Monday, March 30, 2009

Horses used to keep me sane

And they probably saved my dad's life, too, many a time. He and my grandfather King were the greatest horsemen I will ever know from a town that fostered many. I loved horses, too, because they had no vices, well to me their faults weren't vices, they weren't that serious. I so needed the sanity of the horse to lend me comfort when I was so worried and upset over my dad's drinking. My dad always had 2 personalities which did not seem to recognize or acknowledge the other, and that can lead to some mighty strange behavior, but our most peaceful times were riding out on the range together in some of the most beautiful country in the world, in southern Utah. He could hardly wait to put me on a horse. He was undoubtedly taking me for rides before I could walk. My sister and me had our own little saddle by the time we were 4 and 3. I always jumped up to go if he asked us if anybody wanted to go somewhere with him on horses. How beautiful and idyllic that all sounds, but there was a dark side to it all I had also experienced since birth. The threat of death hung over the household. Just there. Never going away. My dad was sunk into extreme alcoholism he could not seem to control. You know you are living with the possibility of death when a man drinks as though to kill himself.

The green green pastures of home surrounded by sandrock ledges which drop off into breathtaking canyons to the east and south and climb into the Boulder Mountain on the north. Another name I had for my Grandfather's ranch was Emerald Ranch it was so green. He was such a good farmer and irrigator. He passed those skills on to his son, so my father veered through life, kept alive by enough discipline instilled in him to outrun the grim reaper who took his three brothers in sad ways, suicide, alcohol related death, and incarceration in an insane asylum by TB. I often thought that my family had all the markings of a doomed family out of Faulkner. I was constrained by not really daring to come out and say what I thought was wrong with my father for fifty years, and then the trouble began. I thought since I was five years old that my father was gay. Do you know how hard that is to be in cultures who find this behavior disgusting and unacceptable, a sin and an abomination. Okay so nobody is pleased when some close family member turns out to be gay but there has got to be a better way than biblical authority to handle it. My father would get disgustingly drunk, fall down in gutters, humiliate the family, and all the time I thought he was saying this is how disgusting you would think I was if you knew the truth. I would always send him messages by telepathy, "No Daddy, you are not that disguesting. Please don't commit suicide." Gays are very good at noticing all the signs of what you might be thinking. My father was thought to have eagle eyes, the piercing eye of the predator that missed nothing going on around him!
My dad's mother was a good woman but I don't think she realized what her religious view of homosexuality did to him. He simply could not defend himself. He had no defense, so what did he do, he tried to turn himself inside out. I thought her husband, my grandfather, was gay, too, and she had insisted on marrying him, so she bore some responsibility in the matter. Her father actually disinherited her for doing it. But I don't think he dared tell her in that day and age what his objection to him was. He was a go getter. He made a fine living for them.
My grandmother was not red headed for nothing. Nobody would have dared tell what they thouht, not after she got to be the richest wife in town. I loved my grandmother who was very kind to me. But here she was living in the midst of a bunch of guys not quite normal and never looked closely at them. I could not tell her that I thought my dad was not normal because his best buddy and now hired man had molested me, and I thought they were having an affair. He got jealous because my dad left him home from the party, so I knew he seized on me to get back at my dad. I couldnt fight her, too. I just had to bow to her ignorance.
Doesn't god's love extend to all creatues he has made? He knows what is going to happen to them, and however it happens, they are going to grow up with gay feelings. So there is something wrong with religion that demands all the gays give up sex with each other because that is wrong, and they will not be right with God until they have reconstructed themselves. The heterosexuals will pass with hardly any work expected of them at all in comparison. No wonder all the gays leave religion as soon as possible. Imagine trying to change your sexual orientation. Doesn't sound easy does it?
I just knew my dad could not change. He would never make a woman happy and he never did. So let's see I thought, well let's make a life time study of this phenomena and see what might cause it, gay gene, culture, molestation? Well, possibly I concluded combinations of all three. In the meantime the uncomplicated by comparison horses kept on dancing in my dreams for years.


Connie said...

So-you are saying you and I are are no longer sane cause we no longer have our horses to keep us that way--pause for thought...hmmmmm.....
I'm just kidding..but you are right it's a different world on the back of a horse and one that reads your every thought and does what you greater bond hath a person with an amimal than a rider and his/her horse...God how I miss it....

Connie said...

P.S. I am so proud when you use the tags I make for always fit them in somehow....Bless you sweet lady

Southern Gal said...

Horses are such beautiful animals. On another note, here is a link regarding our disapproval of abortion. I am sending Pres.Obama one in support of stopping legalized abortions. Love ya Geri

Gabrielle :)

Ann said...

I love these horse pictures. You are certainly establishing your love of horses! I love them too.
Marion sent a new one of Grandpa King. I'll post. Sorry so many bad things happened to you! I just became known as the WORKHORSE!

Amrita said...

Nice to read your bitter-sweet memories of childhood Gerry.

Your life has been very adventurous.

I love horses too.


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