Show Me the Pony!

There is a lady who is the Ring-mistress, though she claims to be a “domesticated clown”, in her family’s circus of life, the lovely Belle of the Carnival. While busy juggling the necessities of family life artfully, she is also a graceful philosopher-provocateuse, posing and dilating upon and otherwise exploring questions of interest ranging from the when-why-how of developing creativity to her 4 January post asking whether ‘grass is greener syndrome’ is not still a very common problem among us. I, for one, can raise a hand affirming my vulnerability to that ailment.

It’s not exactly news that I’m always peering over fences and into shop windows with an acquisitive eye. My magpie lust for all things shiny, fabulous, mysterious, arcane or otherwise alluring is hardly a surprise to anyone, and I am certainly not above wishing myself as brainy, as desirable, as clever, as witty or as talented as another person. If not more so, she said sheepishly, for who doesn’t like the idea of being the best at something once in a blue moon? I thrive on the drive for what’s rich and beautiful and compelling.

colored pencil on paper

Mr. Congeniality

That’s when I look in the mirror and see someone who looks like Rasputin, and I mean the after-assassination version, when he’s been poisoned and shot and stabbed and clubbed and drowned and dismembered (!) and whatever else the Keystone Killers ultimately tried to bump him off. (This, because no matter how charismatic he was to some–and he really must’ve been charismatic to have the influence and power he gained, because let’s face it, he wasn’t exactly a Hollywood hottie and I’ve read that his personal hygiene, if any, was apparently ineffectual–there were those, including his assassins obviously, who found him wonderfully repellent.) So there I am, mirror gazing and seeing this unpleasant creature gawping back at me, and I think, Self, you need to switch out those nasty green glasses of envy for something a whole lot more rosy-toned. To which my inner self responds that clearly I am smarter than I look at the moment.

And I know it’s time to haul my inner Pollyanna back out of the cupboard. I need to be so optimistic as to not only see myself as perhaps worthy of a little envy myself but also to be surrounded by stupendous and spectacularly fine people, things and circumstances. Then I remember that I really am ‘all that’. Where others may be looking at life as a massive mound of manure and seeing only the steaming heap, I’m the village Natural who says, Well, if there’s all of this fine compost, why there must be a pony in here somewhere!

colored pencil on paper

Quit horsing around and show me the pony!

So I start digging. And I think, yes, I have got it great and I’m not such a slouch myself. Heck, I would trade lives with me if I were someone else! There might be enough little occurrences of peeling paint or math-phobia or hangnails or totaled cars or intestinal indisposition here and there in my oeuvre to keep me from appearing in any way fiction-perfect, but the sum total of my existence is, was and ever shall be (hope, hope) mighty nice indeed. Here I am, rolling on into my second half century with twenty-eight undaunted original teeth, working body parts basically functioning tolerably well, a decent education under my belt (any indecencies having been added by the recipient), living a comfortable and entertaining life with the Love of it (my life), and having a remarkable quantity of chances to meet fascinating and admirable people, to go astounding places, eat as much hypnotically delectable food as I dare (plus a little extra), wear whatever I jolly well want to wear, and not talk on the phone for whole days if I don’t feel like it.

In fact, my life is so good that I can admit to you that yesterday’s post about fantasizing favorite things in life is essentially all stuff I’ve already had the privilege of experiencing, some of it many times in different ways and combinations. Clearly, I don’t even have to be a terribly imaginative person to invent a fantastic life when I’m simply privileged enough to live it, do I. When you’ve seen a field of blue poppies pierced with late afternoon brilliance, you’ve stood in the hollows of the worn stone steps of Canterbury Cathedral watching history sift down in the dusty lamplight, you’ve eaten the exquisitely dainty Toast Skagen in Vaxholm where the shrimp apparently leapt from the sea directly onto your piece of buttery bread, you’ve crossed the Charles bridge over the Vltava in an evening mist so pearly that the statues seem to hover between inanimation and life–you have no need to go far to summon magical thoughts of all sorts into being. When you’ve carried a squalling baby over your arm singing an old nursery song until the colicky tension finally leaves her body in a sigh and she droops asleep, you’ve built forts in the shadowy midst of the tall Douglas-firs just to picnic there, you’ve ridden a train along the flanks of the Italian Alps and you’ve wandered Viejo San Juan to stand on the sandstone overlook and blink in amazement at the surreal turquoise of the crystalline seas, and you’ve had a sweet young calf nuzzle up against you in a grassy spring pasture, well, miracles must seem almost an everyday phenomenon.

It would be crass, given all of that, to sulk over things not had, places not gone. I’ve admitted to the infrequent twinge, more of a tiny zip of static really, but let’s face it, if I were to mope around coveting and envying I would be as big a heap of steaming whatsis as the aforementioned one that might or might not have contained the proverbial pony. So I will simply say that I am never permanently surfeited, what with being a mere mortal and all, and only consider each fresh miracle dropped into my undeserving but avid gift-receptacle lap as so much additional icing on the cake, another sparkler to add to my coronet of childish cheer and delight.

On which note, I must tell you that yet another unreasonably generous person has granted me the Versatile Blogger Award today. Pamela Zimmer, having been a most deserving recipient herself as the writer of the engaging and inspirational blog Stories of a Mom–ostensibly about being a mother (having devoted herself to this admirable and challenging art in trade for her previous profession as an architect)–sets a high standard for versatility herself. Somehow it seems appropriate that her name means “room” since her blog provides a welcoming place for finding like-minded and thoughtful and spirited companionship and insight, one of those homes-in-the-ether that are such a grand find through blog reading and writing. Many thanks to Pamela for this great kindness, and for reminding me indeed of this other boon I’ve been granted in the last year: finding a whole new world to explore and in which to meet, learn, rejoice, ponder, commiserate and laugh. These are among the riches that anyone viewing my life should well find enviable–though I’d love nothing more than that no one had need to envy me but would rather be equally rich and content.VBA logoI wouldn’t mind having a pony, mind you; however, our back patio mightn’t be the ideal digs for one, especially if that bobcat still lives in the greenbelt backing our property, so I’ll gladly accept in its stead the VBA, which I believe requires less hay and currying and de-worming medication. And I say, Thanks again for Everything!

30 thoughts on “Show Me the Pony!

  1. What an awesome, wonderful treat your words were today. A fresh reminder that, if we will just look at our lives and ‘see’, we experience miracles others can only dream about. Thank you for helping to remove those “green glasses” and put on the fresh ones. :)

    • So sweet of you, Ted. I think you’re better at doing that than you give yourself credit for doing anyway. :) It takes at least a tendency towards a pretty clear and positive view to produce the beautiful and inspiring images and words you post!

    • I think that’s a view we share, isn’t it! You find so many lovely and worthy things to share with us on your blog, whether on your magical travels or right in your own neighborhood, and that is indeed a gift.

    • Lovely Nia, I thank you as well. I only wish I could figure out how to get your photographyofnia posts to come to my email! I keep looking when I come to visit there but haven’t found the widget (if there is one) that allows an email feed. But I still love your work. :) Many blessings to you!

  2. I’m happy to see you pointing out the sometimes fascinating connection between the original meaning of a person’s name (in this case Zimmer, German for ‘room’) and what the person does or is (in this case an architect). You might not know that the English cognate of Zimmer is timber, which used to mean ‘building.’

    Another name-activity connection I came across recently involved a woman who started a group to help people in Texas after the destructive autumn wildfires. The woman’s last name was Feuer, which happens to be the German word for ‘fire.’

    • No, I didn’t know the ‘timber’ connection. Love the way the meandering paths of languages intertwine–so Byzantine! Ms. Feuer may not even have known what fired her up to do that work!

  3. I love looking at the world with rose-coloured glasses on even if at time I also indulge in the green with envy ones.
    It is a useful exercise to remind oneself of how truly lucky and grateful we can be for the cards life handed us. Kathryn l Thank you :-)

  4. You could keep your pony in your bathroom and take it for walks, you could sell the manure to gardeners! I loved this post and well done getting another award for versatility! My grandfather was a rabbiter and his name was CunningHam..ok that one doesn’t work… love celi

    • Haha, the pony could do the fertilizing right onsite at the moment, as I’m wintering some plants in the extra bathtub since there’s a window in that bathroom. As for Grandfather, it does indeed take Cunning to catch a rabbit. Makes me think of an old German saying I came across somewhere: “Wer zwei Hasen auf einmal jagt, fängt keinen.” (He who shoots once at two hares catches none.) Thanks as always for your encouragement, me dearie!

  5. And I sit here, looking over your fence and I am admittedly wearing my green goggles (But that is okay, because I do tend to live vicariously through those whom I admire the most!) and I am laughing out loud while my family looks at me very strangely indeed – I think I need to go back up and read that bit about Rasputin again!
    Congratulations on another well deserved award!

    • Goody, I made somebody laugh! :D Don’t worry, if the goggles are still removable most of the time, they’re not that dangerous. Plus, they might look really cool (I’m thinking biplane pilots’ goggles . . . ). I also just realized what a good Sneeze Word ‘Rasputin!’ would make.

      And thank you for the congratulations. :)

  6. Pingback: Day 227 – Sweet Solitude « Cfbookchick – a Girl, a Camera, a Challenge…

  7. Oh! Kathryn you are too kind! I really am a clown trying to muddle through all of the trees! I’m looking up at you in the cosmos wondering how do I get there? Congratulations on another well deserved award! Now when are we taking that train through the Italian Alps?

    • Oh, my passport is *always* close to hand, just *in case* any opportunities should happen to arise! I must warn you a little about that particular Alpine train, though–my sister and I shared our carriage with a man who had a certain, ahem, *air* about him occasionally, and there was a mouse skittering around under the seats. I think it’s safe to say that that elderly man *and* the mouse are long gone 30 years later, and other than that it was a fabulous trip! :)

      And you wouldn’t have any trouble meeting up with me in the cosmos, as I see you circling around me all the time! :)

  8. Mmmmm. Life is good! So most beauty and adventure, it would truly be impossible to keep it all for oneself! Also? Belle is all kinds of awesome and a magician of perspective. And Pamela is sweetness personified. Here’s to more lyrical adventures ahead!

  9. Only you, Kathryn, would take us down the path of Rasputin, manure, gently rocking a colicky baby to sleep, blue poppies, and the Italian Alps, to name but a few scenic outlooks along the way, while accepting an award.

    Congratulations on this much-deserved accolade and “Cheers!” to all who walk upon the road less traveled.

    • Thank you ever so much, John! I must keep pinching myself when I realize what highfalutin and refined company I keep these days, you and the rest of the fabulous crew–so much of my happiness-inspired posting is because of all of you! These awards, as welcome and amazing as they are, are icing on the cake.
      Kathryn

  10. From the looks of things around us, I think there must be an awful lot of ponies out there. You remind us with wit and wisdom to keep our eyes out for what is good. Thank you.

    • Glad to pitch in, since I’m quite sure I also provided some of that compost myself along the way. We all must do what we can, and I greatly enjoy your guidance in pony-hunting, too!

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