would match well with that of Lucky Pulpit who had a modest $2,500 stud fee. I’ve studied the two pedigrees and was not overly impressed. I saw some good bloodlines, but nothing outstanding other than Seattle Slew four generations back on the stud side and Northern Dancer four generations and five generations back on the dam side. But ink and paper are only parts of what creates a dream in the hearts of men and they saw what others might not. They followed their dream and their partnership forged by an arranged meeting and a handshake grew into the dream of a lifetime. To accomplish their shared dream they found another aging dreamer with horses forged into his lifeblood from his youth. Art Sherman came alongside them to add his trainer talents and the never ending wonder of those who have lived close to those magical creatures who inhabit racing barns and pastures. And so, on the second Saturday in May 2014 their shared dreams raced to the finish line aboard a cocky sorrel stallion with chrome and charisma that might never have been if dumb ass had been taken as a warning instead of a challenge.

I found the jockey, Victor Espenoza, exuding his own brand of cocky, which is pretty common with the trade. He rode a good ride and often commented that he gets along well with CC because he lets him run his own race. As a now arm chair jockey/trainer I would have had to ask, in private of course, why he found the need to whip so aggressively on the back stretch when CC was so obviously in command of his race. Horses are stride locked which means they breathe once for every stride. Over whipping to increase speed is a good way to cause lung damage and produce a bleeder, not to mention CC has two hard races in his too near future. Just an arm chair observation, but I’ll be saying extra prayers for unhindered soundness because we all will be doing California dreaming for a new Triple Crown contender.

 

2014 The Year of Discovery & Learning

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When I looked out my front window this New Year morning I was greeted by a flock of red breasted robins playing in the rain on my front lawn.  I can remember when the annual reappearance of robins meant Spring had returned which is not normally just 11 days after the official beginning of Winter.  Is nature trying to tell us something?  Just last Sunday a friend pointed out that the sun is now setting more southwest than the due west location I’ve seen all my life.  How many times have I found myself staying too long in the woods & thankful for the dependable sunset to find my way home as dark thirty approached too quickly.  Is everything I’ve known starting to slip from my memoried grasp?

I sense a time of great change approaching and I find it both frightening and beckoning.  Back in 1996 when I was living in my birth city Atlanta I experienced a time of awakening which I think was dependent on that location.  Many times I fell asleep writing and most of the things I woke to find had no meaning.  One of my writings told of the fact that the number 666 has many meanings, not just the one people try to pull from the pages of Biblical prophesy.  Six is the number of man and six to the third multiplier is man reaching his ultimate humanism which apart from God is devoid of any creative positives.  I wrote that 666 months is 55 1/2 years which I in vain tred to correlate with various world events.  My first idea was dating from May 1948 when the new state of Israel came into existence.  55 1/2 years would have been November 2003 which came and went as did other possibilities.  Recently it occurred to me that this February will be 55 years since my visit to heaven in 1960.

OK – This was a published blog that disappeared from here forward, so I am reconstructing it to see if it will disappear again.  I know it was here because I accessed it the next day from where it auto shared on my FB.  Anyway, I was wondering if I will come to understand the meaning of the 55 1/2 years between February and August of 2014.  I journeyed to heaven when I was 8 years old during a then un-named illness that had to be treated by consulting with the CDC in Atlanta because they were the only facility who had info and it was nearly always fatal.  I believe it was Reye’s Syndrome because the disease was not named until 3 years later in 1963 and part of my out of body experience was watching and listening to my mom tell everyone who came to the hospital that she had given me aspirin and put me to bed never realizing how sick I was until I was rushed to the ER in the middle of the night.  When Reye’s Syndrome was named the giving of aspirin for flu symptoms was one of the identified precursors & the other symptoms fit.  I heard the doctor telling my parents that if I came out of the coma I probably would not know them.  I remember thinking he was such an idiot because I knew who they were and who he was also while he was saying that.  Part of the experience was after my trip to heaven my childhood seemed to disappear & my thoughts were not those of an 8 year old any more.  It was like I aged centuries even though I was still in a child’s body and still treated like a child.  They said I had a personality change which I guess was their way of explaining it.  I just knew I was not the same little girl who went to bed the night before.  I had no real memories of where I went other than it was wonderful and I knew I belonged there  and have never felt at home in this world since then.  The other big change was that time no longer exists in my world.  Five minutes, five hours, five days are all pretty much the same unless I concentrate on some sort of time and date instrument and I drift in and out of reality unless I fully concentrate on the present moment.  I remember a day in the Main Event gym which belonged to Lex Luther and Sting in Atlanta when a man came all the way across the huge work out room to ask me where  I go between sets.  When I asked him what he meant he said “Honey we watch you and you aren’t anywhere in this world.”  I just shrugged my shoulders and said I’m just passing time between sets because when you don’t have a partner there’s no my turn/your turn rhythm between sets.  He smiled and asked if I wanted a partner and  I said no thank you because I might get used to it and world hoping works for me.

Actually, world hoping is cool, but unintentional world drifting can be a drag in a world obsessed with time.  Many times over the years I have asked God why he does not just fix the time issue, but no deal.  A friend told me about a book she read where a man told about his visit to heaven.  I’ve always avoided reading about other people’s experience because I don’t want to confuse my memories which God has assured me will take on meaning when its time for me to understand what I saw and heard.  I asked if the author said anything about having a problem with time and she said yes, but she did not remember what he said about how he coped with it.  She kept forgetting to bring the book, so in December I just ordered it out of desperation because aging seems to be exacerbating the time discrepancy.  I read the entire book in a few hours and there was nothing at all about time so I guess the friend was wrong.  The book was called 90 Minutes in Heaven and mostly talked about all the pain the man went through afterward which made me keep thinking he would have been much better off to have stayed.  I have that feeling a lot and I had no pain from my experience since it was not from an accident.  He did remember people he knew greeting him in heaven which worried me until  I realized at 8 years old there was no one in heaven I would have recognized.  I did gain insight by realizing that traveling into the spiritual realm does not guarantee a charmed life afterward and time issues in comparison with a lot of pain is really not that bad.  In the Bible God never made life charmed for anyone he called aside so I really don’t need to complain that He does not fix the time warp.

So far I’ve made that realization and I really do think 2014 will be a time of remembering.  I am ready for the journey which will be a living backwards journey whatever that means.  After 55 years I feel the call to go back in time and grasp what I was shown in heaven.  There have been many otherworldly hints through the years and I will remember them like bread crumbs left for returning.

Divergent vs Weird

Crow with berry

When I went to see Catching Fire one of the previews was Divergent which I had never heard of.  It caught my eye because apparently it is about a girl in a future time where everyone tests to be directed into where they belong in society.  Immediately I thought of the UN directive coming down through our local Chambers of Commerce called “Work Ready”. The program does not yet actually categorize into groups, but it reeks of aiming toward mass production of worker bees. I took the test because it is a semi requirement when you are on unemployment.  I tested into the silver group & apparently gold is the optimum & you are encouraged to keep testing for gold. I refused because the test is ridiculous & does not measure any type of analytic thinking – just robotic action/reaction.

My second thought as the preview revealed that she was labeled a “Divergent” because she fell into too many categories making her a threat to the governing faction was how the first time I took the MBTI test I was working in inmate mental health in a correctional facility & was curious what personality type I would test into. I came out with an even score of 44 in 4 different types. When I remarked to the prison behavioral specialist I obviously screwed the test he calmly stated I did not mess up, but I am just a very complex person. My answer was heck I did not need to take a test to know that. My favorite of the 4 is the INFJ because only 1% test into that type & it is the type most apt to have extra-sensory perceptions. I’ve taken the test many times since because it is part of a lot of job interviews as I’ve moved around in contract jobs. Always I test with a foot in all 4 camps & all 4 end in J. I suspect it was part of the reason my forensic psychology profile bombed me out of the final stage of a 6 month long & laborious employment process when on a whim I wanted to get back into the local pd. I went out to use the rest room & was told the psych would call for me in order to get back into the locked room & he never did come so we never got to discuss my test. Of course the other part of forensic psych is the older you are the higher your score for life stressors which is part of why you see so many baby faced new hires. That & I was too honest when he asked if I have ever considered suicide. I answered yes, but the rest of the story is I have no fear of death since I was 8 & when you have a valedictorian son needing GA Tech tuition & you’re on single income the practical thing is to consider life insurance. I would have followed my instinct except someone told me life insurance never paid for suicide. By the time I found out in marketing management classes that only a 2 year restriction is allowed the moment had passed.

My take away from the movie preview is instead of being weird I can now refer to myself as being divergent which digests better. God delivers gifts in strange places – this time in a movie theater.  I also identified with Katniss from the beginning of the first Hunger Games book because we share the penchant for climbing through fences no matter how they are marked if we want to get on the other side

BE SHOD WITH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE BUT WEAR YOUR SPURS

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BE SHOD WITH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE – BUT WEAR YOUR SPURS!

Can we trust our warrior spirits to stand firm in the face of evil?  Are we connected to the source that sits above the playing field?  When the true tests come will we have feet of clay or will we be shod with steel.  Will our feet be bare or will they flash the silver spur of battle?  Wake and ride for the darkness cometh.  Study by the light of day and grow strong by the lesser light of night.  Gather with your pack, study the signs that grow dim to mortal eye.  Rest for a moment while seasons turn upon the winds of our homeland.  The evil darkness seeks to dilute our heritage born on tattered fields of valor.  Listen to the voices on the wind.  Know that life without freedom is a pretty lie and honor calls some to die,  Deep in the heart find your own true way.  Listen to the voices from within.  Touch what our fathers touched and hear their pleas.  Tear down some bridges and build only those that will lead where we need to go.   Seek peace, but not at any price.  Choose a culture where each is authentic and where courage reaches beyond what is too easily grasped.  Let reason be your right footing and passion be your left stride.   Boldly march and ride through the fires of transformation and do not stumble midst the ashes of feudal lore.  Do not cringe or beg or plead for what is already yours or blend too neatly into the collective bog of spiritless conformity.  Integrity must rule above the indignity of blind compromise.  Adapt, but do not surrender your Spirit.  Strengthen your psychic muscle and stand.

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