Power and comfort

The studio is dark.

I am entirely at peace in this space – made small and comfortable by the light of one candle.  Muffled, intermittent cars drive north or south through slush outside and I stare out my big, arched third floor window at headlights, streetlights, house lights.  The clock ticks like a slow walk.

Epictetus has answered a question I had earlier,

” There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will ”  (translated from the original greek)
Epictetus, AD 55 – AD 135

Tara-free-lunge-Dec-31
powerful Tara, a horse I met on the last day of 2012

Tara is a highly athletic six-year-old purebred Canadian horse who came full of rage to her current owners and would not do as she was asked.  She resisted to the point where she became a dangerous threat to herself and everyone around her.  An old dominant mare at another farm taught her another way to be by insisting for three hours- repeatedly, fiercely, physically –  that she listen to and respect her elders.

These pictures of Tara four years since then show her free-lunging with her incredibly patient 16-year-old owner, and doing everything she’s asked to do … with great sass & personal style.

Power is not a simple thing.  Epictetus also maintains that “Suffering occurs from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.”
(taken directly from the page devoted to him in wikipedia – see link above)

A comforting confirmation for Tara and another for me from a greek slave who obtained his freedom and founded a school of philosophy.

Just a note,

I’m glad that Stephen Harper has found a way to respect and meet with the first nations people of Canada.  Too bad it took him 23 days of a hunger strike.

The day before Sandy

The wind is powerful today, even here.

Sudden southeasterlies are brutal and mean, knifing through whatever pitiful layers of outerwear I have:  Go in – NOW.  Find warmth.  Survive.  My God.  If it’s like this here, it must be utter chaos over the northeastern United States.

For reference, and thanks to The Ottawa Citizen and Google maps. more maps here:
http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/10/29/interactive-graphics-hurricane-sandy-storm-track-maps-2/

The sky’s heavy with blue-gray clouds pushed relentlessly backwards over bare whipping branches, roiling pine and cedar.  There is no place, no thing that is still outside.

The chestnut tree bends and flaps a final brilliant yellow,  asters glow their brave singing violet to the bruised sky.

I feel a deep, rumbling snarl rise in my gullet in answer to the harshness of this, as if I’m defending my home and young against a dangerous territorial threat.  So I bundle up my snarling gullet and stand defiant on the edge of the escarpment, belly, chest and face to southeast.

From here I can see the normally peaceful lee side of Owen Sound whipped from an indigo centre to a pounding froth – as though it’s suddenly remembered how to kill.

It’s good – to be reminded how small we are, on this planet.