DOC HORSE TALES
Acknowledgements & Invitations:
I don't presume to stand alone in this venture.
Indeed my intention extends beyond our culture's emphasis
on the individual and is instead toward a consciousness
that moves toward an increased awareness of relationships, toward making sense and meaning in union with the other, toward a consciousness that is about
re-appropriation, re-valuing, and love of ancients.
So I give tribute to my heritage. I wish to acknowledge the mostly unnamed but still pulsing memories and traditions.
I see in what I am doing the hands
of my grandparents, parents, sisters and brothers. I acknowledge indebtedness to my children and their mother for the evolution of life that seems to come only by experience of marriage and parenting. Lauren, my now-married daughter, and her husband Mike have been and are my initiating link to the webworld and are owed a huge debt for any success but bear no responsibility for flaws in the design and content of this website.
And now, in this late stage of my life, I must attempt to say something about the unsayable, about this inarticulate,
out-beyond-words thing which magically continues to wash over me like the bountiful, restless sea. As I compose these words in early January, I am anticipating wedding with Belqis-Joyce in just four days. (Belqis is the Arabic name for Solomon’s Sheba.) Belqis-Joyce is the living person who supports and provokes me and who through our love compels of me that the intellect be surrendered to the heart and who shows me that we can do this with mindfulness. She tolerates from me more than a stubborn streak, but even melts my icy wall and hard fear built against any invasive force that might disrespect my sacred center, my inner divine. In order to go beyond this and toward the further consciousness, together we hold that Belqis-Joseph make integrity and intimacy indistinguishable.
Thus, this work of our marriage is foundational to the intention of this website as both promote commerce among bodies or elements that have been mostly kept closed to each other. Doc-Horse-Tales represents three relatively isolated elements which have great, life-giving secrets to give as their overlapping is nurtured. My understanding of each area owes attribution to wonderful sources. Many of these will be revealed on other pages, but a few are so pervasive that they merit naming here also.
For Doc, the attribution includes my professional education, especially to James Kinneavy, the embodiment of "scholar." According to the OED, teacher is the etymological root of doctor. Professor Kinneavy's “presence of mind” and his scholarship on discourse still, thirty years later, resonates through my own thinking about teaching and composition.
Also, my friend and guide Tom Peterson is going on two decades in supporting (scaffolding seems to be the term now in use) my understanding and living out of the best of analytical psychology. Consistent with the purpose of the website is the incarnation of marriage of opposites.
For horse, thanks must be given to the archetype of equus and the living representations who have suffered my learning and thrilled with our body-spirit interwoven moments. Let me quickly emphasize that I am not an expert horseman, but a continuing student. Special acknowledgement goes particularly to the decades of generous and generative work by Adele, Tom, and Deborah McCormick through their Institute for Conscious Awareness and their books such as Horses and the Mystical Path. The McCormicks give further attribution to many, including especially our Celtic and Iberian ancestry, equine and human.
Of the several persons who have attempted to teach riding to me, one stands out: Debbie Craig at Lantern Lane Farms. Among her many virtues, she amazes me with her ability to see the one thing that needs to be done in classical dressage, and perhaps stuns me even more with her persistence and success in accomplishing the one thing needed in order that the horse-rider feel the union. She really makes meaningful the phrase by whatever means necessary as she perseveres, returns to the books of the masters, finds the “right” horse partner, draws it from the rider, on and on. The applications I am able to make from instruction in dressage to the art of teaching in general are unsurpassed in the decades of my study of teaching.
Then there is Tales. Robert Bly and Gioia Timpanelli have led my revolution. They’ve done so not only in the library of books and tapes that I continue to rely on, but even more so through their live teaching, modeling, and mentoring. Without Robert it’s unlikely I would be building on the work of Michael Meade, Martin Prechtel, William Stafford, Coleman Barks, and even Gioia—all six of these prove to me the truth of integrity, the embodied word, story, poem.
This website is about helping me and others who pick up the trail to move further on this path. Let us look to the generous spirit of the horse.
February 6, 2006