Retro Thursday 6-3-2021

 BY ATHLING2001

Waiting To Be Reborn

“If you live in the dark a long time and the sun comes out, you do not cross into it whistling. There’s an initial uprush of relief at first, then-for me, anyway- a profound dislocation. My old assumptions about how the world works are buried, yet my new ones aren’t yet operational.There’s been a death of sorts, but without a few days in hell, no resurrection is possible.” ― Mary KarrLit

I am waiting to be reborn.  I feel like a caterpillar enfolded in darkness, changes happening inside, waiting for the moment when bindings break, allowing in the shine of a new sun.  I don’t know what is waiting to be reborn. I never know. I do know something is changing: newness growing in the darkness, waiting to take wing and fly. I know this new beginning will be joyous, life expanding, another leap forward in the seven-league boots of my soul. I never consciously make the decision to be reborn.  My world turns inward, chatter quieter, characters hunkered, awash in the realization that I am not breaking but becoming new.

One day, when I least expect it, my life will split open and a fully formed butterfly will emerge, wings drying in new air. What color will those wings be? What shape?  What part of me will shine?

The mystery is waiting. One day soon miracles will occur.

I am waiting.

Waiting.

Retro Thursday 4-29-2021

What does it mean to be strong?

What does it mean to be strong? There are many kinds of strength. Physical strength. Mental strength. Psychological strength. Strength in math or writing or baseball. We all know what strength means, or do we?

The Dictionary defines strength as:

1the quality or state of being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance

2power to resist force: solidity, toughness

3power of resisting attack:

4legal, logical, or moral force;

5: strong attribute or inherent asset

6degree of potency of effect or of concentration (chili peppers in varying strengths) intensity of light, color, sound, or odor; vigor of expression; force as measured in numberseffective numbers of anybody or organization (an army at full strength).

7one regarded as embodying or affording force or firmness

8maintenance of or a rising tendency in a price levelfirmness of prices (the strength of the dollar).

9: basis—used in the phrase on the strength of (from strength to strength); vigorously forwardfrom one high point to the next.

Strength is inundated into our very being. We are expected to be strong, men and women both. Weakness is not tolerated in this world of succeed or fail.

The strength of our leaders, whether political, clerical, movie stars or sports heroes, has been transformed over the years. Men and women in positions of strength, whether mental or physical, are falling to weaknesses like wood into a chipper. Most people can name at least ten, probably twenty or more, leaders who have fallen from grace. Strength has come to mean invulnerability to many of those in positions of strength.

They are no more immune to attack and destruction than anybody else in this world. They are just better at pretending. There is no strength without weakness. Weakness is the ability to bend but not break. We all need to be strong and weak in equal measure. Those in power who feel that they cannot be torn down are broken because they refuse to bend.

Light cannot be strong without comparison with dimness. A chili pepper can’t be hot without the comparison of mild. An army can’t be strong if they are never willing to bend and fight another day. Phalanxes which fight to the death look impressive, but when the battleground is layered with bodies, what then? Was their strength well used?

One can’t be strong without having been weak. Otherwise, how would know you were strong? Currency can’t be strong without also being weak, even if we’d prefer it not weaken. One cannot go from strength to strength without first having been weak.

I hope that what we are seeing is a revolution against those who hold all the strength, those men and woman who wield strength to benefit them, not those who watch them or elected them or pay their salaries. Those people who think the rules and laws, not of nations, but of humanity, don’t apply to them.

In order for all of humanity to be strong, we must all be strong and weak. There is no strength in millions of people starving or having no safe place to live, no safe water or food, the security of knowing they are safe from the strength of those who would destroy them. Millions of tribesman murdered because they belong to the ‘wrong’ tribe. Strength?

Children bought and sold. Strength?

A finger on the Red Button? Strength?

Torturing an animal? Strength?

No to all the above, but many people will think strength.

This world will not survive on strength alone, no matter what definition you give to the word. So when you think about strength, remember that weakness can be as powerful as strength. Make sure you learn to be weak in order to be strong.

Retro Tuesday 4-20-2021

Do we leave a bit of ourselves behind in everything we touch, be it pencils, paper, a tree, a chair or even a moment of the day? A place where we’ve been, where the past and present and future collide? When I go somewhere, I can often feel the deep connection to the past. To the people who lived and loved there, to history going back hundreds or thousands of years.

The truth is, we probably do. We are all connected after all, down on the tiniest level, all made of the same stuff. You and I and the table and chair, the flowers in the garden, dogs, horses, everything in this entire world is connected at its tiniest points.

I once read that the breath I am taking now might once have been Lincoln’s. Or Cleopatra’s. King Arthur’s. Moses’. Or Joey’s down the street.

What an awesome thought that I breathe the same air as everybody who came before. That something of their lives remains and will always remain. For me, for my kids, my great-great-great-great grand-kids. (Supposing I have grand-kids at all.) That in their lives, they may breath the same breath which I am breathing now.

So do we leave something of ourselves on everything we touch? Of course we do. Nothing is ever created or destroyed. Just because we can’t always see it, or feel it, doesn’t mean it is not there.

I have my grandmother’s yarn basket in my bedroom and every time I see it, I think of her. Of the part of her which made that basket special to her and now, to me. If only a memory, she is there and isn’t that leaving something behind?

We all die sometime; there is no stopping that truth. But we aren’t gone because so much of us remains in everything which we touched with our lives. I like to think of my kids saving something of mine, whether a picture, a piece of jewelry, a dish or one of my model horses, something important to me, thus making it important to them. Something I have touched, something upon which I have left part of myself.

The past isn’t really past at all, not when everything we touch, everything we cherish, contains little part of us for all eternity.

Retro Tuesday 4-13-2021

The Art of Invisibility – April 2015

There’s a funny thing about being invisible. The Invisible Man, Harry Potter and his Invisibility Cloak, One Ring to Rule Them All, The Tempest and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Being invisible has always been a popular item in literature and movies.  When asked what superpower a person might like to possess, invisibility is usually high up on the list. But what if you were really invisible?  Or what if you’d made yourself as invisible as possible all your life but when you decide you want to toss off the invisibility cloak no one sees you even then.

Growing up, I spend all my time trying to be invisible.  I was horribly shy and inwards, mostly because of things that happened and because I’d never not known the feeling of depression. To protect myself, I became invisible, as skill I perfected over the years.

In college, I lived behind the mask of characters, terrified somebody would talk to me, I would freeze and look like an idiot. I didn’t trust anybody. I was afraid of everything and not just in that ‘I’m afraid of spiders’ way. I was drawn so far inward that I couldn’t make connections with the outer world.

And then I grew up. Don’t get me wrong, I was invisible well into adulthood and I liked it that way. It didn’t help that my ex liked me invisible. So, there I was, invisible until I had kids. I couldn’t be invisible with kids.  I learned to speak up, defend them, because I didn’t have any other choice.  The mother bear will protect her cubs even if she doesn’t want to come out of the den.

It took me years to come to the realization I didn’t have to live the life other people wanted for me.  I could live life my way. Visible. I no longer had to be afraid. I was in charge of who I was and who I became. Not my Ex. Not my family.  Not friends or acquaintances or bosses or TV or ads or anything else in the Universe.

I. Was. In. Charge. Of. Me.

Apparently, no one else got the memo.  I learned quickly that once people lose sight of you, you don’t appear just because you’ve decided to appear again.  I’m not talking about people I knew casually, but family.  When I finally separated from my ex, they were glad.  Why had it taken me so long?  When I became my own person, they weren’t happy.  I was no longer the person they expected me to be and they didn’t want that.  They wanted me to stand on my own two feet but only if I stayed the same person I was before.  But I wasn’t the same person.  How could I stay the same and change?  Not possible.

I’ve had to write the remainder of this post several times.  Each former attempt came out bitchy and childish.  I don’t mean to be.  I like taking the higher road, but sometimes I just need to express myself, bitchy or not.  I know what you are going to say.  ‘Are you sure it’s all them?’ Probably not.  I’ve never claimed I was perfect.  I don’t return phone calls in the time frame they expect. Bad? Yes, but I’m not a phone person and when I get overwhelmed by things, I just ‘turtle’ and do nothing. Could I do better?  Yes. Try harder? Yes. Do I want to do better? I used to say yes, but now, I’m not so sure.

Three examples (yes there are so many more but that’s where the bitchy comes in).  One – I wrote and read a short essay at my mother’s funeral.  Except for my Aunt, no one in my family acknowledged I had even spoken.  No ‘thank you,’ no ‘I know this must have been hard for you’. Nothing.  Friends of the family (and even people I didn’t know) came up to say how touched they had been by my words, wanting a copy. Family. Not a word.

Two – After years of cutting my own hair (not pretty I assure you), I got my hair cut and styled at a salon.  Nobody in my family noticed.

Three- I lost a noticeable amount of weight.  Did my family notice?  Nope. Not a word.

Bitch over (maybe).  Truth is I am hurt and angry.  I am willing to do anything they need.  All they need to do is ask.  Do they?  No, they don’t and then are angry that I ‘never’ help.  To hear them, I am selfish and think of nobody but myself.  So sorry for thinking we are all adults and should not expect mind-reading among us.

Perhaps I should accept that I am, and will be, invisible to them.  The sad part is I am almost at the point I don’t care.  Is it worth fighting invisibility in their eyes when I will never be visible for who I am?  How many times am I expected to try to explain who I am and why? It is hard enough to fight depression every day without living up to somebody else’s expectations.

The sad truth is I no longer feel comfortable at family gatherings.

I am the invisible woman.

Famous Cowboy Horses – Trigger 2-3-2017

 

I wanted to do something different, so I decided to dust off my other love – horses – and see what developed.  What developed is a look back at one of the most famous of the ‘Cowboy Horses,’ Trigger.

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Originally named Golden Cloud, Trigger was portrayed by several different horses over his TV and movie career, including Trigger, Jr. and Little Trigger. According to some reports, Golden Cloud was sired by a Thoroughbred, out of a grade mare. He was foaled in 1932 or 34 and died in 1965.  The different Triggers were distinguished by their marking.  The original Trigger only had a left hind stocking and a wide blaze.

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Trigger

Trigger, Jr. was a Tennessee Walking Horse named Allen’s Golden Zephyr. A Palomino sabino, he was foaled in 1941, by Barker’s Moonbeam, out of Fisher’s Grey Maud. Roy purchased him 1948 and he died in 1969. Trigger, Jr. was mostly used for public appearances. He had four white stockings and a wide blaze..

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Trigger, Jr.

I have not found any reference to Little Trigger’s original name, foaling date or when he died. While Trigger, Jr did mostly public appearance, Little Trigger was usually the stand-in for TV and movies. He had four stocking and a narrow blaze

 

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Little Trigger

There is also a reference to three additional Trigger doubles – Pal, California and Monarch. The only other information found was a picture of Roy on Pal. Since this horse had only three stockings, he is not Trigger, Little Trigger or Trigger, JR..

roy-and-pal

Trigger’s first movie was The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1938. He was ridden by Maid Marion, played by Olivia de Havilland. When Roy Rogers was cast for the movie Under Western Stars in 1938, Trigger was brought to the set with four other horses so he could pick a mount for the movies. He chose Golden Cloud, shortly thereafter named Trigger. In all, the pair starred in more than 80 films, 101 episodes of The Roy Rogers Show and many public appearances. Trigger shared top billing with Roy on the movies My Pal Trigger in 1948 and Trigger, Jr. in 1950. Roy eventually purchased Trigger for $2,500, later adding the $5,000 gold and silver saddle so familiar to all his fans.

Roy said of Trigger, “He could turn on a dime and give you some change”. (IMDb Mini Biography By: Roy Rogers Jr.)

He also stated “he felt that Trigger seemed to know when people were watching him and that he recognized applause and just ate it up like a ham!” ( IMDb Mini Biography By: Roy Rogers Jr.)

Trigger was called the “Smartest Horse in the Movies” due to learning well over 60 tricks such dancing, rearing, untying ropes and shooting a gun . He was house broken so he could visit children’s hospitals.

For the movie Son of Paleface (1953), Trigger won a Patsy Award (Performing Animal Television Star of the Year). In 1958, he won the Craven Award. He was so famous, he had his own comic book, Trigger, and his own Fan Club.

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When they died, both Trigger and Tigger, Jr.were taxidermied and displayed at the Roy Rogers Museum.  When the museum closed, both were sold.

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Sources :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_(horse),

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1022326/bio,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_horses,

IMDb Mini Biography By: Roy Rogers Jr.

http://www.happytrailsforever.com/animals.html

http://www.royrogersworld.com/trigger/

https://rogersdale.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/trigger-and-his-doubles/

Pictures are from Pinterest and https://rogersdale.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/trigger-and-his-doubles/

 

If you find any of this information incorrect, please contact me so I can update this essay. Thank you.