On the phone this morning with my friend Carole, I brought up the dream of the kicking horse, the reading of it I'd done so far, concluding with self as irrefutable horse's ass. We laughed at the comedy of it, but she didn't think that was the conclusion, and I didn't either, because I'd continued to search after making the conclusion. I don't mean to deny self as horse's ass. I just don't feel like that's the end of it, that there is more, turn the page. She brought up the mailbox, which I'd left out. It's also the ground where I feed the crows. Crow energy there. The mailbox is an extension of self where communications arrive and depart. In a way, the mailbox is a door to the rest of the world. If friends are traveling in India, they can send a postcard and it turns up in my doorway to the rest of the world. I had not seen a mailbox in those words. Of course, we know that's what they do, but without thinking of it in words. Where crow energy is concerned, crow is my totem. I didn't go to a workshop for finding your totem, it finally came to me after noticing the degree of attention I pay to them when I see them. Out driving, a crow flies across the road somewhere out ahead of me, I often speak out loud, and always think, "Hey, friend." I throw seeds to them there every day. It is my way of getting acquainted with my crow neighbors that live in this area. They fly away the moment I open the door, but that's ok. I call to them when I throw the seeds out of the cup. I don't want to tame them or even try to stop them from flying away when I go out. I don't want to give them the error in judgment to think that if one human treats them well, the others will too. I don't work like that.
Looking at the exact spot of the horse kick in this light, it is a high energy spot for my own energy. Therefore, Carole suggested, the horse is a vision of my being, the whole being, who I am. We'd already talked over the chestnut horse back end and the black and white neck and head. We were not satisfied I'd gone far enough in the examination. She suggested it is self looking at self, a mirror image. We were talking about the balance of tame mind and wild hind quarters. I've been writing over the last few weeks about different kinds of knowledge, or knowing, like first hand information from experience and second hand information from somebody else's experience. Say the head and neck are the civilized man, tame, educated to whatever degree, while the rear end is the natural horse, what my old preacher friend Millard Pruitt used to call "the natural man." In his cosmology, the natural man is bound straight for hell without getting saved and going to church the rest of his life. In my cosmology, the natural man is the seat of common sense, intuition. He is not wicked or evil or even a "sinner." Natural man is the body, or the gross world, which I don't see the same way as preacher Pruitt, though I appreciate his understanding. I don't judge it bad. I see it requires self-control and guidance. Carole said she saw a balance. She noted that in my spiritual quest I have not denied inner natural man, but include him as valid and necessary for balance, that balance is foremost in my thinking for my own life. She said it is important to me that I be a balance of my whole self, all parts working together for balance, denial and suppression unacceptable. We came to experiences of the last few days with my wild friends, not my only friends, just the wild ones. They are the back half of the horse that I am.
The front part of the horse that is self can be seen in my tame friends, in my lifetime of self-education, interest in art of all facets, interior quests. Seeing what I saw last night addressing the dream, the judgment assessed the front part of the horse pretend spiritual and the rest all ass. Seen through judgment, it's discouraging. Interpreted without judgment it became a vision of balance that I value in self. The back part, the natural part of the horse, is kicking, though not aggressively, flexing, alive, like my friends I call wild. The dream might be saying my natural man is alive and well. That's how I want him to be. Friends do the heedless active wildness for me, like I sublimate through them. They do it and tell me about it and my belly hurts from laughing. I really don't want to get in a gunfight with sheriff deputies, nor do I want to drive 140 on mountain highways at night racing, nor do I want to fight somebody who looks at me wrong. My friends who do these things, and much, much more, help me live the experience in their telling, something I really, deep down want to do, but fail to get my thrills from adrenaline rushes looking over the edge. My spotted head and neck don't like adrenaline rushes. I didn't want to die young this time around, wanted a complete lifetime to experience growing old and see what it's about. By now, I'm on the verge of satisfied. This evening I'll be watching the Superbowl with Justin and Melvin, Crystal and kids. We'll tell wild stories and laugh in the mancave through the second quarter and halftime. For somebody who loves at home the poetry of Louise Gluck and John Berryman, the films of Ingmar Bergman and Zhang Yimou, contemporary Chinese fiction, the Journals of Andre Gide, watching the Superbowl and talking shit in the mancave give balance. Might take a look at my horoscope chart. It is surely in there someplace, the need for balance.
This dream expression of natural man kicking up his heels brought Pinocchio to mind again in relation to identity with donkeys. I've meant to read the story again, the original Carlo Collodi in translation. Having a problem because it's a little too much a children's story. It's that morality is explained to boys every step of the way. Also, dealing in the obvious all the time gets a bit old in a hurry, like tv. Pinocchio goes through an adventure with seven realizations that take him, step by step, plane by plane, through his spiritual quest to become a "real boy," which I interpret for myself, a true human being. Pinocchio goes through the process from what I called earlier the natural man, the gross plane in another way of looking at it, where we start our quest for enlightenment, or what I call becoming a true human being. The part I'm most curious about is his last adventure when he turns into a donkey. This is what happens to self-willed, self-indulgent boys, they grow donkey ears first and then turn into donkeys. They can't talk anymore; they can only bray. They will live the rest of their lives as dumb beasts of burden, jackasses, and nobody will ever know they were once little boys. It makes me wonder if I'm in my jackass, my African Wild Ass, time of my lifetime quest to become a real boy, a true human being. I want to see how Collodi addresses that period of Pinocchio's inner growth, see what the jackass time is about. I'm curious to see what it is about jackass that brought Pinocchio through the final adventure before his realization. Calling it realization is high-sounding, but I don't mean it like that. Realization suggests too much going out in a ball of light. I prefer to think of realization as finally getting it, palm of hand hits forehead: Duh! What took you so long? The Cars are in my head: O Jackie, I thought you knew the way. I like looking at the dream as my inner African Wild Ass kicking its heels saying he's healthy and alive. I looked out the window just now and saw the black and white calf with Jack and Jenny. A whole new way to look at it.
cy twombly himself