Ebony is our 10 year old thoroughbred. She was gifted to us, we, the never had a horse before city folk. My wife so wanted her in our lives. So be it. As with most choices made in my life, the best ones have come to me when I have allowed them to.
She runs. That’s what she likes to do. Who she is. Her head cloud high, striding like a Chopin prelude with all muscles woven in beats per minute sync, she looks to me, though there is no such thing, perfect. If I may indulge only my perspective for this moment in describing her, she looks happiest to me when she runs, as if into herself. Selfishly, just standing there watching her run, I understand something. My sense of her. Ebony, being Ebony.
She is dependant on us for many things. Among them, food and fluid. We deliver them to her mostly on time. Should we be late with them as we sometimes are, Ebony doesn’t seem to mind. Much. With each of us, she has a way. Around my wife, she is calm and allowing. Petting and stroking is most welcomed and relaxed. With me, she likes to snuggle her face all around mine, circling my shoulders and neck for minutes, both of us kissing each others breath. Are these things as essential as her food and fluid?
She likes the sprinklers in the summer, rolling on the ground and telling us in no uncertain terms that another apple would be nice. Please. No convincing.
Every week she ‘back doors’ four wheel barrows full. One of our neighbors detests the telling aroma. We do not mind either our neighbor’s telling looks or the aroma of her weekly bio piles. Others in our neighborhood and a few local friends are grateful. They have gardens.
So what do we depend on from Ebony? To pull a plow? Nope. To win races? Nope. To take us on glorious excursions over the nearby hills? Nope. To protect us from local gargoyles? Nope.
What we do depend on…..is each other. To live. To take care of. To be taken care of. Simply, to be. You could argue she is more dependent on us than we on her. I would argue that’s beside the point. Get my point?
It has dawned on me a that as of late, I have been getting lost, caught up, sideswiped by my own self and in general terms, way too immersed in all that I have been digesting about our sphere gone mad, then posting on it here and there, and that quite frankly, I am showing signs that as I have been learning so much more, I have been noticing so much less.
It got me wondering about the yin yang of how we rely on our honoring and labeling of our given or accorded knowledge on a given subject and also, how we define and come to regard what we claim as our intelligence. To me, it’s only vainly measurable, like it would be in attempting to guesstimate how many red people live inside a red balloon.
On the one hand, we give much weight to, and arguably so, those who are by their track record(s), duly qualified to be considered good owners of both (or not), by both their historical consistency and experience. Though a tried and proven system of seeking balance in practicing our version of making progress, I have found that in this system we have a bit of a blind spot. And mind you many times, not a small one. It is a spot where our knowledge and/or intelligence seduces us to always think first, leaving as a secondary or last resort our senses. Our ability to notice something new and many times a thing so simple, we are effectively fogged in by the weight of our past findings and proofs.
The enigma of this attempt here to explain myself is that as much as I would love to be able to convince you of something, or bring you closer to my way of seeing a given circumstance, I must accept that I myself, in making my argument(s), am essentially closing myself off from your very same wish to convince me of yours. Intelligent argument and historical proof are wonderful building blocks, but by themselves neglect to include our senses that often cannot be fitted into any column heading or filed by date or time.
Since the beginning, many of us have chosen a human mate even when our gathered knowledge and intelligence would suggest “Hey buddy, that might not be a good idea.” Something beyond our valued measurement sticks is at work here.
But One Enigma Example: Great trial lawyers are great trial lawyers not because they believe or know. It is because the best ones are prepared or willing for their knowledge to at some point be shattered.
In defending Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped, held hostage, then took on a physical role in committing crimes beside her captors, was then arrested and blamed for the crimes of her captors, F. Lee Bailey watched as his client handled a weapon in the courtroom as if she were born with it in her hands. His vision of the wronged little girl was for the moment, completely broken. In that instant, he himself admittedly thought all was lost. His personal belief in her innocence, based on the legal argument that one cannot be kidnapped against their will (stealing the princess from the castle), then effectively be recaptured and then be held singularly accountable for her captor’s crimes, was absolutely shattered. All his intelligence and knowledge of the law, its proceedings, precedents and statutes were relegated to a feeling of utter helplessness.
That she was eventually found guilty by the jury is not my basis for argument on the point I’m attempting to make. Poppa Hearst had deep pockets, and Mr. Bailey, though he has taken on pro bono cases, was not known as a humanity first lawyer. We could argue until we’re blue in the face about this. I have no desire to do so here. And won’t. My point is that relying on our knowledge and/or intelligence alone often keeps us from absorbing a better or more complete understanding of what is right in front of us. Our knowledge traces us. Our sense calls to us.
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