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I am currently involved in a project on E2: to write 100 write-ups in a month. This write-up right here will be #76 this month, meaning that I am ahead of schedule for completing my goal. I still have to keep up my pace, though, since I will still have to average two a day for the rest of the month to reach my goal. And, to be honest, my impulse to write has understandably died down, somewhere around the 50 mark.

I didn't set about noding at this pace just to show off. My initial impulse was that I wanted to complete iron noder, which I have done every year since 2008. But I didn't know what my schedule would be like this year, so I decided to complete it as fast as possible in case I was pulled away. I had, it seemed, an offer of employment bubbling on the horizon, and it might involve traveling and doing things that don't involve staring at the internet for five hours a day. So I worked through it in six days, but figured that as long as I had gotten that far, I might as well keep going.

Somewhere in here, I also found out that I got the job I wanted. Not just any old job, but a real adult job: I will be an instructor at a college. More details of this will be made soon. It might be thought that since I am moving on up in the world, I should focus on that, instead of spending my energy collecting imaginary points on a website. In some way, though, I have connected my goal of completing this challenge with my success in my future employment. This has become a vision quest of sorts, where I challenge myself, and my successful completion of my goal will be a good luck charm in the coming year.

I also have a problem in that I am treading water here in Montana until I move to Oregon for my job. And it is November in Montana, a time when the possibilities of outdoor activities are severely curtailed. In other words, I don't have much to do but sit inside and wait for the future.

The internet has also been highly boring for me lately. All the usual channels of communication on the internet have one problem or another. Facebook, which I use for my broadest social messaging, always gives me quick and plentiful responses, but they tend to be thoughtless and transitory. Google Plus, which showed some promise at first, doesn't really have much community or conversation on it. Livejournal, which I have been using for a decade, used to be where I would post the most personal things. But Livejournal's community is fragmented and there is not much commenting or posting. That leaves E2, which has problems of its own. I remember when there were days when I could get on the internet, go to three different sites at once, and get carried away in a rush of conversation. Connections and ideas flowed freely. I don't know what happened to that, it could just be that I have become jaded to it, but all I know right now is that I am having a hard time finding a place to put my energy and creativity, internet-wise.

Falling off the horse.

Today I fell off a cantering horse. It had to happen.

We will all remember that I fell off a horse about eight years ago and broke my arm. Of course I had no business being up there in the first place, since I didn't have a clue what I was doing. It's been eight years because I wouldn't get on a horse again until it was OK with me when I fell off.

That's when not if. I was that realistic at least.

I was cueing the canter this morning, and a lot of things happened at once. I was wearing spurs, which I am not used to. I was on an unfamiliar saddle. The horse started off on the wrong lead (the wrong diagonal) as they sometimes do. We were about to make a turn, which means, being on the wrong diagonal is unbalanced. I was a little off balance myself. The horse over-reacted.

Blah blah blah, you really can over-analyize this kind of thing. In a perfect world no one would ever fall off a horse because horses would always behave perfectly and so would human beings. Also, there would be no automobile crashes, no one would ever fall off a bicycle, and no one would ever slip on a wet spot on the floor. Don't hold your breath waiting for any of this. Shit happens.

Anyway, I flew over his left shoulder, did a half-flip on the way down (which observers assured me looked very graceful) and impacted the packed sand of the arena just below my left shoulder blade. And banged my head right after that.

Then a lot of things happened very quickly. The two trainers came running over; one of them controlled the horse. The other told me to lie flat, and wait a minute before getting up. Every parent knows the symptoms of concussion, and so does every horse trainer, so she ran through the symptoms. Were the pupils of my eyes the same size, had I lost consciousness, and so forth. Meanwhile the trainer with the horse jumped up on him and cued him to canter several times to figure out what had gone wrong; when he overreacted to her she pulled him up short and made it clear that this was not OK.

When I got up I immediately got back on the horse. Of course. It's a proverb, and it's a good one. Trotting, posting, then cue the canter, first several times around the arena in one direction, then several times the other way, then in a huge figure 8 (which involves stopping momentarily in the middle to switch diagonals). What we cannot afford to teach the horse is throw the rider and then you get to go back to your stall! What we cannot afford to teach the rider - if she proposes to continue to ride - is when you fall off the world ends.

I knew it would happen sooner or later, and I just hoped I could manage to fall at least once without breaking any bones. Mission accomplished.

The only way to be sure you won't fall off a horse is not to get up on one in the first place.

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