Friday, August 13, 2010

Ch-Ch-Changes

I pulled my car up to the gasoline pump, opened the door and walked to the back of the car, to meet the attendant, as he walked towards me. "Can you fill it up with regular, please?" as I handed him my debit card. He had a ring in his nose, a ring on his lips and a ring on his eyebrow plus an assortment of other jingling, clicking, metal thingies hanging from places that were never meant to have any kind of ornamental metal hanging from them. His fingernails were painted a glossy black and he must have had about twenty fabric and leather bracelets, lined up on one arm. He was a good-looking kid, who didn't need any of these decorations to improve his appearance. I was deep in thought over the vast and sweeping changes in our culture that have made fingernail polish on men's fingers not only acceptable but for most people, not even an eyebrow raiser. I thought of my own father and the explosion of fire emanating from his head, if I had ever walked in, as a teenager, with all these decorations.
"So the days float through my eyes
but still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes..."-lyrics by David Bowie, from his song, Changes
As other cars pulled into the station, he left the side of my car,  returning when the hose signalled that the tank was full with a loud CLICK. "Are you going far today and do you want me to top it off for you sir?" he asked and at that moment, a nice boy who had been hiding under all the rings, the metal and the nail polish suddenly appeared. He actually cared that I would have enough gas for the trip I would be taking. "I knew you were in there, somewhere." I thought. "Yeah, thanks. I am driving up to Englewood and it's an hour and a half from here." I said and I marveled over a first impression of what turned out to be a really good kid, hard at work, at an early time of the day.

This is a young black mare named Ekramilbari Ezzain, as captured by the camera of Jennifer Ogden of Australia. She was bred by Usamah Alkazemi of Ezzain Arabians in Kuwait. She is sired by Usamah's chief stallion, NK Qaswarah and out of the Katharinenhof-bred NK Yasmin. Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about the Adnan daughters owned by Usamah. Which Adnan daughters you ask? Well, mares like NK Nada (out of Nashua) who produced horses for Usamah like Nooreddine Ezzain and Yasoob Ezzain. NK Yasmin is an Adnan daughter, bred a little differently from NK Nada. She is out of Dr. Nagel's premier mare, the beautiful and elite Helala (Salaa el Dine x Ansata Gloriana). NK Yasmin is a Dahmah Shahwaniyah by strain, tracing to the Bint Sabah family through Bukra. As a matter of fact, she has five Bukra lines in her pedigree and when bred to NK Qaswarah, her daughter, Ekramilbari Ezzain, has seven additional lines, for a total of twelve Bukra lines. That's a lot of Bukra, a lot of "prima stute", packed into one horse.

So, when I saw her pictures...I felt nothing. I really didn't like her, as much as I liked Hooreyah, Shamsilshmous, NK Nadeyrah and Dorrah. While I believe a good horse comes in any color: I am not really fond of black-colored horses (or so I think). Usamah loves Ekramilbari very much and I could tell from the sound of his voice, that she is special. I even asked myself, "Why?" I didn't understand. So, later, in a rare and quiet moment, free from a much too busy mind; I opened each picture and studied Ekramilbari. I wanted to see Ekramilbari, through the eyes of her breeder. And then, I don't know how it happened, I found this picture and suddenly, the world grew more still, more quiet and the picture of Ekramilbari started to magnify, right before my eyes. "Huh, what is this?" I asked myself. And suddenly,  I realized why Usamah feels the way he does about this mare. I love her very prominent forehead, which we know to call the jibbah. And while her eye does not appear to be as large as Shamsilshmous' eye, they are fully black with no white in them and the energy that radiates from them, tells me that Ekramilbari is a mare who is kind and loving. Notice the fineness in her muzzle and the quality of her skin, like the finest velvet, smooth and accentuating the bones and veins in her face. Together with her black coat color, Ekramilbari presents a very dramatic picture of the ideal desert mare. I also like her lovely, longer neck, so clean in her underline, which appears to be set higher on her chest. I believe this quality comes from the mare, Farida, who appears multiple times in her pedigree, possibly around ten times. In the horses influenced by Farida, I have noticed this more upright self-carriage, which is influenced by a higher set neck and a very strong, smooth and level topline. Farida horses are usually fancier-moving horses, like a jewel that catches the sun's rays to reflect the light and create an almost magical sparkle, for all to see.

So, as I pulled away from the gas station, I watched this young man, be-bopping from one car to the next, inquiring how he could help a patron in what could be an insignificant, trivial moment. Little did he know, what an impact he had on my life today, an unexpected advisor, counseling me on the wisdom of jumping to conclusions and making unfair judgements. He is a nice boy, even with all the jingles.

EnJoy,
Ralph

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