05 January 2012

Learning How To Get Thrown

"EPIC FAIL!" "Loser!"
Passed over. Bounced. Tossed out on your ear.
It happens to all of us. Often it's a self-inflicted failure. What do you do then?
Quit? Pack up your toys and leave? Leave in a huff?
Leave in a taxi?
Beat yourself up?
Sometimes I am just not ready for some things, other times I have been unprepared, and then sometimes I just need to make a course adjustment.
More often though, I have to go back and do it again--and succeed. The only problem with that plan is that (for good reasons) I am adverse to failure, to hurt and to injury.
I have found that when I must surmount temptation, or when I am facing a mountain of a job, or a difficult task, it's best to come with a lightness in my soul. This short humorous poem by Henry Taylor sketches out our best attitude in these circumstances (a filly is a young female horse, my dear international readers).

Riding Lesson
I learned two things
from an early riding teacher.
He held a nervous filly
in one hand and gestured
with the other, saying "Listen.
Keep one leg on one side,
the other leg on the other side,
and your mind in the middle."

He turned and mounted.
She took two steps, then left
the ground, I thought for good.
But she came down hard, humped
her back, swallowed her neck,
and threw her rider as you'd
throw a rock. He rose, brushed
his pants and caught his breath,
and said, "See that's the way
to do it. When you see
they're gonna throw you, get off."

"Riding Lesson," by Henry Taylor from An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards (University of Utah Press)