What Keeps You From Writing?
July 20, 2008

“The passing spring, birds mourn, fishes weep with tearful eyes.”

Matsuo Basho

I never get writer’s block, and there isn’t much that keeps me from writing. As a matter of fact, my husband happily catches up on television shows because I’m often choosing, instead, to crank some music and pound away on the keyboard.

There is one thing that sets my mind and emotions spinning out of orbit, and consequently, (and temporarily), silences the keyboard — existential sadness. That all-encompassing sadness that comes from the overwhelming helplessness of knowing too much of the world’s horrors. With babies being thrown in dumpsters, children kidnapped and murdered, animals starved, abused and tortured, and war raging everywhere, at times it can be hard to look upon the world with wide-open, hopeful eyes.

If only there was a button that disabled all the horror in the world. If only they sold a remote for that.

Lately, for me, the great sadness has been the plight of the wild mustangs. America’s wild horses. I fall apart inside at the thought of any human or animal being hurt or forgotten. I believe all life is sacred. All life — not just life at the top of the food chain.

Read more here:  Saving The Wild Mustang Herds.

If you know horses, then you know that horses know. They feel, think, ask and apologize, plot, play, exhibit a sense of humor, and depend upon our compassionate behavior for their very lives, and their quality of life.

Pets are family, not food, especially in America. Americans don’t eat their pets. (You don’t see American restaurants pulling “dog” off the menu because the Olympics are going to be held here.)

Death isn’t the only horror to befall a horse. The anguish, fear and confusion a wild horse experiences upon round-up is extremely upsetting to think about, and so is that same horse later experiencing the slaughter process. It saddens me that, understandably, it’s easier to look away from the darker side of life and from the horrible things that are done to our animals and children. It’s easier not to know than to feel the swirl of pitch-black emotion that knowing brings.

It’s why I’m grateful for all the “knowing ones” out there, who carry the burden of bearing witness. They willingly carry the weight of the darkness in an effort to bring about change. They walk away from the happy and easy, to help alleviate suffering in the world.

Marvin Gaye was singing on the radio last night, through the monsoon rains that finally let loose. “Mercy, mercy me, things aren’t what they used to be …” and I nodded as I tramped through puddles with a tower of hay in my arms, with hungry rescue horses stealing bites and following me to the shelters where we’d all be dry. No, things aren’t how they should be, not yet, and not to the credit of a human being’s capacity for reason, empathy and compassion. Maybe one day things will be different, as minds and hearts continue to evolve.

I hope the wild horses are still alive and running free, then. I hope all the babies fished from dumpsters can be brushed off and soothed.

I’ve also been saddened by the story of the United States Marine in Hawaii who threw a puppy over a cliff to its death. The story resurfaced recently, as news of disciplinary action against the Marine was disclosed. The very helplessness of any puppy makes the story all the more heinous.

To honor its life, I think the puppy deserves a name — like “Brio”, which means vigor, vivacity; mettle, fire, life.


Brio was here.