Archive for March, 2009

March 25th, 2009

» lately

I need to get back in the swing of writing.

This last month has been a bit of an odd one. Plenty of good stuff, and plenty of melancholy — particularly the arrest, the shooting. A lot of things I haven’t really felt like writing about.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Iron & Wine this week. Can’t imagine life without “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” and “Resurrection Fern.” And have I mentioned yet how much I like U2′s new album? “Get On Your Boots” is my cross-country song for this summer. I need to get out and rock at least enough jumps to put together an Everett video to that song: one of my two summer goals.

This month spring’s making an effort, putting in shy little appearances. A week of sun and 40′s, 50′s — then stretches of rain, and today snow. Nothing for it, though.

Last night I dreamt about being on Survivor. We weren’t in the wild, though — all us contestants were just leaving a county fair, meandering back to the minivan that would take us to the next part of the competition. I was the second to arrive, after a jolly heavyset middle-aged man, someone who might be a mall Santa come December. He had already climbed into the first row of bench seats. Jeff Probst was in the driver’s seat, turned toward a stack of papers and his laptop piled on the passenger’s side. The van doors were all open, a summer breeze moving through, and I leaned in the side doorway, chatting with Jeff. I woke contented, loving what a nice, friendly guy he is, that dimpled smile. Guess I have a thing for dimples lately.

A few days ago I dream myself crouched at the open door of an airplane, falling forward into the bright blue rush of air below. I sink down, and after several moments remember that I will need, at some point, to pull my parachute. I slide my hands up along the harness straps on my shoulders, musing that I really should have reviewed this before my first solo jump: where the handle is that I’ll need to pull, when to pull it. I am not, I realize, wearing any kind of altimeter — wouldn’t know how to read it even if I were. I’m not concerned about any of this, though. I am unaccountably happy.

March 20th, 2009

» springing

Cloudcover. We’re walking back to the barn; for a moment I think I see lightning, but it turns out the far-off play of light, the glow blinking on and off, is a plane passing overhead, just beyond the solid spread of clouds.

We’ve just finished Friday Night Jumping. It’s Nemo and Everett, the two babies (coming six-year-olds, really, but babies enough). They have both been rockstars. We put up two four-stride outside lines (that is: a jump, meant to be followed by four canter strides, and another jump; we have one set down each long side of the arena, on the quarterline), and the flowerboxes on the diagonal. By the end we’ve raised the second jump in each line to a 2’6″ oxer — Everett’s first.

For the most part, he sails over the fences. His first handful of jumps are enormous — he feels like he’s clearing them by feet (which he probably is). The first few times we jumped (ever, not tonight) he had a tendency to bury himself at the base of each fence; he would suck back, grind to a virtual hault, then haul himself over. He’s figuring out now that jumping is fun, and that it’s much easier if you don’t stop before going.

The last line we do is lovely. He is still being kind of a shit in the arena, not wanting to go properly on the rail, wanting to plunge into the middle or toward the door — so I let him go a bit sideways around, butt swung in, until we turn to take the jumps. He accelerates on the turn, entirely game, excited, taking me to the fences. He offers to canter a stride before the crossrail (we’d been trotting into everything), pops over the oxer cute as can be. He is marvelous. I want to hold onto the feeling forever.