Horses’ lips are incredibly sensitive, tender, selective and strong. They are everything you want in a friend, lover or parent – I’m sure anyone can add to that list! A horse, in a matter of milliseconds, can separate out what they want to eat, don’t want to eat and what they will save for later. The last category goes pretty much unfilled for a horse, their sense of the future being minimal. The act of editing is so valuable. Discrimination gets a bad rap when you look it in the face, but if used to avoid a pitfall of any human order it is invaluable.
Animals I have lived with have been my teachers in this. I learn watching them raise their young, and, while it took me quite a while, my cat Peaches taught me all I need to know about raising my children. I just needed more time than she gave me. In seeking life’s work I had only to watch my horse or dog teach me over and over again – not always patiently – that doing what I am suited for is the only way to go.
This is my dog Beeker, he is in the first batch of canine professors I had. His buddy Bibsie used to sit outside the door of my parents’ kitchen and shiver when she saw one of us. She would stop when we turned away. She taught me a lot about the world of pantomime and the truth of the gesture.
Beeker would defend me or my sister from anyone. Pictured here I have a rope around him. I remember well searching for that rope. It was about connection, making a bond visible, palpable, discernable. Not about keeping him with me. He is with me still.
I grew up with corn like this I took yesterday near my house. I remember planting it, weeding, pulling suckers, weeding, picking. I remember the time when everything is a teaching, every moment holds a kernel to grow. It still does. I have to be there. With my sensitivity, tenderness and selective strength. I have to be here.