In what’s obviously a change year, that’s kind of a problem.
A lot of the comfortable and the familiar has for various reasons passed on or stopped being there. The Home riding Horse retired due to age and injury. The house is succumbing to entropy–leaks here, broken bits there. Even the years-long writers’ block that’s finally, mercifully unblocked is still–changey. What’s shown up in its place is not like the old writing self. It’s something, or someone, different.
That’s the way of the universe. We’re wired to resist change, because change can burn you or freeze you or eat you. We like stability. A world that’s predictable, that operates on a fixed schedule, allows us to make plans, and prepare for what comes next, and protect ourselves against the difficult or the dangerous.
Of course that kind of consistency can rapidly become a rut, and we can fall into actions or behaviors that keep us from moving forward. We eat the same meals every day, wear the same rotation of clothes, write the same kind of thing. We stagnate.
Water that stagnates becomes a swamp. Routine that never changes locks us tighter and tighter, until we can’t cope at all if something happens to disrupt the daily ritual.
Horses are notorious creatures of habit. One hears of individuals who actually colic if their meals are not exactly on time. Any tiny change in routine or surroundings can cause disproportionate reactions. Change their feed and they can get terribly sick.
Unless you do it gradually. Take your time with it. Give them a chance to adapt.
Unfortunately, change doesn’t always cooperate that way. It can happen in a moment. An accident, an illness, a sudden shift in weather. The horses’ brand of feed goes off the market, their supply of hay runs out or comes from a different farm or was cut in a different field or in a different season.
Really the only thing anyone can reliably expect is that things will change. This horse retires, that one lines up to become the Home riding Horse instead. The constant, relentless, ferocious dry heat of Southwestern early summer gives way to the soaring humidity and torrential rains of the monsoon. The book that never ends will finally end, and a new one begin–with a new set of challenges and a new test of the ever-evolving writing skills.
Change is life. It doesn’t care if we love or hate it. It simply is.