Today I rode a Colombian horse who had the smoothest gate I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t even have to post while we trotted up and downhill, over large rocks and around trails completely unfamiliar to me. I lost a stirrup several times, once while going downhill at a canter, and I thought I was going to go over his head. With this in mind, I also remembered that people ride bareback all the time and usually survive, so I used my thighs to hold onto his barrel, not squeezing tightly enough to accelerate but enough to get my balance back. When I finally regained my flow, I was sitting back in the saddle and rolling with his gait like I’d never done before. It was fluid, in sync, and I realized that it was something that I could’ve done years ago if I hadn’t been afraid to fall. It’s amazing what you can do when you value true, real experience over base survival. Several years ago I would have insisted that we stick to a walk, but now? I’d much rather get hurt riding a beautiful Colombian horse than be safe watching someone else do it. And so I did it.
An object that is acted on,
Hoping that men would be good enough to not take advantage of her.
At the will of others, her safety in their hands.
But no one’s hands are as delicate or cautious as her own.
Sitting duck, water fowl
Likened to game, and accurately so, but the fowl isn’t that which is preyed upon but that which does the preying.
Floating. Trust in tiny laps that nip at the belly, deception buried within that grey and putrid water, seeping through the feathers and into the skin.
Hear the gunshot, flap its wings, fly away one step ahead of its pursuer, because one step is the most you get
In this deadly mating game.
What am I without my language?
Identity based on words, brittle definitions of external stimuli. External stimuli that spurs the internal, thought, but that is also in my language.
What part of me exists apart from man-made communication devices? Who am I without a vocabulary and who am I with one?
Educated, smart, I speak like a scholar. Or poorly, I speak like a peasant. Two identities at once, coexisting simply because of a language that I didn’t grow up speaking creates an identity entirely separate from the individualistic one I’ve forged for myself over twenty years.
If I am what I speak, then am I culture? The one I grew up in; the intuition I prize may just be a product of moderate socialization.
Traveling forces one to confront who they are in a way that’s endemic only to language. How much of the mind is strewn in words like scattered stars that eventually make up a galaxy? How much of the mind means nothing at all? How flexible is the self, the id, the ego, the super-ego? We must be more than our surroundings.