In my last post I told you about my riding experiences. Something I didn’t mention is that right now I am learning to jump. I’m still doing very small jumps, but I am very impressed with myself. I am impressed at my lack of fear. I had a bad fall as a child and spent several years riding with a thudding heart that always exceeded the gait of my mount. The faster their feet went the faster my heart beat. I am impressed that in less than a year of (infrequent) lessons I have progressed in my flat (ground) work that my instructor now believes I can advance to this new skill. And, I am impressed that the horse is willing to take me into the air.
Jumping a horse (even the little jumps that I am starting with) feels like flying. Not the cramped, trapped experience of flying in a commercial jet. But rather how I think a bird must feel; unencumbered, propelled. I have been thinking about another experience I could compare it to for those of you who do not have horses in your lives. The only things I could come up with were riding on a rope swing and tobogganing down a snowy slope, but even those don’t really come close.
I am still working on a description that will do jumping justice but I think I may have to put that project on the shelf until I have done it a few more times. It is the type of experience that might be best described by a poet. My attempts remind me of Jodie Foster’s line in Contact when she sees the wonders of space “It’s so beautiful. They should have sent a poet.” (Apologies if I have the quote slightly wrong, but I love that movie.)
Write a poem that describes an experience that was meaningful to you. Stretch yourself and communicate the experience to someone who has never shared the experience. Think about how the experience made you feel. Did it trigger a memory? Or if you prefer, consider describing the experience from a point of view other than your rational mind. How would your stomach or your foot or another part of your body communicate the experience? People who are used to writing pros often shy away from poetry mistakenly believing that if you don’t have a gift for poetry that you can not write it. Nonsense, this poem is for you not a critic. Don’t feel constrained with style unless it helps your creative process. Write, express, ride, fly!