For the last month or so, I’ve been caught up with questions about my life.  Maybe this comes from recent health issues or thoughts about retirement, but the flood of questions goes something like this:

  • Where have I been putting my energy? Does that really reflect what I value or enjoy?
  • What parts of my life feel suffocating and what parts are energizing?
  • What has changed for me at this point in my life?
  • In what ways are my actions carried out without thinking about whether or not they have any meaning for me any longer?
  • Am I just doing these things because that’s what I’ve always done or what I think I “should” do?

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My horse Shadow, 1998

Prologue: I wrote this for a reading at my writer’s group to discuss where I am as a writer. WARNING: It contains some swearing and crazy-ass thinking. I’m still grieving the loss of Luke. And it appears any time you suffer one loss, it brings up feelings from all the other losses in your life. As I explained to my writer’s group, I may often be quiet on the outside, but my brain is very busy and very vocal on the inside, and it sounds something like this…

Since Luke died, I’ve been trying to figure out who I am.

I know that sounds very silly, coming from a woman my age. Or just silly in general because, of course, losing a horse, no matter how much I loved him and how much a part of my life he was, doesn’t change who I am. I’m still me.

Of course.

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horse running

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. It’s as though I turned sixty last March and my brain stopped formulating thoughts into words.

No, that’s not the whole truth of it.

There was a lot going on besides reaching an age that could be called “old.”

My horse, Luke, had been having one heaves* attack after another. I would find him wheezing and coughing this horrible ratcheting sound, followed by a long moan that raised goosebumps on my arms and made my own breathing stop. I’d call the vet, cry while I waited, unable to do anything but massage Luke’s neck and press my face against his fur.

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