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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Commune like a donkey...sometimes

One of the graces of my life here is I have many creatures around me without opinions. I have many opinions, I'm sure you do too. Opinions are important, especially to the person with the opinion. With technology today, opinions come all day long. It's hard to look away sometimes, isn't it? I know many people that are irritated by so and so online, yet they continue to peek at their news feeds. I do it too. I hate it, but I do. Such a waste of time and energy. I have a note on my wall in front of me,

"What do you need right now?"

to help me walk away from that compulsive human behavior. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

It seems some people, many with strong Facebook presences, take glory in their opinions to the point where they become bullies. And they are the worst kind of bullies-the ones that claim they don't tolerate bad behavior on their pages, but they turn around and act cynically to certain commenters. Some of those commenters might need a push out the door, but some are just sharing their opinions, or asking the wrong questions in the poster's mind. These same bullies that constantly shame commenters on their Facebook pages, can then turn around and are flabbergasted when that same person stands up to them-and the initial bully calls the commenter a bully. 

It's ridonkulous!

Recently in an interview, President Clinton was asked about race relations in our country, and if he thought they were getting better or worse. Part of his answer resonated with me. He said part of all the problems in the world right now, including race issues, is we care too much about being right, not necessarily discussing issues and exploring facets of opinions.

Like the Buddhist saying,

"Do you want to be right, or do you want to be at peace?"

My interactions with the animals do not require that we sit around and discuss politics or hot button issues- thank goodness, because you know The Head Troll would probably be right about everything. There is no right way for the goat to chew, there is no right way to dress, and the color of my skin or the sagging of it is not important to any of my gang. All the chatter of the outside world can be put in a box while I sit and do chores with the animals.

The trouble is, one still has to live with it and hone our communication skills, and our listening skills, to deal with online aggression and over shouting of opinion.

More and more, I just want to be. I want to paint, and create, and just do it. I love sharing to an audience. I do. I admit it. I see my work as a cycle-it gets created, but it is when it is shown to the outside world that it fulfills its own destiny. It is out of my control after that. It goes off and emotes whatever it has in it to whoever cares to sit in front of it.

I had a thought this past week that has kept coming to me. What if I just disappeared-socially? I lived unconnected before, we all did. Would I be like the tree that falls in the forest-if I wasn't sharing constantly, would anyone hear me? Would anyone remember to check in once in awhile? Would it matter?

It's a beautiful day here. There was no bully behavior in the barnyard at breakfast. There is a big blue sky of opportunity above me and paintings sitting waiting for my non opinion. I hope you might stumble on a donkey waiting to commune with you- or any other creature or human that might sit with you for moments of uninterrupted non opinion time.