Mounting block….

When I taught writing years ago, I didn’t believe in writer’s block. Just look at me, guys! Need five pages about cheese mould? Got it! Three thousand words on interstitial cystitis? Done! A sonnet? Before breakfast!

Then I developed my very own, personal, made-to-order writer’s block. It felt like trying to write inside my own coffin.

As a child, I was taught–and made–to get back on my horse after a fall, no matter how much I hurt or how scared I was. Just do it. I competed in endurance, rode thousands of miles, trained and conditioned horses, and started colts.

A family emergency grounded me for months. Instead of riding, I struggled to understand Social Security, Medicare, gerontology, and to untangle the decades of a relative’s dementia. Every day, I fed and cared for the horses.

But I didn’t ride. Even when I could. No saddle fit my horse well enough. No trail was close enough to home. No hour fell at the right time to tack up.

A lot of friends are standing beside their horses, like me.

It doesn’t matter if you ride. You can take your horse for a hike, give him a bath, read him your poems.

But if we do want to ride, the only way … … is to climb aboard.


About heidivanderbilt

Owner LuckyPup Ranch, Benson, AZ where I raise, board, rehabilitate and retire horses. Recipient of a special Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America. Married to artist Bernard Fierro.
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5 Responses to Mounting block….

  1. Too pat…what if you just can’t…hmmmmmmmmmmm……….

  2. thinkthinkthinkthinkthinking

  3. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. But, oh, when it does…!

  4. Sally Warner says:

    Loved this! In the early 80s, 10 years after graduate school, I was trying to think what kind of (visual) art I wanted to make, or if I really wanted to try anymore. So I went out into my “studio” (cold, converted garage) and just sat there for–I think–20 minutes a day, 6 days a week, thinking of just about nothing. Then I’d draw a line on the wall to mark off the day, like a prisoner. Day after day, week after week. One-two-three-four-FIVE. One-two-three-four-FIVE. And slowly, our of boredom, maybe, my creative urge kicked in again and I knew what I wanted to do for a while. (That turned into 10 years.)

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