Horse week…who says a week has to start on Sunday or Monday?

March 19, 2009 § 8 Comments

Oh, hallelujah – it’s Thursday. Who doesn’t love Thursday, so full of hope, so full of to-do lists for the weekend coming – thursday rocks, this singular day with its own evening charisma, this eve of the eve of the weekend. And so rather than choosing a color but instead a topic, the photo/anecdote/book theme has been nominated. 

This week’s (personal) photo challenge is … HORSES.

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When is lunch hour not a lunch hour? When you  need something more than, or rather than, food.  So I eschewed the sandwich, the run to Trader Joe’s for a small tray of sushi, the coffee-and-scone at Starbuck’s.  I snarfed down the lunch I had packed – celery, banana chips, yogurt – just after a fairly energetic meeting and just before a re-org of files and project planning. 

By noon, I was ready to escape. The sun was out. It was a light-jacket day. I fled down the long hallway to the  building’s foyer and into the air, my keys and earrings jangling.

I had no idea where I was going but this morning, I had tossed my camera into my purse. 

I thought about going home. There is so much to do there, not the least of which would be surprising the dogs and taking them for a mid-day walk. And maybe scrubbing and polishing things, some good honest work, getting that shine on the hardwood floors and bannisters. Maybe reading in the sunlight in the living room, a place we rarely sit during any day. How does it look at lunchtime on a weekday?

Little matter. The car chose the path.  I turned into parking lot at Longview Farm. A lovely walking park. Lots of trees, forest, a pond, rimmed with walkways and a fountain at its center. People, dogs, picnics. Lots of little kids, the kind that Moms stay home with, some grandparentss. Some walkers, one runner, and hopping out of one car, a tiny little Boston terrier, like the one in the ad that’s trying to get back home, the one that makes me cry. And right behind this tiny Boston T, a King Charles spaniel. Egads. Breeds on parade.

I took my camera, locked up my car and strode toward the pasture. I could see the horses, far from the path, munching munching munching smack dab in the middle of the field, far from the madding weekday crowd. I didn’t care. I would use my zoom.

I didn’t recognize either horse. I am a fairly frequent visitor there and have already several times visited photos of the Longview horses on these blog pages.

Nope, I knew neither horse. Didn’t care. One came over, came closer. I had no horse snacks today, no carrots, no peppermints.  I clicked away. Hadn’t I taken all the pictures there were to take of the blond Belgian who had preceded him, of the quarter horse with the big white star between his ears, of the old horse, a two-toned sorrel? Wasn’t the scenery where I have been so many times now static? Was there more? Oh, yes. 

I have often thought how cool it would be to keep the camera in one spot and take pictures like so many have done. (Have you seen the movie SMOKE? Harvey Keitel’s character sets up his camera every morning on a corner in Brooklyn, in front of his cigar shop and let it take pictures. He happened to catch the image of a customer’s wife on film, before she dies. He pastes the daily pictures into an album, album after album. It’s a great film, really, if you can be patient and let the story unravel.)  Where would I set my camera if I were to go for the repetitive idea? Certainly at a horse barn.

So this week is horse picture week. One could do worse. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches (Robt Frost); one could do worse than be a photographer of  horses.

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Book Selection …

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Lonesome Dover by Larry McMurty. It’s a 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner. I am not intimately familiar with the requirements of a PP winner, but if it had anything at all to do with length (ridiculous, I know) than that would be part  of it. It has taken me ages to get through the first 70 pages. I will keep going. Not in one sitting, though.

It’s the saga of  some Tx Rangers taking a herd from Texas to Montana. All the guy stuff, the land, the space and the space within each of them is in there. I started it because in some book on writing, I had read the McMurty did great dialogue and that he got away with mixing point of view s within dialogue. Breaking rules without doing one damn bit of harm; on the contrary, in fact. So whether reading for story or for technique, Lonesome Dove seems a fine choice though not exactly a beach read. And it will be easy to resist getting the made-for-TV movie on Netflix. Nope, not gonna do it.

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§ 8 Responses to Horse week…who says a week has to start on Sunday or Monday?

  • Bellezza says:

    I loved Lonesome Dove. It IS ridiculously long, but I come from a long line of cattlemen (three generations in The Chicago Stockyards); that was probably part of it’s appeal for me. I’d say to stick with it though, just for the experience of living in the Wild West with the cowboys. Of course, if you hate it, no sense continuing.

    I went at it rather ass backwards; Lonesome Dove was the first I read, and now I’m going to read Comanche Moon (probably this summer). That’s definitely out of order. Still, overall, I found Lonesome Dove quite an experience.

    I hope your weekend is good!

  • ds says:

    On the road leading to one of my favorite walking spots there is a horse farm. I passed it the other day, and the horses were out. The paddock fence is inches from the road, so there’s no place to stop and do what you did, but I thought about it. There were a couple of sleek brown fellows (as in your photos), a big-ribbed swaybacked blonde, and a tiny pony still shaggy in its winter coat. Spring must truly be here. One could indeed do far worse than be a photographer of horses–what fun! But keep swinging from birches, too (beginning your week with Thursday definitely qualifies as a birchy swing). Happy mid-week!

    Harvey Keitel was in an art film?!

  • Snarl says:

    How dare you go and not take carrots to the horses. Besides, that’s the best way to lure them to the fence.

  • anno says:

    I loved Lonesome Dove, too; I hope you find it worth the investment of time. And the TV version is well worth watching, if only to enjoy the wonderful ensemble of Robert Duvall & Tommy Lee Jones (+ Diane Lane!). But then, I sometimes wish to live in Wyoming.

    All this horse watching… do you ride?

  • laylou says:

    Great pictures, especially the last one.

  • jeanie says:

    I waited for the photos — splendid! I can almost feel as though I’m there with you — the rush of the morning, the quick desk lunch and then free at last, letting the car and your spirit take you. Horses are so stately and strong. They give me strength, too, though my experiences ON them have been a little knee-wobbly! And anything but stately (It’s embarrassing having the horse hand try and get your pitifully too large body up OVER the saddle!) But I do love looking at them! Did you ever read Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry as a child? That was one of my favorites!

    Here’s to a glorious weekend! Hugs!

  • oh says:

    Thanks, Bellezza – I shall attack Lonesome Dove with renewed interest!

    DS – I am always amazed that those shaggy horse coats keep them warm all winter. Now as for the “art” film, yup, check it out. Harvey plays a very endearing character, too, in “Smoke.”

    Snarl – it’s you they like. I’m taking you along again when you’re home.

    Anno – Wyoming would be wonderful. I nearly accepted a teaching job there, years ago. Yes, I love to ride but I don’t have a horse and it’s been ages!

    Laylou – Really? the last picture? hmmmm… Listen, we have to call that horse rescue shelter and get going on that, eh?

    Jeanie – I can’t believe you mentioned MISTY – that’s the book I was going to include with these photos, then decided to use it with the next entry. I LOVE that book. And then visited Chincoteague and saw them! That was a thrill.

  • Carrie says:

    I LOVED Lonesome Dove. I actually wrote a high school English paper on it (& I really read it; then watched the mini-series). I guess being from the Lone Star State those characters tug at my heart from a different place. I mean… Clara… how could you not love Clara!?

    Love the horse theme btw! 🙂

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