Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I need to clone myself. I'm thinking three, of me, would be about right.

The wife/mother me: This one would be attentive and always available to the three precious persons who share my immediate space in life. Quality and quantity time would be in abundance along with time for the necessary evils of said job--cooking, cleaning, laundry. This model would never say things like, "Be quiet; just give me a minute," while typing a scene for a work in progress (with her thumb) in the notebook app of a Blackberry while spending time with family at the lake.

The writer me: Though having poor hygiene and social skills (with real people), this model would never lose those amazing bits of inspiration that fly into the brain at the most inconvenient times. During a sermon, for instance (is it a sin to write fiction on a church bulletin?), or while cutting a child's birthday cake. She would tweet, Facebook, and blog regularly to maintain a "viral presence" (is it just me or does that sound very wrong?). She would churn out books every six months and be on the edge of marketing techniques and changes in the publishing industry.

The horsewoman me: This model would never feel guilty about trail riding or telling the lie of "I'll only be gone an hour or so" as she loads horses in a trailer and speeds down the road. Her horses would be in shape and regularly schooled. She would not have a dirty barn, tack, or fence lines loaded with approximately 100 pounds of blackberry vines, thus shorting it out. Her horses would not have tangles in their manes.

It can be exhausting to marry the elements that make up a human being. I think the term would be "balance" and I know I'm still merrily pursuing that state. Some days it comes close to being in reach. Yesterday, for instance. Wrote 1,000 new words on a nearly finished WIP (How can something so vaguely measured in value feel so good?); cut above mentioned blackberries off electric fence lines (and have the scratches, and blackberry cobbler, to prove it) AND rode Eli (over an hour); and spent time cooking with my kids, reciting meaningless yet hysterical movie lines, watching an old movie, and cuddling in bed. It was a good day.

I've been thinking of things that come in threes since going to an insightful workshop using horses in July. One of the many things I learned, and since ponder, is the three part nature that is a human being. Created in the image of a God who is, mysteriously, three persons in one, a human being is three parts--mind, body, spirit-- searching for balance. Even our brains are in threes: cortex, limbic system (amygdala), and the primitive brain stem that controls basic instincts and body functions. This I learned from my new friends at the HEAL center--Human Equine Alliances for Learning--in Chehalis, Washington (stay tuned for a creative literary project between the four of us in 2011).

Our three part nature craves balance and our three part brains need to be healthy to enable an individual to reach their potential. Maslow's hierachy of needs comes to mind. A person struggling to fulfill the most basic demands for food and security may never get to fully develop the cortex--thinking--side. Conversely, a person who lives in their cortex and ignores the amygdala (center for emotions) will fail in relationships. Since we are created for relationship, this part of the brain is critical for mental health and stability.

Interestingly horses also have a three part brain, though not as advanced in the cortex and limbic system as human beings. Chance is an example of a horse with a seriously underdeveloped cortex. Man, that horse lives in his amygdala and it short circuits him to his primitive, fight or flight, brain ALL the time. Forget a "window of tolerance" for stress, this horse has a peep hole. But clicker training seems to be developing his cortex a bit so he can learn to think, not simply react. That is my hope anyway. Only time will tell if if it is effective long term.

Enough of Writer Me. Time to get those other models operational this morning.

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