Sunday, July 29, 2007
I had been told that Travis could be a little lazy and he certainly was at the start of the ride. Our MO was to walk at a snails pace until the horse in front was around 50 ft away, I'd ask him to trot, after a few nudges, grudgingly he'd oblige and we'd catch up with everyone. Actually as we got further into the ride, I think he got to like having me on his back a little more and we had some quite animated catch ups. On one of more energetic spurts i asked him to canter - but HELL NO was Travis' reply. Then we hit a nasty spot were there must have been a bees nest. A few of the horses got stung and bucked. Travis must have gotten stung and he started to kick his fellow equines. Unfortunately non of the victim's riders were able to get their horses past us quickly enough. I did try to force Travis' butt away from the other horses, but as there was another horse in front of us we were a little boxed in and there was nowhere for me to send him out of harms way. Ultimately, Travis and I were demoted to the rear.
Things calmed down until we nearly took out two small boys on bikes. Then the group who'd cantered ahead rode up behind us which made Travis jump out of his skin. I have a feeling he might have hurt himself when he kicked one of the other horses, because he was definitely spooked by anything getting behind him on the ride after that. The lady who lead the ride I think was named Nancy. I really enjoyed the experience and would like to go out with them again in the fall. I think it will do me the world of good to get comfortable cantering/ galloping with this group.
We passed some really cool waterfalls and homes , all of which made me think that if I could not live by the ocean , forest land with trails and bubbling streams would be an acceptable second best. Having braved a very scary yellow butterfly, Travis heaved a sigh of relief when we finally made it back to the parking lot. My legs were so weak I could barely swing them out of the saddle. I feel tomorrow will be painful. Allie did really well - cantered and did a nice rising trot.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
One of the guys, who I work with, Sanjiv, is Indian and Hindu, a religion that I find intriguing. He returned from a trip to this Wednesday and presented me with a carving of the Hindu god Ganesh. Ganesha is said to create the faith to remove all obstacles and Hindu’s worship and invoke the name of Ganesh before undertaking any venture or move. He tends to be placed prominently in a new home.
Significance of the Ganesha Form
Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesh holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties. The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.
How Ganesha Got His Head
The story of the birth of this zoomorphic deity, as depicted in the Shiva Purana, goes like this: Once goddess Parvati, while bathing, created a boy out of the dirt of her body and assigned him the task of guarding the entrance to her bathroom. When Shiva, her husband returned, he was surprised to find a stranger denying him access, and struck off the boy's head in rage. Parvati broke down in utter grief and to soothe her, Shiva sent out his squad (gana) to fetch the head of any sleeping being who was facing the north. The company found a sleeping elephant and brought back its severed head, which was then attached to the body of the boy. Shiva restored its life and made him the leader (pati) of his troops. Hence his name 'Ganapati'.
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their only way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.
But one creature said 'I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom!'
The other creatures said , 'Fool! Let go and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'.
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current accross the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream to whom he was a stranger, cried, 'see a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies!'
And the one carried in the current said 'The river delights to lift us free if only we dare to let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.'...
.....In the path of our happiness shall we find the learning for which we have chosen this lifetime.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Carey and I had plans to have an easygoing evening of a few drinks dinner and then bed early so that we could enjoy the beach on Sunday. Unfortunately as is the way with such plans – all caution flew to the wind and we ended up getting trashed and being altogether immature. It was fun – but the downside was a bit of a painful hangover on my actual birthday. Highlight of this day was the usual Sunday dinner at Zack’s with Jeff (Cat was off in DC/ with her nieces).
Jeff Bollinger (long time friend and dive buddy) was at the quarry teaching an Advanced Open Water class and Michele Carvale (another close dive based friend) was teaching Open Water, with her new man, Bill, assisting her. Pat Iapicca, the original owner of Hoboken Dive Center , was there with his two sons (one taking OW the other taking AOW). It was kind of nice being there and not teaching for a change. It reminded me of how much of a breeze assisting as a Dive Master had been, without the responsibilities/ stresses of instructing. Did a final dive with Michele’s class and worked just on valve management. Michele threw some well needed compliments in my direction and added that her dry suit (DUI as is the one I have on order) is as easy to work in as her wet suit, so I can’t wait to get mine.
Well this weekend started with a Friday night class at Charlie Fertion’s house. I’m taking an Advanced Nitrox Diving certification – which is proving to be very challenging on many levels. Anyone who knows me well can attest to my lack of mathematical prowess. I have developed into a fairly disciplined student though, and devoted many hours to getting my head around the math and formula’s of decompression dive planning. I can now say that I am comfortable planning a deco dive. Sadly, this was to the detriment of my spending time planning the practicalities of a deco dive, with all new equipment, and filled with skills. This resulted in a colossal clusterfu*k of a dive with Charlie on my first time out. The dive was followed by a critical evaluation, which was very difficult for me to handle - a feeling akin to failing my first (and second) driving tests. I take criticism far too much to heart and it’s been challenging to stand back and view the critique in the way it was intended. Also very frustrating, because I know this type of diving is within my capability. Class was concentrated around execution of skills which was great because I had arranged to dive on Saturday with Hans Kaspersetz (Allie’s husband) at Dutch Springs to practice drills.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Hans and Allie bought me a leather journal "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" and a fridge magnet "Leap and the net will appear". I think they are trying to tell me something:) I will write all of the things that aren't fit for public consumption in the journal!! No pictures because I forgot to pick up my camera.
Monday, July 16, 2007
After breakfast we shopped for our picnic dinner and bought sushi for lunch. We ate on the grass behind the theater where we were to see a Midsummer Night's Dream.
We had a glass of red wine and pondered our readings, I read a little. The play was good fun, although I find actors the strangest folk. After the play we headed to Tanglewood and set up to watched Andre Previn conducting Mozart's Symphony No. 29, Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1 in C and Ravel's Sheherazade. A good red Shiraz with cheese, bread, olives and hummus. Champagne and fruit to follow. The evening got off to a sophisticated start, but quickly proceedings took a downward turn, when we decided to imagine the conductor's sexual antics in terms of his conducting style. Very juvenile and nothing at all to do with me:)
By the time Ravel was underway we three had fallen into a deep sleep.
The next day we returned to Carol's and this time decided to each spend 30 minutes with Sheilaa Hite (www.intuitivesage.com). I had another great reading. This time based on Tarot cards and a palm reading. I was told that I had an old spirit and the hard time I'd had in relationships had been to do with the settling of old karma. I had been a seer in past lives. There was a great connection, for me, with the Ocean. Sheilaa also urged me to go to Mexico. She too saw photography and writing in my future. She said love was on the cards but that I had more to learn about myself first. I had a few years to go, although the lovers were entwined in the ocean. My future looked safe financially, people warmed to me, she said because of this gift I have of seeing people and would want to help me and give me things. My spirit was on a journey and would only stagnate in an office. I needed to move to grow. She urged me to move as soon as possible. Felt very inspired after breakfast and settled under a wise old tree with a glass of white wine and pondered life and my future while waiting for Allie and Cat.