Emotions are messy. You could choose to look at it that way; but we are emotional beings. Last night, I drank three glasses of wine – extremely rare for me these days – and cried on Pinterest. Laughing is permissible here.
Since I work in the marshes where emotions have become stuck, or else helping where they are rushing forth like a waterfall, I teach people about “safe places.” I help them find one, make one, or visualize one. Mine is the barn. That is where the smell of horses, leather, and particularly the smell of those two united by sweat, presides. It is where I have learned so much, and worked through tough things.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had my own horse. If you’ve read my post about Annie, it explains why. I have committed to waiting until Cole, my youngest, is five and launches into kindergarten, before I reevaluate whether there is room in my life for another horse. They require so much, and they demand all of you while you are at it.
So, for now, I have a pinterest board, and on hard days or nights, I sit and look at the visuals, and shift into my memories of their smell and movements. I celebrate their elegance, mass, and all the other contradictions they carry. I think of the time I saddled Annie, and then leaned into her neck and cried because I was sad, and she leaned back against me and softened and we had the best ride I can recall having with her.
What was going on last night? I sat down and faced the fact that a beautiful and vibrant woman died. She is the mother of one of the people I hold dearest on this planet, a woman with soul and spirit – an amazing mom and woman who will face the rest of her life with only memories of her irreplaceable and absolutely, outrageously, imperfect and glorious human mother. My friend has taught me things; she has helped me grow, and my heart hurts for what she is facing.
Emotions do make things messy. Giving them flight is scary. Sometimes we want them to go, go, go away. I wish we could have permission to own them, and make space for others to have them, whatever they look like. My friend has taught me about laughing, hard, and making others laugh, even while things are messed up all around you – and especially deeply within you. She has taught me what beauty looks like walking on this earth. I love her because she is real, and sometimes messy, and amazing. I hope for her – that her grief is able to rip through like a hurricane. I hope it doesn’t pool or become too black. I hope she takes room to do whatever it is she needs to do, because I love her and I mourn the loss of her sweet mama.