Apolinaire – charcoal drawing by bev
While looking through one of my old journals, I found this conversation I had years ago with my first horse, current head guy in the pasture. It was good to be reminded of the behaviors that prompted this interaction that have changed since then. It was good to revisit how it happened.
Bev: Ok, Apolinaire, what is going on? I’ve been gone for 3 weeks and you won’t come to me.
Apolinaire: You’re not being authentic. You are being authoritarian with me…insisting for the sake of discipline that I come to you when what you really wanted was to come to me. Meet me along the way.
Busssted! He was right. I really had wanted to go to him. But I got caught up in a web of stoicism and of thinking he should come to me like a good submissive horse…and to give me ego strokes. Some needy part of me wanted proof that he had missed me and really cared that I was back. When he didn’t come, I surmised, hopefully perhaps, that he was upset with me for being away. Then the authoritarian in me decided I would hold out because he needed to get over it and come to me. Wrong. All of it, wrong.
For horses, it is about authenticity. He’s never been one to support what is not genuine in me no matter how much I try to coerce him. (Some who might not understand his motivation would want to call him stubborn.) There were times I ached for him to come through for me to show off… himself or mostly me! He absolutely wouldn’t budge.
On the other hand, if I access that place of authenticity even in a momentary thought, or letting go of a thought that is drenched in ego, he drops his head in affirmation and licks and chews, and often gives me a little nudge with his head which is the same as a pat on the back. He is so quick to give it that I often do a double take and have to rewind to grab what just changed inside of me.
One time he walked directly across a spacious paddock area headed straight for me like a man with a mission. It was intriguing to me that this happened at the same moment I was letting go of excessive mind chatter. I was standing within full view of him but so distracted by busy mechanisms in my head that I was completely unaware of his movement toward me until he was suddenly beside me. It was uncanny. The precision timing made it appear to have been staged. I think he was so relieved to have my mind quieting, that he was on his way before I had finished letting go and he barely slowed down as he reached me. In truth it is a thing of beauty, part of the magic of the horse, so finely tuned, moving in the moment without forethought, a thing called synchronicity.
When he came near, he reached out toward my arm with his nose and playfully gave me a “high 5” as his momentum carried him right on past me to another good patch of grass. I was left with a swinging arm as he had made his point in one swift move, and then was back to his peaceful munching.
I looked around wishing for a human to share the laugh, but was left with a more serious realization of how aware these beings truly are…and the importance of authenticity. It is another one of those gateways into the mystical.