Time Passing

Written by © Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi, 2017

Is time passing by or am I passing time?

The storm beats on my window pain. The little lambs in the field trying to keep warm next to their mommies, while the vultures wait for the weakest who won’t survive. Electricity out, no phone, I kind of like it. I find the stillness in the storm, the quiet in between the wind’s forceful hand.

Part of me hasn’t slowed down yet and still wants to perform, get things done. The animal part of my body just wants to sit and watch the storm. And so, that is what I find myself doing. A long time goes by, and I haven’t accomplished anything, and it’s ok. Maybe that is the lesson. It is the task at hand. In doing nothing, I am healing my inner self of old stories that I need to ‘get things done’.

I look into the field and reflect upon two of my foundation mares, Sadie and Lacey, who just passed away in the last two weeks. They were both in their early 30s and have been my teachers, friends and comrades for over 25 years. They both passed before the ‘big storms’ came. While their presence is awkwardly missing, I’m thankful that they skipped the storms.

I had numerous conversations with each of them about their time of passing. I hoped that they would do it on their time and thankfully they did. Lacey simply went to sleep one morning and never woke up. Just ten days later, the day before the big ‘pineapple express’ was planning to descend upon us, we found Sadie down and unable to get up. Casey and I sat with her on and off all day and into the evening. We reflected on a time now past, a time when Lacey and Sadie tutored young riders, 4Hrs, went in parades and shows, and taught me how to understand the power of EGE (Equine Guided Education). I passed time with Sadie going into the next world, imagining her and Lacey meeting at Blackie’s pasture, or rather their own new pasture which Lacey herself chose. I saw her in the winds over the rest of the herd. Lottie came and gave Sadie a kiss. Sadie whinnied to me from time to time. So sweet, like the whisperings of my wise grandmother.

I asked her if she wanted to tell me anything. Her breath silent, the wild raspberries tangling around us in the moist field as she answered in wordless form. Her message floating on tiny water molecules floating in and out of time and space. It’s hard for me to put into words what she said. But I awoke in the morning to no electricity and no phone. My thoughts rambling between Lacey, Sadie and my mom (who had a stroke two days before Lacey died and who is now in a rehab facility far, far away). I drifted between feelings of guilt that I cannot protect them, I cannot save them, and remembering Sadie’s sage advice that I should take nothing personally, not even death.

I thought about my years with the Strozzi Institute only to be erased as a co-founder, as if I never existed. I remembered my friends and students in my earlier years of EGE who no longer speak to me for unknown reasons. I felt the pain of abandonment, the old wound from childhood at not being ‘enough’. Sadie’s message rang in my ears, ‘let go of your sentimentality,” she said. “Be your animal self who knows no time. Remember the timelessness of being. Be with the storm.”

I followed her whisperings and went outside into the storm to breath in the moisture and the energy of change. Everything was so alive. The colors of Usnea moss glistened like the florescent announcement of transformation. Why does the moss only inhabit some trees and not others? I looked across the forest and the aqua green moss had woven an intricate tapestry of color carefully and symmetrically placed across the forest’s image, like a master painter. I saw its purposeful beauty and relished in its thoughtfulness. I thanked the grand father fir who looked like a giant Christmas tree decorated with hanging Usnea, bringing forward images of Lord Gandolf himself.

The words of Joseph Campbell came to me, “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we are seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences will have resonances within our innermost being and reality.” When I first heard those words, I knew they were profound and I knew I wasn’t sure I liked them. Joseph Campbell spent his life’s work in pursuit of ‘the meaning of life’ and near the end of his life he said that the ‘meaning of life’ doesn’t really matter? I’m all about meaning and purpose. That is my reality. And yet, I feel like he’s right. It’s not so much about being on purpose as it is about living the experience, embracing the moment by moment of ‘time passing’ and the vibrant brush strokes of Usnea. I thank the storm for coming and I thank the storm for passing. I thank myself for slowing down enough to pass the time gifted by the storm. I thank my mother, Sadie and Lacey for passing time with me.

Is time passing you by or are you passing time?

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