Thursday, February 02, 2006

Where Does This Horse Go?

I'm at the precipice of a new era and am more worried than energized: What am I going to do with my life? Do I follow one of my career dreams (newspaper job, documentaries, photographer, oral history projects) and be poor or continue sucking on the corporate teat and possibly obtain a house/horse/child someday? I think I know the answer and yes, I like Ramen just fine but the question has been keeping me up nights lately.

I was discussing this quandary with my horse pal, Erika, this evening when suddenly I remembered to tell her about a dream I had a few weeks ago. I was on some UC Davis-type campus and saw a horse who had clearly escaped from the Equestrian Center - he was naked and looked like a kid that had jumped out of the bathtub - wheeeee! Naturally, I had a halter with me (doesn't everyone?) and quickly caught him, a big chestnut-colored fella.

With my new friend in tow, we embarked on one of those epic surreal journeys that only the subconscious (and perhaps Lewis Carroll) can create. Agreeable and sporting, he followed me everywhere - we hopped on floating wood chips, up and down stairs, through closets and even broke up a make-out party, all in an effort to bring him home. I also specifically recall bringing him down a ramshackle wooden hallway that seemed to get smaller the farther we went. He just put his head down, trying to fit. In reality, a tight space like that would not be accepted by any horse I know, at all.

Eventually, my horse teacher, John, came along and joined the effort but the dream ended with no conclusion. When I awoke, I was steeped it that powerful yet serene feeling you get from having a 1,000+ pound animal follow your lead. The internal residue of this sensation stayed with me throughout the day, to my great comfort.

After I described all this to Erika, she immediately remarked, "It's just like what you were talking about with your life and career - trying to find a home for this huge part of your life, asking yourself, 'Where does this horse go?'" A-ha!

This is exactly why I keep people in my life who are smarter than me, so they can figure stuff like this out. Anyway, as I continue to drag my future prospects around on a rope, if anyone knows of a comfy Heather-sized stall with good clean hay, I'd be much obliged.

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