Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images ar©Katherine Dunn.





Monday, March 24, 2008

On and on


This is Olive Oil, one of Rosie's triplets. She is small, expected from triplets, but I admit to a strong favoritism to her. She is a calm lamb and I do hold her more than the others.She has this odd little impish expression hard to resist. I called her Olive Oil because when she was born she was the thinnest little thing, she was like a board. I have too much on my mind to name lambs right now, so will start thinking. The 4 rams this year are exceptional. Hard choices to come in the months ahead.

The juxtaposition of the spring lambs running around, while we say good bye to my father, is appropriate to relish. One can feel and learn from the cycle of life anywhere, but nowhere have I grasped it more than on the farm living with
more land, and a river ebb and flowing, changing the river banks and uprooting trees.

"She whom we love and lose is no longer where she was before. She is now everywhere."
St. John Chrysostom. This is what I am feeling. The things I learned, experienced, valued, received and felt from my father are all here, around me. They don't go away. If one stops at the moment they are thinking of that person, and notices - that bird that just landed, oh there he is. Or the sound of a branch on the roof - there he is again. The language is just different now.

10 comments:

Cathy said...

Beautiful quote, lovely thoughts, Katherine.

I want to scritch Olive Oil's adorable little nose...

The felted donkey has settled in nicely. He shares a shelf with a little felted sheep; I figured they'd have a lot to talk about.

Debbie said...

Olive Oil is adorable! She has a charming little face.
Bless you Katherine, as you journey through this part of the cycle of life. You are a strong person, who reaches our and grasps the experience and incorporates it into who she is becoming.
Debbie

Anonymous said...

I lost my dad nine years ago and to this day, I find myself "talking" to him when I work in my yard. My dad taught me to garden and work with my hands and it's natural. And I often think of him when I see a specific plant (especially certain trees) and find enormous comfort in that. Your expression of this feeling is beautiful ... the love is the same, but the language is indeed different.

Mare said...

Dear Katherine,
I send this favorite poem to you. It comforts me when i read it. It sounds like we believe in the same things...
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight.
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there -- I do not die.

-- Mary Frye

coloredsock said...

ok, i've decided you have one of those coolest 'jobs' that everyone wants--like the person who gets to come up with ice cream names or jelly belly names...someday, i'll start with chickens...you are such a good name giver. if i ever make it to your farm, will you bestow a new 'farm' name to me, as if i was a new animal joining your pack? oh, pretty please, shepherd girl?

i love the quote, and i love you! i've been thinking about you so much and not knowing what to write you and so i saw you in my dream last night. i visited you at the farm. it was so fun, a creative play-day with a bunch of cool women artists. i remember distinctly hearing the tractor (and some cussing from the driver cause it was backfiring) and looking out the window, waving hello to Martin. then i looked again, and it wasn't Martin but it was your dad (even though i have no idea what he looks like). i don't know what it means, but for you, it seems to go along with that quote. xojennysue

Becca said...

Hi there! I found your site a little while ago but haven't commented. This year I am at a college in Amherst, MA, and I have been on "lambwatch" for the farm, volunteering to go and check on the mommas. It has been such a wonderful experience seeing these little lambs first forays into the world! Thanks for sharing all your thoughts, and I'm glad that I get to see lambs in real life too!

Tina T-P said...

Katherine - Please accept my sincere condolences on your father's passing - I'm glad that you have many happy memories of your time with him to sustain you. T.

salmonpoetry said...

Olive Oil is so adorable! I love her wavy fur (uh, I mean wool.)
The contrast between life and death can be so poignant.
On that subject, and your comments about your father and the land, I heard a very touching obituary on NPR for Dith Pran, the Cambodian journalist who covered the 'killing fields' in the vietnam war who died over the weekend. The night before he died, Dith told his best friend, Sydney Schamberg, "I'll send you my dreams." and Sydney replied back, "and I'll send you mine."
Often I feel that I want to tell my mother something, and I feel like I am able to connect with her in that subliminal way. Just this morning I had that thought in the garden when I was examining my Joseph's Coat rose bush. She would have found that so amusing that a rose was named "Joseph's Coat" and I could feel her presence there, laughing.
I think in nature these opportunities are most apparent.
You are lucky that your father gave you those gifts, and that he continues to even in death.

shepherdgirl said...

Thank you all for these meaningful comments- really, it is so helpful. Many of your comments have hit the nail on the head it is amazing how the spirit becomes even stronger after death. Just as the poem describes, just as Miss Salmon Poetry has said so well [I found that quote from Dith so, so sweet and comforting], one never ceases to exist. I actually had a night of dreams the night before he died. I knew he would die soon after that dream night, as we sat together and spoke to each other. I won't go into details, but it was very wonderful to have had that dream. I was at peace the next day, and he died. Dreams are a wonderful way for us to explore and play, and examine.

Amy C Evans said...

Oh, the cuteness strikes again! My, this little Olive Oil is a doll. Love her.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~