I haven't ridden horses in such a long time. I think the last ride I was on was during vacation at Hilton Head a few years back. We were there in March and it was so chilly. The girls and I went riding while the guys went golfing. Now, mind you, riding trail at a public stable is quite different from riding your own horse. But just getting back to something that gave me such enjoyment at one time was so overwhelming. I had forgotten how much I loved the rhythm of a horses gait, the smell of the leather and horse scent mixing together, how much riding put me exactly where I was at the moment. And I feel sad that I have let go of something so simple that just plain made me happy. But re-discovering something about yourself can be quite a powerful thing.
Had I not attended the San Francisco Discovery Workshop with my daughter, Chelsie, at the beginning of May, I might not have realized just how important this "horse out of harness" idea is to me. Rick Chapman gave us a homework assignment before the start of the workshop. The idea was to bring a self-portrait (not necessarily a picture of ourselves) of who we are or where we are, right now at this moment. I immediately knew that, creatively, I wanted to be that "horse out of harness" right now. So I incorporated that idea into my self-portrait. I am not quite there yet, but I am on the path and I am aware of every step and rhythm to the journey.
The friends I made, the connections to others who are finding their way too, the paths that we all tread in San Francisco, have made me feel that we are ALL about to break loose, throw off the bridles of fear and the saddles of others' opinions and most importantly find our stride right past those boundaries that have been holding us back.
Beyond teaching us a way to connect with our photo subjects as well as ourselves, Me Ra, Brian, Rick and Garrett taught us to throw off the things that are holding us back and to trust ourselves in our own direction. In short, they opened the gate, removed the harness and said "Go see where this leads you and run towards it for all your worth!"