Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take Heart. Give Love.

The temperature gets better every day. I’ve found a job. I’ve been upgraded from weeks of sleeping on the floor to a borrowed air mattress (as of yesterday)! Henry has a full tank of gas and got a much-needed bath and when I got in him to drive to the library today, Fleetwood Mac came on the radio! Things are really looking up! Soon I’ll have a real mattress on the floor, and who knows, maybe one day a bed frame too!

I’ve been working on some paintings that I don’t hate (yet) and I’ve never posted my artwork on here, I don’t think, but I’m going to today. Why not, I guess. I woke up thinking about how nice it was to sleep a few inches off the ground and then about this memory of a horse I made. I don’t want to spend every blog talking about me, myself and I, in fact, now that things are less dramatic around here I’ll probably be writing about the world around me more. But since I’m mostly still alone, I can’t help but hear the voice in my head and for some reason it wants to tell you this story:

I don’t really know how old I was, maybe around 9? 10? Not sure, but I had discovered horses and I was in love. We lived in the country so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility physically, however, financially it was a crazy dream to dream. I helped out at a stable in exchange for riding lessons and I fell in love with a horse named Roam. He was a beautiful rust red with a white blaze on his forehead and we understood each other. Out of my obsession grew the desire to possess him but since I couldn’t buy him I decided to make my own version. I just wanted to be with him! I dug around in my dad’s tool shed and found supplies and scraps and started building.

The most important thing to me was that I could actually sit on this model horse so it needed to be sturdy and structurally sound. The torso was fashioned from a big plastic bucket that I stuffed to prevent from bending and cracking. I nailed it onto four pieces of wood and added another one for the neck and head. Once this skeleton was constructed I covered the body in chicken wire and then molded paper mache over it. I wanted to cover him in fuzzy fabric from the fabric store, but it was too expensive so my mom helped me pick out the perfect shade of house paint, brownish yarn made the mane and tail.

The horse was a success! He looked a little stumpy, like some kind of reddish elephant-horse, but to me, he was magnificent! He was strong enough to put a saddle on and ride and to have seen my vision come to life was a satisfying triumph! Later we ended up adopting two horses that were near the end of their lives, it was a great experience having them and taking care of them and I can’t help but wonder if my innocent (and slightly crazy) child’s imagination helped manifest them into reality. The detail I remembered today however, the thing that I woke up thinking about was the littlest part of my red horse.

When we were young, my sisters and I would sometimes cut tiny holes in our stuffed animals and implant little jewels or trinkets to give them “hearts”. Roam got a heart too. In the center of all the stuffing in the bucket, before the layers of wire and mache I planted a tiny, pink, heart-shaped chewable vitamin. This little heart didn’t pump blood and it was no bigger than my thumbnail but somehow, it worked. He had a heart and he loved me. When I think of that little heart I can see it. I can smell it. I can taste it. When I think of that little heart I think, “so this is love...” A child’s heart is less discriminating than that of a world-weary heart and it's easier for a child to love. But we all have something in us, not the chewable vitamin variety, but something much more powerful and amazing and every heart, every heart, every heart is capable of infinite love. Give it freely.

And of course, take your vitamins!

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