Expression of the Divine, Part I: Stalled

pen and ink of Tal by Erick Moreau

I’ve been stalled. And so has he, Tal, my Talisman. We’ve been here before. I’ve had writer’s block again and he developed sore feet again. This is the horse who one day last Spring was dramatically healed from laminitis that held him stall-bound until the day I posted a story on my blog after being “stuck” in the mud with no writing. After not moving in his stall either on his own or with my encouragement on halter, he started walking immediately after I posted the first horse story in weeks or maybe months. He recovered quickly from that day on, moving forward as was I…. until recently. (See Day Three. Zigzagging With Realities-Hoarding.)

So here we were again, neither of us “moving forward.” Just as before, the reliable solutions that have always worked in the past, weren’t working as they had at other times, including taking him off of green pastures which always had helped. Sensing the spiritual connection in solving the problem, I zigzagged again between the physical and the mystical realm. Will I ever trust it? The rules are different,… well… actually it’s more about letting go of the rules. I moved between a peaceful deep knowing that my writing and posting the horse stories would help, and a fearful state of “you’ve got to be crazy!”

Joe Camp in his book, The Soul of the Horse Blogged, uses the word “tharn”, a made up word, in describing his own struggle of the soul. It is from the movie, Watership Down, in reference to when rabbits freeze in the headlights. I was feeling tharn!  Sometimes it is difficult to know when to merge the conventional with the spiritual, and when to walk away from it and surrender to a totally new way of doing something that has no roots in the traditional world. This is especially difficult when threatening physical manifestations scream at us and rip us away from our newer and more fragile spiritual truths. My own weaknesses, and unknown blind spots taunt me as I try to embrace a new way of interacting with these sentient beings each time a new challenge is presented. When I can accept what my heart and these horses are telling me, it is absolutely remarkable. I sometimes feel forced into this realm like a child having a tantrum when there are no other choices left that are workable.

As I reflect on what Tal was telling me last Spring, I’m hoarding again. There is an interrelationship between hoarding and not moving forward. What a reflection of my status quo. He was manifesting a physical condition that was a reflection of my spiritual condition. I was hoarding the stories the horses were giving me by not sharing them, and as I was to discover later, hoarding myself for fear of exposing that crazy, mystical side that might slip out in ways I hadn’t intended. I had my reasons of course. I’ve experienced 3 deaths in the past 3 months, but Tal wasn’t letting me get by with that one. There were really other reasons which I’m still sorting out.

So Tal was telling me once again to write. And write I must. In the meantime, he was off pasture; an effective supplement for laminitis was on its way; I was administering homeopathy for pain (he would always give me confirming feedback by taking a few steps forward within a minute of receiving the remedy); and I realized that fortunately we have mud that happens to be strategically located near his stall where he could plant his feet where cooling made his hooves feel better. I put his food in small piles so he was encouraged to walk to get the circulation going which helps heal. I felt I had all bases covered, and in my mind, brushed my hands off in a gesture that indicated I had everything under control… or so I thought.

It didn’t work out that way. Tal had other ideas! I have learned through the years that the horses are an expression of the divine in my life, and do deep spiritual work on my behalf and others, many times in marvelous spiritual pageantry with all of nature. They reflect my body and soul and often work as divine “surrogate messengers”. This term was given to me by Allen Schoen, in his book, Kindred Spirits. I had been struggling with how to define my experience, and there in a moment of synchronicity and magic was the language that satisfied. As I’ve expressed before, this is not to say that we cause their maladies, it is far more complex than that, and far more beautiful when we truly understand the gifts these wise souls offer us. Even a glimpse is humbling.

With all of this information and “knowing”, did I write? No. Typical of our culture’s mode of setting aside things of spirit to a lower priority, I had company coming and needed to get ready, and postponed! Still in denial, I knew in my mundane way of thinking that he would improve because he wasn’t as bad as he’d been the prior time. But Tal didn’t improve. We faced a stormy journey ahead with the battle of my soul.

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