April 15, 2013

Recasting Your Shadow

What’s big is small; what’s small is big.

I say that. And I mean it. I use it in context quite often to help grasp the enormity of the power of the universe within each tiny moment. It means that if everything that exists is energy, the smallest interaction with the force that’s being witnessed at this moment is but a mirror for all that surrounds us. It’s a universal law just like the one that states that an object in motion stays in motion until acted upon by an equal and opposite force. Every concept of physics applies, be it a marble rolling down a track or a civilization taking a painful step toward re-evaluation.

What’s big is small; what’s small is big. If it’s happening around you, it’s happening to you.

Sometimes those words come back to haunt me.


I’ve set aside a few hours to help him. His truck broke down. Again. Now he needs me to follow him home from the garage where he spent the better part of a day making a rushed repair.

I don’t mind. 

I don’t mind when he pushes that truck to the brink of destruction and, a hair shy of catastrophic failure, throws a few repairs its way in a stressful, time-crunched display of apparent fortitude. I know it’s a reaction to certain stimulus. I see the effort of a desperate man disguised as an act of a hero. The fact remains, a vehicle won’t last forever. It’s mechanical. Death is a natural progression. It’s common sense, really. It won’t last forever because it can’t. It simply cannot endure the frequent torture asked of it. And it’s really showing its age.


As I sit here I slouch. I seldom breathe. It’s like I’m pulling the weight of the world while holding my breath. I stop eating, stop exercising, stop bathing. I seek no means of empowerment, afraid that the least among these will tip the scale past something I can’t take back. So I waste away, shrunken skin and tense joints a testament to the stress that holds me in its embrace, knowing full well, what truly has me entombed is fear.

Fear is always a factor.

I wrote that. Months ago. Fear is always a factor. The part I’ve forgotten is: succumbing to it is not an option. But the options that exist outside that which I fear are decidedly scary.

Now that’s a conundrum.

We have no idea what the next moment will bring—absolutely none. Even with the greatest meteorological equipment, technological advances, long-range planning and psychic predictions, great storms of expansion and regression occur without notice.

I watch as his truck furls forth a fog of exhaust from its rattling rusted mass, the distinction between potential and disenchantment a great divide; the looming confrontation with my fear outrunning me like a high-speed chase.

I used to be a Ferrari. Now I’m a Pinto. You probably don’t remember those. I didn’t think I did either. This is how it happens. Disillusion. It looks completely different than it does in the movies and it feels a whole lot worse. In any case, it’s what this moment is reduced to.

Here’s my question: if what I feel right now, watching the concern on his face as he asks the squeaky hinges to open, is a complete loss of faith, how am I to embrace anything different from my intentions, my visions, my dreams?

What’s big is small; what’s small is big.

By the rule, I’ll never discover anything different. It’s an impossibility. Whether the dynamic between us destroys the energy I need to get what I want, or if it’s what is simply called fate, it doesn’t resonate with how I want to feel.

Or does it?

Did it just happen or have I made it happen?

Have I allowed it to happen?

Did I lose sight of my intentions or did he more strongly set course for the alternative?

I reflect. Some people are annoyed when I dwell in the past. Some say it’s not healthy, but it’s damn sure handy to reevaluate the past when you’ve come full circle on another sphere of insanity and you demand to know how it happened again.

And I demand to know. Or at least I think I do. But when the only option that keeps floating to the top of this cesspool of feelings is the one that scares the shit out of me, I scramble to outsmart the obvious.

That truck has to be replaced. The purpose it served was long ago outlived. In this moment, however, the uncertainty with what the replacement will look like is more intimidating than the decrepit structure that sits in its place. The cost of regular, monthly payments outnumbers the expense of spontaneous breakdowns. How often is present unreliability chosen over possible dependability because the fear of what is here now outweighs the fear surrounding what isn’t?

What if its replacement is bigger than a simple mode of transportation?

What’s small is big. To break away from one requires breaking free from all—all the useless thoughts and things, not just one here and there. I’ve missed the cumulative effects of a few unwanted moments, thinking I was strong enough to reach the light when anchored in shadows.


One night the moon was so bright it cast the shadow of a tree. But when I looked closer, two shadows appeared from the same trunk. Then I noticed I was cloned too. The yard light was competing with the moon, each casting a shadow—one bold and one faint. Both the tree and I existed in duality. In one, I was potential, in the other reality.

Was it potential or reality that emerged more vivid?

If every moment is the author of what currently “is,” and the catalyst for all that comes, suddenly fear doesn’t look so bad.

Or so big.

Also by Cindy: The Aliquot Sum, a novel about how people come together and why. With great sex. And bull riders. Now in paperback at Barnes & Noble or Amazon and available exclusively for Kindle or any Kindle app.

Find out more about Cindy here or stalk her on Twitter.

February 19, 2013

Your Last Day Ever

Girls can really bond. They have this massive sensitivity to love which unfortunately comes with this colossal sensitivity to hurt.

Take a girl and a horse. When two perfect companions find each other it’s a match made in heaven. Hours upon hours are spent literally in close contact in the saddle, even when preparation from the ground seems like a needy little child. The fact is, horses are labor intensive. They’re problematic. They eat a lot. They poop a lot. 

Horse owners build dwellings and fence pastures always preparing for the worst but expecting the best. Saddles, bridles and boots are designed for function in the worst of times. It takes years to build a relationship where a girl and a horse create magic, where each knows the other and cues become innate, and especially where the good is never overshadowed by that rare occurrence called “a bad ride.”

Who knows who’s to blame for it but every rider knows there will come a day when there’s only one thing left to do: put him away and come back tomorrow.

Surprisingly, most of the time, the sunrise makes it possible for one to say to the other:

"I’m sorry. I screwed up. This was not my intent."

Then they pick up where they left off.

February 11, 2013

Potential Is Funny That Way

I’m amazed at how quickly my perspective can change. I walk the same path through the forest, day after day, and don’t recognize that familiarity dulls my delight—how the brown, barren landscape that has recently failed to catch my eye, holds the potential to rock my world. Then, when I least expect it, a simple dusting of snow and a lack of clouds suddenly turn an ordinary scene into a vibrant performance.

On the way down the path one day, my child voiced a concern:

“Mom, I’m not good at anything specific.”

He’s about to turn fourteen. Next year he’d be entering high school if we hadn’t stumbled upon a compound word my spell check just recently learned to identify: homeschooling. He’s been a great kid, an enjoyable companion and a Phillies fan the organization can be proud of. But he’s not stupid. He knows enough to know his concern is justified. Without internalizing the worst, he let his truth fly:

He’s not special. Even worse, he’s ordinary.

If you ever have a derogative thought about a person—like they have a big nose, bad hair, body odor, or they’re stupid, fat, gross, ugly or were cursed with an imperfection that requires ridicule, let me save you the trouble and say this: they already know.

January 25, 2013

Afraid to Soar

I wrote this post for a new animal rescue blog called Rescue Dog Tales. If you'd like to view it, click here.

You rule.

Read The Aliquot Sum, a novel about how people come together and why. With great sex. And bull riders. By me. Available exclusively in eBook for Kindle or any Kindle app and now in paperback at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Find out more about me on my website. Or stalk me on Twitter.

January 18, 2013

For a Friend

I have a friend. He’s been reading my blogs. (I don’t know why but I’m always surprised that people do that.) Anyway, after my last post, he reached out to me with a question. The funny thing was, I had a blog idea on my mind at the time and he had a topic for me to address. Due to the nature of synchronicity, I surrendered to the moment and decided they were one and the same.

This one’s for him. And if I don’t hit the mark, my friend, please don’t give up on me.


His name was Clyde. And yes, he came with a Bonnie. That should have been the first indication of trouble.

Or a big red flag.

But I believe when you ask for something in this world, you receive it. My problem is, I always think I know what the answer should look like.

There I go thinking again.

So when I first heard of Clyde, I had one of those inexplicable hits—that jolt of intuition that says, “I got a feeling…”

And I did. That I was his last resort.

January 14, 2013

Ask Me Why I'm Smiling

On the surface he’s not much to look at: plain Jane, average mover, too big to be cute, too short to look sturdy. He didn’t even have a name. But he had the one true gift of life: potential.

When I fasten his harness, slip in his bit and hitch him to his cart, it might appear mundane. I might look like I’m going through the motions and he’s an old plug accustomed to monotony.

The truth is, it took an incredible effort to get to this moment.

First I needed a sleigh. I don’t mean that I physically had to find one and manifest a way to make it my own. I mean I needed the desire to need a sleigh unequivocally. This was years in the making.

It required being born with an equine mind. It required a devotion to mastering the ride. It required a painful hiatus from what I loved, a customer who whole-heartedly offered a place to board and a pony that needed a home. Then a question from a friend: “Why don’t you teach him to drive?” Then ground driving, then voice commands, then the woman who offered the use of a cart, the purchase of a cheap EBay harness and a guy with the balls to take a seat on the inaugural ride and say, “Walk up.”

January 3, 2013

Field of Dreams

My kid has a dream. He wants to be a major league baseball player. 

You don’t have to share the odds of that happening with me because I do everything in my power to stop from stating the facts to him. This is a feat, because he constantly reminds me of this goal and the bookies swear I’ll lose my ass if I don’t bet against him.

Not long ago he also told me he wants to take all his friends on an overnight ski trip to a local slope for his birthday. The kitty I can expect to collect before winter gives out makes this request laughable. But I bit my tongue and forced out, “Let’s wait and see.”

Then he made his Christmas list. The first thing my husband did was freak about the contents. “Did you see this? This is thousands of dollars of stuff! I’m having a talk with him. This isn’t even practical.” I’d already seen the list, along with one of the catalogs from which my son shopped. So although I felt the same way, my son saw my simple nod of acknowledgement when he presented it to me.

The way that kid dreams can really press some buttons. His dad and I hang in there with his major league scheme expecting to pick up the pieces when it’s shattered. And I didn’t even bother to tell his father about the birthday ski party because I knew he’d only reiterate that I would fail to tease that from my self-inflicted budget. But the Christmas list got him. My husband needed to rein that child in.

December 28, 2012

A Better Place To Be

The moment when total darkness turns into light is when the moon reveals shadows like a beacon in the night.

We all have it—a shadow side. It’s the alter ego that destroys relationships, fells families and leaves that nasty aftertaste. It’s what you do when you lapse into default mode at the first hint of trouble and feel the worst that your feelings can conjure. It’s that twisted colon, gut shot, heart attack pain that knots around you when you’re confronted by that dastardly feeling you claim you’ve spent your whole life purging in therapy.

But you haven’t. You’ve failed. And you don’t know what’s worse—failing to purge the pain of your past or failing to admit you haven’t.

Welcome to the club.