Journal: Super moon, Friendship

IMG_0064Friday, August 8, 2014

I swear this super moon pulled on anybody with water wrapped  in their flesh and it didn’t even need to be full. People wrote on Facebook how they couldn’t sleep. The dog nudged me awake, so I had to put the leash on and walk him around the yard. The moon flirted with low clouds, felt too bright, woke me up as hard as if I’d opened my iphone. And the fireflies lit up low to the ground in concert. It took awhile for sleep to find me.

My body is swollen from the tamoxifen my oncologist prescribed to kinda, sorta prevent cancer of the dry ducts in my teats. My neck has stiffened so tight I cannot look left. I’m not sure the tamoxifen is worth the low grade feeling like crap, the sloppy hot flashes, weight gain. But it’s supposed to give me a 44% chance to avoid cancer, so I try to stand it. What I don’t like is that it feels like a dress rehearsal for cancer because I take blood tests and feel low grade lousy, see an oncologist with an accent that reminds me of Boris on the old cartoon Bullwinkle. (I could listen all day.) I stop myself from saying I have cancer, because I don’t, just cells on their way there, and a very high risk for it.  I swallow the yew tree, a bit every day, that would be poison if my horses nibbled its branches.

Saturday August 9, 2014

IMG_0113Last night, in that slim time between day time and night time, when the Celts used to say the fabric between this world and next thinned, where maybe, just maybe a person could slip over to the one humming behind ours, the sun as big as I have ever seen her settled down to the horizon. She was swollen and orange, huge like she was swelling with fire that might burn us all with something like soap, cleansing. (What would the world be like if we got cleaned up, if we could face God because we too were good, just plain, clean good?)

The moon, was himself swollen with pale light, pot bellied as an old stove. Moon rising. Sun setting. But not balanced on the horizon like I’ve seen farther down the calendar. The moon had climbed higher, was driving the sun down, both just plain fat, like my ponies waiting at home.  I wanted to lean out of the car and take pictures, but the corn flashed up higher than the horizon and my iphone couldn’t show you what I saw. Maybe my words can.

We’d just helped new old friends pack their horse trailer for the state fair in Des Moines. They’d  surprised us by showing up at the Boone county fair with four Belgian draft horses–three aristocratic mares, at least a story high, and one five month old colt. A few were sired by a stallion we remembered, Rocket, who was himself brimming with light. Howard told stories about how people wanted to buy one or other of these horses, as soon as he’d bought them.  I could listen to him all day, even though he’s got an Iowa accent, for the way he uses language. He said starting back driving a six horse hitch was like a dog that sucks eggs in the chicken house. “You can’t stop him,” he said.

IMG_0144Years ago Howard and Mable inspired us to buy Norwegian Fjord ponies as a compromise, because Belgians were too big, too much horse for me, even though Bruce had fallen hard for the big drafters.  Our original dream to drive horses began when we ran their horses in the arena for a judge, when we held them while they hitched, when I wrote an essay about whether a horse can push or pull a wagon. Don’t ask me why, but tears stood in my eyes, as I discovered Mable and Howard hosing off their horses for the show ring. It was like finding that pearl you’d lost behind the sofa, that your dad had given, that you never thought you’d see again. And especially sweet because you had something you were proud to show them.

Sunday, August 12, 2014


I’ve been thinking about the friend thing lately. Another blogger has said she only wants to surround herself with people who support her. I wasn’t sure I agreed, because some of my people don’t build me up, because who does that all the time? Sometimes the best people sharpen us like stone sharpens steel, their rebuke more precious than encouragement. But have been thinking on what she said, how some people told her how she is full of light, how she needs that affirmation in her life.

I am thinking now she might be right, how I have drawn people dear to me who can’t do what Lee Martin says in a recent Facebook post,”I never forgot that when you truly and wholly love someone you forgive them for falling short, forgive them the injuries they bring you, forgive them for being less than what you want them to be.”I think how I’ve stood in the need of this kind of forgiveness and not received it. How I need to offer it back.

When is it time to let those people go, to shake the dust off my feet, like Jesus suggests when  you’re just plain not received? To let go the hurt and just clap those soles together and get walking? It’s a hollow thing when you’ve exchanged stories with people,  you thought you were friends, when they sidle away. I see why God says it’s important to tend the fatherless and the widow. Ever since my parents and brother died, I’ve turned to friends like family but they have moms and dads and brothers and sisters, sons and daughters right there, they are busy making dreams come true, so they’ve turned from me, because I am water, not blood.



Photo by Frankie Benson

Tessie jarred me as she walked fast behind Chris’s Ginger and Denise’s Cody but still  behind. She seemed uneasy to be last and I didn’t want her running up on the copper or brown hindquarters of the two ahead. I looked around at purple cone flowers, bee balm and wild black eyed susans, all in a riot around us, all taller than horse and rider, as we made our way through.

We got talking about empathy, how it’s important for nurses to empathize with their patients because Denise teaches them.
Chris said,  “That’s one thing I like about you, how you listen to my rants and then suggest I see it differently. After I ranted about my son-in-law, you said well maybe he’s afraid of losing my daughter. I’d never thought of that.

“You said the same thing about Ginger when she stopped at the water crossing on the way back to the trailer. I was so angry at her, but you said maybe she sensed some kind of danger. Trust your pony.”

This felt like blessing, that being showered with light we sometimes need. It felt like three women out riding their horses talking about all kinds of things and enjoying the day. Simply that.

I’m linking this to Kelli Woodford’s Unforced Rhythms.



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