I know I’ve been quiet lately. As a matter of fact, I did drop off the edge of the Earth, to the land of
Takahe Parrot Chickens. It was a wild adventure; a series of clinics in New Zealand and Australia. An opportunity to meet horses on the other side of the world. A chance to converse in my birth language and understand nothing.
It was like most trips. You think it will be amazing, you do your best job of preparing yourself, and then it’s even more amazing. Even the things that went wrong were amazing. “Amazing” becomes a trite word amazingly fast.
I was gone for six weeks, and even with frequent updates from the best barn manager in the world, it was a long time. I knew that a certain donkey noticed my absence and counted days. I knew a certain herding dog with a near-operatic bark was holding his breath. Seasons were changing on my farm and I wasn’t there. Writing saved me.
Every day flew by at a dead run. I was doing what I love best and being appreciated for it. Am I lucky or what? Bliss, followed by a shadow of prairie homesickness. At night, writing was a solace for me. A way to return home for a while. I found my ground in the habit and comfort of writing. Like a best friend, my experience became real when I shared it with my words. Sure, I keep my writing discipline on shorter trips with no challenge, but this was different and a bit surprising. I didn’t expect the friendship the words returned to me.
Beyond the usual blogging about horse/life, I posted some ironic travel blogs. It was a treat write in this vein; I’ve linked them at the bottom of this post if you missed them. I confess, I kinda love them.
I was also working on the final edit of my poetry book, Horse Prayers. I should have been arranging and tightening the collection. Pulling a few out, finding photos to go with others. I still waver on poetry; I’m addicted to the process of writing poems. It’s like carving a tree into a sculpture of a small bird. Still, poetry from a farm feels like uneven territory in the literary world.
But instead of editing the poems, I pondered my life. As I paged through the collection, each poem was like a snapshot. My corrections rested, and I let myself be lifted carried by those words that I wrote but never owned. There was a sublime connected/separation.
THIS WEEK: For new readers, I started this blog to have a place to talk about books and writing, separately from the place I continue to write the horse stuff at annablakeblog.com. Things have stayed in neat piles exactly like they do in my underwear drawer.
And now, I’m back in my studio and working the final edit of Horse Prayers. No, really this time. I’ve enlisted a couple of beta readers, otherwise known as friends who will be blunt and honest, to help with the tune-up. Best of all, I’ll be getting the cover proofs back from my designer in a week or so. The release date will be in early summer. The process of a thought-cloud of words landing in real life as a solid book still feels like magic.
In the meantime, why not take a little trip to the other side of the world…