I had a conversation the other day and something was mentioned to me that I had never heard of before: A silent disco.
What, I blurted out, is a silent disco?
Well, was the reply, we meet in a field. And we light a fire. We all put on our headphones. And we dance.
I sat there in the imagined glory of it all. In my mind’s eye, I was alone, in a paddock, dancing. No one around. Nothing to be or to do. No one to answer to. No need to shapeshift or need-to-fit-in-ness or questioning or considering. No deep dives or dark corners to shine lights in. No one to look after or think about.
Just myself and the wispy shadows of anyone who has come before me who cared to join me at that moment.
You may have followed along at the start of the month with a little thing I started called 25 notes to self: An advent calendar of self-reflection. I’m not sure what number I got up to when the words just dried up. Stopped. Like all the words had gathered together, looked at me, and said, sorry. Not today.
And I was like, um, hello? Words? This isn’t funny! I’ve started a numbered count-down thingey and you aren’t even trying!
And all I could see them do was pick up their little wordy backpacks and march off down the dirt road to picnic in someone else’s brainspace.
Hmmph, I said to myself, throwing my pen at them. Great.
So, I’m sorry for the lack of words. The truth is the end of the year has left me in this place. The words have left me and I have flash-mob thoughts of randomly dancing in fields.
I’ve sat with my blankness. And I’ve felt a bit cross with it. But my blankness has led me to much more being-ness. That is my true craving at the moment.
And I realized, the back of my horse is my own silent disco. When I ride, I fall into the gap. The gap of suspended animation that holds everything and nothing all at once.
My good friend Tania told me that if the words have left you, write from the back of your horse. I think that’s when I got it. The words left me because there are no words big enough to capture the relief my horses bring me. The words left because they knew that I would be trying to sum up what it felt like to be on the back of a horse, and they knew their own inadequacies. They were doing me a favour.
That was a place only for feeling.
So I told the words, you know what horses are? They are a big, glorious relief. They are a relief from having to be in the world with all its pretense and dissociation and disconnection.
They are a big holy, sacred relief.
They bring us back.
All the words I need are thank goodness for them.