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  • crissimcdonald

From Horses to Killer Whales

I woke up in the early morning dark in November 2020. Like many, I was pandemic fatigued, but that wasn’t why I was awake. For the fourth time in as many nights, I’d had the same dream: a killer whale shimmering under the turquoise water in a concrete tank.

Dreams have many meanings to me. Some are trash can dreams: those images, fears, and worries that your subconscious needs to dump. Some dreams are inspirational: flying through the clouds, or galloping across a vast stretch of green land. Some dreams (though these are far fewer) are portents of things to come. This dream, however, left me with more curiosity than answers.

I grew up loving dolphins and horses. My original plan was to become a marine biologist and live in San Diego. Once in college, it only took one semester for it to dawn on me that science (and its evil twin, mathematics) wasn’t a skill set my brain could absorb. I finished college with a degree that suited me, and then it was a natural progression to pursue my love of horses. I was teaching by the time I was twenty, and training when I was twenty-six. I haven’t stopped since.

So why the killer whale dream? I hadn’t read anything about cetaceans in years. Maybe, I thought, the killer whales are a sign for something else, a metaphor. After reading a couple of books and scouring the internet, I had a few answers. This didn’t stop the dream.

When I woke up on the fourth morning, bedeviled and enchanted, I decided to sit down in front of my computer and write what I saw. That singular image, only one page in length, gave birth to a story that is over 300 pages long.

The idea that enchants me is how our species can communicate with other species. Although I allude to it in my books about horses, I do believe that all people are born with an innate capacity to listen to the world around them. North to Home explores this theme (and others) in the context of a love story where killer whales make an important appearance.

Marine biologist I might not be, but it seems something was calling to me from the oceans that cover our beautiful planet. Once I had committed the image of the killer whale in a tank to words, the dreams changed. I wrote them down, and when one scene was done, a different dream would appear. The order of the scenes was random, and it wasn’t until almost the end that I began arranging the scenes into chapters. It was a truly magical process, arriving at a time when it seemed magic was on its way out of the world.

The second book is in the editing and rewrite phase, and I’ve discovered that there’s now a third book waiting in the wings. This series has allowed me to explore ideas that fascinate me, through a story whose origin is as mysterious as the ocean’s deep waters. I hope you enjoy the exploration, too.

Interested? Click here: https://crissimcdonald.com/books/

Comments


Comments (111)

Guest
Aug 18, 2023

Thank you! I found this with my little mare. As I can´t ride anymore and she isn´t a horse happy to just stand around, she is ridden by others. Now I hear she is good in avoiding to work. When I say, no, she isn´t, probably they just didn´t give the right cues, all I get is blank stare, Seems that the idea, that a horse is always following the cues of the rider is not widley known....

Ursula,

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Cynthia McCormack
Cynthia McCormack
Jul 14, 2023

So very beautifully said!! 💜

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Guest
Jul 10, 2023

So true!

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sandy
Jul 09, 2023

I am reading Untethered Soul by Michael Singer for the second time. ( I considered it to be “ my bible” ten years ago after making a major life change). your beautiful poem is like having dessert after I just finished the last chapter! Crissi you are so beautiful from the inside out. 🙏💖

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Guest
Jul 06, 2023

I love this! I would also love to know more about Top. We have a 16 year old QH, whose previous job was a ranch horse, dragging calves, etc. We tease that his first answer is always a definitive "NO". He's coming closer to yes being his answer of choice for most things, but it's taken a long dang time.

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Guest
Jul 03, 2023

Such beautiful and thoughtful words. I shared with friends and they were equally taken with your poetry.

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Guest
Jul 03, 2023

Love Love Love this..... Thank you!

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Guest
Jul 01, 2023

So beautiful, so true . A perfect poem and a,great way of thinking about things. Thank you so much for sharing Crissi.

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crissimcdonald
Admin
Jul 02, 2023
Replying to

Thank you very much!

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Guest
Jul 01, 2023

Sweet and poignant. Thank you, Crissi.

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crissimcdonald
Admin
Jul 02, 2023
Replying to

You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to watch it. :)

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Guest
Jul 01, 2023

Well said! Thank you for sharing in the moment.

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crissimcdonald
Admin
Jul 02, 2023
Replying to

Thank you!

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