Moments That Take Our Breath Away

The moment I heard a warrior’s cry and saw a girl standing on two horses come barreling into an arena, I lost my breath.

The horses galloped full bore up and over a mound of earth, as though running on level ground.


I bet the girl felt as though she was flying.


According to Larry King and Joyce Davis, Calvalia is the greatest show on earth.


White Andalusians with manes flowing past their shoulders played with humans; then the group splashed through a pond in the center of the sand-filled arena.


Soon the pond was gone, mysteriously drained away, and a troop of horses and acrobats flooded the arena.


I touched the sand on the way out of the enormous white tent to see if it was real sand or what.

It felt like sand.


Daughter number two and I saw Calvalia a few years ago in Dallas Texas, and Saturday while sorting through boxes in our Wayback. (axillary building) I came upon a magazine I had bought while attending the spectacle of horse and human.


According to Calvalia’s Director Erick Villeneuve, “the horse is pure and raw.


On stage, he is authentic, true to himself, with his impulses, moods, and passion. He can’t be forced to do what he doesn’t want to do. You have to respect him and let him be…this is precisely the spirit behind the show, to offer the horse the opportunity to experience, if only for a moment, his freedom.”


Calvaria’s training approach is the opposite of the relationship based on the dominant/submissive method common to trainers for centuries. The horse isn’t doing “tricks,” rather, the rider and the horse are playing together.


Being in awe touches the soul and makes us happy to be a human being.


And then sometimes embarrassment takes our breath away:


 “Sorry losers and haters, but my one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”-The president of The United States


When an interviewer asked Steven Hawkins what his I.Q. was, he answered:


“I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” –Steven Hawking to the New York Times, December 2004.


For an Alternative Genius workbook, go to


As I continued to dig among the stored boxes, I found this drawing created on a napkin. I know it came into being when my children were young.


I have seen adults try to match the essence of a child’s drawing and they can’t do it.


It has the purity of folk art.


Daughter number two said she didn’t draw it. Daughter number one said it didn’t match her style.


I bet Ellie drew it. It looks like the sort she would draw at maybe age 6 or 7.


Ellie was Lisa’s best friend from elementary school and on through High School and college.  Both attended each other’s wedding, Ellie traveling from California to Oregon, Lisa from Oregon to California.

Ellie and Lisa were artists and when around 12 years of age they made a stop-action movie with toy mice.


About a year ago Ellie didn’t feel well, and so that afternoon she laid down in bed to rest, and never got up.


These are moments that take our breath away.

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