Thelma and Louise. One of my favourite movies. I have always been a sucker for female centric, under-dog celebrating adventure movies. Add in a road trip in the desert and rule breaking for a good cause and you have me hog-tied and trussed up, a believer.
When I first saw this movie, it was about 4 years back. I was living in a lovely little pre-war apartment in a quiet corner of the outer city centre of Warsaw. In this apartment I think I might have passed through some of the loneliest and yet the most important years of my life, as I was forced to put my self under inspection, take a look at my character and decide what was serving me and what was not. Like a Soul Spring Cleaning, but 3 years long.
It was a late Spring weekend, and I was up way past my bedtime, in fact, the birds were singing, and the eastern sky was tinged with indigo over the slate roof of my neighbours. I was streaming ‘Thelma and Louise’ for the first time over my busted 6 years old Macbook, barely wheezing to life each time I turned him on. I had no wifi, but a plug-in flash cable that was rather temperamental, I often had to ‘hold’ the cable in for the connection to work. A rather poignant metaphor for how much direct manhandling my life required… I literally had to force things by arbitration for them to work for me at all, everything in my life felt like an uphill slog in deep mud, in the rain, and yet my internal stamina just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I had heard of this movie, but never seen it. In a rather creative mood I was needing something that would take my mind off things.
It was then, crouched in my bed in a tangle of bed sheets, alone, with the dawn breaking that Thelma turned to Louise, sunburnt, dirt on her cheeks, running through the desert for their lives for the mere fact of just being alive, Thelma said to Louise;
“I feel really awake. I don’t recall ever feeling this awake. You know? Everything looks different now. You feel like that? You feel like you got something to live for now?”
“Something’s, like, crossed over in me and I can’t go back. I mean I just couldn’t live.”
I was blown down. I cannot remember watching a movie, that took what could be considered a mainstream minority as the focus characters, and had them express an emotion I was so rawly familiar with, and expressed it so directly, cleanly and beautifully.
Are. You. Awake? Are you awake!
Are your eyes open, are you seeing straight? Are you living your life through a filter, smoke screen and mirrors, or have you embraced the truth, the whole truth, the objective impersonal truth which is yet also so incredible vital to us personally.
I am at a point in my life where something has crossed over in me and I can’t go back. I am awake. I am alive. I am living, breathing, sensing, seeing and feeling, I am alive. I respond to my environment authentically and naturally. I can see that one lime green leaf on the top of that birch over there, just breaking through weeks later than its Spring comrades, stretching towards the early summer sun. I can see the whole sky a shallow and clear blue at three in the afternoon. I can see a city of people, consumed by small windows of troubles, sleeping as they walk.
I can see my horse and in a glance I can see, feel, hear, sense and know where he is today, internally. And from him, I know what the next step that day is. Same with my clients and their horses. I look at the horse and I ‘diagnose’ their energy, what I then say to their owner is just ideas I take from their horse, not from a training manual. I cannot remember the last day when I arrived at a stable with a prescribed agenda of activities. I had general list of possibilities, but I am awake to my world. It’s no different from the vast, vast library of knowledge available to any Equestrian, if they choose to go out there and learn. I connect authentically with how I honestly feel that day, good, bad and ugly, let the next step comes from the horse.
I am pretty comfortable with ugly, a rare trait for a classically trained dancer. For me, absence of Ugly Fear is beautiful, and that invigorates me. Nothing worse than someone drowning under the illusion that they are supposed to always have things pretty and particular, that is for me the opposite of invigorating, but stifling.
Check yourself. Are you sleep walking? Are you living? Or are you drifting?
Wake up. Now.