Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wrapped in my Memory like Chains

When my friend Terrill died last July I found it really soothing to listen to a song titled "Wrapped in My Memory" by Shawn Smith. He wrote it when a mutual friend died in 1990 so it's nice that I know the story behind it. But it also makes me think of Terrill, especially the line "before you started to fade, you gave me something to believe in." One of the biggest lessons I learned from Terrill was to enjoy life. She also had an autoimmune disease (Chron's) and that didn't slow her down or hurt her attitude. Even brain cancer didn't hurt her positive attitude. I feel like I learned so much by her example. You'd have to meet her to really understand how happy and friendly she was and it wasn't in a fake-cheerleader way, she really was that happy and caring and friendly. Not saying she didn't have terrible days but she didn't dwell on it.

After the first day of school my daughter and another little girl insisted I meet the other little girl's parents because they were "going to best friends". It turns out the little girl's mother, Susan has that same happy, caring spark that Terrill had. She just loves life and is very caring without all the walls and pretensions that are so normal these days. I wonder if it is because Susan is from Ireland and Terrill was from a tiny town in South Dakota called Miller. A town so small you had to drive an hour just to get to a movie theater. It makes me wonder a lot about American culture and "city culture" and how we really are compared to how we think of ourselves.

On my long drives out to see Girlfriend I've been listening to books on tape to make the drives less drudgery. I got half way through Scandalmongers and then had to return it to the library. But I hadn't thought about the founding fathers of our nation in a long time and how there were lots of fights about "immigrants" and battles over how the government should be run. And lots of backbiting and name calling and everything that still happens today. It makes me wonder if we are a country based and run solely on rhetoric and propaganda. What if our country is a house of cards created by slogans and ideologies that run no deeper than a lobbyist's pocket book.

Anyway, I had to take that book on tape back because it was overdue and had some holds on it. Now I'm listening to Chosen By a Horse which is a memoir of a woman who fosters a rescue horse. It's told in that "talking with a friend over coffee" way that is really easy to read or in this case listen to. And anything horse-like I really enjoy. It surprises me at the same time how much the writer doesn't understand how horses think, but then I've noticed lots of people who grew up with horses don't seem to understand horse mentality. I think it's because they don't ever need to learn it. The only reason I've been learning it is because when I asked my instructor if there was any way I could one day be a trainer she said, "Yes - but you need to ride as many horses as you can and read every book on horses you can get your hands on."

In other news, chickens really like pumpkin guts. I discovered that first hand yesterday.

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