Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moxie



I know there's a soft drink called Moxie, but when I use the word, it's an adjective, my way of describing someone who is brave, energetic, determined. When a person has moxie, she is self-possessed, confident. People with moxie cast a serious glamour.

I have not ever heard the word used in association with men, but I'm going to forget about being gender specific here. I think President Obama has moxie. Since I'm avoiding the pundits, I listened carefully to the president's speech at the United Nations yesterday, but skipped the analysis afterwards. What came to me as I listened is that the dude has moxie. Of course Michelle Obama has moxie, too. So do the girls, when I think about it. The whole family exudes moxie. Oh yeah.

While I watched the speech, I knew the feeling but could not come up with the words to describe it. Later, on my way home from a visit to the Sufi acupuncturist, wondering how to describe Pres. Obama's je ne'sais quoi, out of the corner of my eye I saw a Park Policeperson walking her horse in circles around one of the fountains in Lafayette Park. I always want to know the names of these huge and beautiful horses - not sure why, but I always ask. When she told me the horse's name, I laughed out loud and clapped my hands together. Both the policeperson and the horse seemed startled by my reaction. Can't blame them, actually.

I just love it when the language I'm looking for, in this case no more than a one-word adjective, comes in the form of an answer to a completely unrelated question. How perfect is that?


Here is Moxie, the horse. The Park Policeperson told me that Moxie is still young and sometimes needs reassurance, which is why she was walking around the fountain, shoulder to shoulder, with her beautiful horse. Should also say, the policeperson was not petite. She was probably 5'8" or 5'9". Moxie is huge! Beautiful!! What a horse.

30 comments:

Joanne said...

What a beautiful connection between those two. I'll bet they have fascinating days.

mum said...

I'd walk Moxie really, really well too. I'd take Moxie around the fountain for hours, I swear. OK, I'd need a stepladder to get up on Moxie but that's not a huge problem, is it?

ellen abbott said...

Ask and ye shall receive.

California Girl said...

did the word come to you first or the name?

Reya Mellicker said...

I love to get close to these great beings, so I tend to engage the policepeople in conversation, then eventually I ask the name of the horse. They all have great names.

I did not mention that I was trying to find language to describe my reaction to the president, oh no. I just said, what is your horse's name? When she said Moxie, I exploded with laughter and clapped my hands.

Both policeperson and horse must have thought I was insane.

Mum, even the tall and willowy policeperson climbed onto a park bench before mounting the horse. That was one giganto hoss.

Carolyn said...

Reya, I couldn't agree with you more on the adjustive you have chosen for the Obamas and your photos of Moxie and partner are absolutely beautiful.
Blessings and smiles

P.S. I love you header photo.

The Bug said...

Moxie is the PERFECT word! I wish I had more of it...

Sandra Leigh said...

I'm with The Bug. I wish I had more moxie. It is a great word, isn't it?

Madtexter said...

OMG! Moxie is one of my favorite words, and everytime I use it someone always asks what it means. I explain it to them, but part of me wants to keep the word to myself for my own use...I'm selfish that way.

Elizabeth said...

A lovely word for both horse and president.
Not one one hears too often
and pitch perfect.
Glad to see the rider and horse in synch with each other.
Uber -cool

k-brow said...

I love that word, moxie. I love that horse, too. I'm always fascinated by the K-9 and equestrian police and their animals, too. Our old Arlington neighbor was a K-9 cop, and had a beautiful dog named Rex. He was part of the family, and not friendly at all to neighbors, but wonderful with Chris's children.

Writer Lady said...

They make beautiful pictures too. When there is a real connection between a person and an animal it's a truly special thing.

Thanks for writing this.

Liza said...

"When she told me the horse's name, I laughed out loud and clapped my hands together."
OMG did I laugh when I read that.
I have been known to clap in delight as well.
What an incredible horse, and what an incredible city you live in.
I love the word moxie!

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm thinking I might go down to the stables on the mall and ask for one of Moxie's horseshoes. Don't you think that would bring excellent good luck?

Tom said...

Horsies are sooo big, they make me a little bit nervous, but i did ride one once, and it was an experience i'll never forget...a friend of mine who loved horses and rode them when younger died a couple weeks ago now, you made me think of her. Thx, and a horseshoe is a great idea, a little good luck can't hurt!

Ronda Laveen said...

Such a great story! If you say that police woman was large of stature, okay, but Moxie makes her look like a dwarf. That is one magnificent steed.

I haven't ridden for years. My friend, Tina, had horses. We used to ride for hours on end.

Reya Mellicker said...

I've tried twice to ride horses. The first time was just outside Paris with my French cousin who had been riding for years. I was terrified of the beast who sneered at me. That horse knew my number. Every time I tried to mount, the horse would walk one or two steps, then stop. Finally I gave up, completely humiliated. All the horse people around me looked at me with disdain, just like the horse. Whatever they were muttering under heir breath, I didn't understand because my French was not yet up to speed.

The other time was on an official horseride for someone's birthday, at the beach south of San Francisco. The horse they put me on was kind of the opposite of that French horse. It had no spirit. It was totally broken and would not have galloped off with me if someone put a gun to it's head.

Sitting on that horse was awful; it broke my heart. I couldn't bear to ride it.

Oops. This is turning into a post.

Reya Mellicker said...

its not it's.

steven said...

hi reya, tonight was "open house" at my school "meet the creature" night i tell the kids. mums come in - mums with cool, artsy, clever thinking, out-of-the-box, streetwise, edgy girls. "are you getting attitude steven?" " nope i'm getting chutzpah". "waah?" ummm i want my girls to leave here with some power that they can use as a tool and not a weapon." "ohhhh.....!"
i love moxie - the idea of being big. being big and loud but not noisy. big as in all there all real. loud as in you got something to say - you say it and you mix love and imperative and pertinence in equal measures when you speak. yeah, the obamas all have it. gift! gift! i see kids from poor poor families in my class and they've got it and i say "you have got to believe in yourself and take that energy somewhere boy (or girl). and i will show you how for ten months of your life and then you're on your own" - 'cept they come back!!!! moxie - the horse - i'm afraid of horses but that horse is so beautiful. i'd stroke it's neck. ask it to help me past my irrational fear. sweet dc evening reya. steven

Meri said...

Sometimes there are moments of pure delight, so right you'd swear they were concocted solely for your pleasure. Miracles. . . once in a blue moon.

Cyndy said...

Moxie is excellent, in all of its various incarnations!

debra said...

My daughter had an amazing horse named Pete. He was a chestnut thoroughbred, rescued from the track.
They were made for each other, and would ride, hair and mane flying, as one. I learned about the incredible and intelligence of these wonderful beings. Sadly, Pete, colicked and had to be put down. I still feel his presence.

Rain said...

Hi Reya! Thanks so much for posting those photos! I wish I had someone to lead me around sometimes when I need reassurance! :)

Washington Cube said...

I think you should make copies of those photographs on photo paper and leave them at the stable for the officer. I know she'd love them.

poietes said...

What a beautiful horse, and how appropros that her name was Moxie.

And I completely agree with your assessment: The Obamas have moxie.

Barry said...

Moxie is a beautiful horse with great lines--and so does your President.

I know little about horses, but my work used to take me one morning a week to the backstretch at Woodbine Race track, where I would come face to knee cap with some extremely big and beautiful thoroughbreds.

Getting close to animals that big not only gives you an appreciation for their beauty but also their power.

Amy said...

See now? Moxie is a word I would use if describing you to someone. You ooze it. And, what a beautiful horse! I grew up on horse ranches and race tracks and I really miss those wonderful animals. Thanks for the pictures and post. I needed a little moxie thrown my way today.

karen said...

Great story! I will try later to see if I can get the pictures to load, so I can see the amazing Moxie!

Linda Pendleton said...

What an interesting post. And I agree about the Obamas.

Moxie is a big horse!

Karen said...

Oh, man... Moxie the horse is so beautiful she just made me cry! I didn't realize how much I miss horses... will have to find me one to say hello to in person soon! Thanks for sharing the photos of her!