Day 37 – Horse Therapy and The Glorious Boring

On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.

Saturday – October 4, 2014

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Today, Cami rode a horse. She does this every Saturday morning, at the Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch just outside of town. At the Ranch, they work with kids and adults with special needs, performing miracles on a daily basis. I don’t know what it is or why it happens, but there’s something about some horses that is magical* that brings out new things in people with difficulty.

*Besides unicorns, obviously. 

The first time Cami went to Heart of the Horse, she did something Erin and I had never seen before: she sat up still and straight. Cam is a fidgeter and to see her in total control and perfectly balanced moved Erin to some very real tears. We’ve been going every week ever since, for the past year and a half. Each time, without fail, a melt-your-heart grin washes over Cami’s face as soon as the horse starts moving. It’s incredible. It’s this whole other side to her we don’t see any other way.

The new thing Cami did this morning was push everybody away when they tried to take her down off her usual horse, Bandit. We already knew she loves to ride, but she’s never asserted herself like that before. We love it when Cami fights like that. Usually, she’s so agreeable and, because she’s nonverbal, it’s hard to tell what she wants. Not today.

This is a short video I edited, and shot with my friends Austin and Jesse. We did this as gift to the Ranch to help them with their first fundraiser (Cami is in it quite a bit):

* * *

For Mormons, today was huge. Twice a year we gather at church buildings and around TVs and computers to hear the words of Apostles and the Prophet to know God’s will for his children today, in real time. It’s a stone tablets down from the mountain kind of thing, but via the internet. It’s a real time of spiritual refreshment and uplift.

It’s also terribly, at times, truly boring. The Conference lasts two days and plays out over five 2-hour sessions of, mostly, old men talking heads. If you’ve ever thought about becoming Mormon, I probably just ruined it right there. Also, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir tears the roof off throughout the sessions. This is all great if Errol Morris docs and organ-inflected hymns are your thing, but it can be a bit of a challenge it sit through if you prefer your visuals lean towards the Steven Spielberg end of the spectrum and your songs accompanied by more than one instrument.

So why watch this thing? Well, why I admit Conference is boring, that doesn’t mean I’m bored watching it. It engages me and others who watch it on a level beyond its entertainment value. I think entertainment is important, but the actual benefit entertainment provides is, essentially, escapism. Conference, and other religious services (when done properly), nourish and comfort, and that’s far more important. I approach Conference with a spiritual hunger. I don’t need to be entertained. What’s more, to be honest, I don’t even want to be entertained during what is supposed to be a direct download of truth and perspective. I think there’s a certain amount of artifice that goes along with entertainment–a manipulation–and if you lean too heavily on those tricks you risk compromising the message. I don’t want to be “sold” an idea with bells and whistles and jazz hands, I want truth presented to me, plainly, that I may see it accurately and can decide for myself without manipulation whether or not it is right.

THAT’S Conference in spades. That’s church. It’s boring, but it’s engaging. If you’re watching, really watching it to discover and participate–if you’re having that internal dialogue within yourself about how what you’re hearing applies to you and seeking to know God’s will for you from what you hear–you can’t help but be swept up in it just as much as you would the latest blockbuster.

And it’s boring. It’s dead boring and all the more glorious for it.

* * *

The preceding had nothing to do with unemployment, as was my day. I don’t know if I should be worried about that or relieved that I’m not obsessing over our predicament quite as much.

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