Last night Pino and I, and Martyn, drove into the town of Wiscasset and propped up our books outside the shop of Moulinette Mercantile on Main Street and greeted the many people out and about on the monthly Art Walk. Pino was a perfect gentleman and to say he got noticed is an understatement. I knew that bringing him would put the highlight on him and not necessarily my books and art, but that was all part of the thought behind it-to shine a light on a little donkey who can bring people to a standstill and just enjoy him.
Last night was our first real venture out as Martyn & Katherine and what we represent to each other, and what we want to establish here in our new home. When we got home it was perfect timing, just light enough to see in the barn, and by the time I was on the porch, the fireflies were out. We talked about the night and all the people we met and conversations we had. The sales were weak. I only made $40 and gave Martyn $20 for food and with gas prices, meh. These outdoor gigs have never brought me much in money, and I have avoided them most of my career for various reasons. But it's a way to connect with real people, and that is one of the missions I want to focus on as I progress with my animal and healing work.
We made some great connections-including a couple that have an elder facility where they are bringing young children together with elders. She was thrilled to see my animal work and took home a Misfits book, but most importantly we hope to bring Pino there, and have field trips to our farm in time. That was a good connection.
We met lots of locals or Mainers-well, Mainers to us, people who had lived in nearby towns for 20+ years- and we heard from all of them, "you are going to like it here" and they all encouraged the idea that finding pockets of interesting, caring, real people in Maine is all around us. And we believe that and feel that.
A woman who bought my first book way back when-Creative Illustration Workshop- happened to be out and about and recognized my art. She too is an artist and lives near by. We had a wonderful talk about life and Maine. And another woman who has read my blog for some time and knew I had moved to Maine made a point to bring her two adorable kids to meet Pino-I wish I had taken a pic of them though-they had these really special smiles. There so many people taking selfies with Pino, I can only imagine how and where he is on Facebook.
I heard people saying, "He is so magical." That was cool. I didn't mention that he floats, and has pie parties in his past. I didn't want to totally overwhelm them with his specialness. As usual his painted toes were a hit. I met some avid Democrats who liked donkeys. And only a couple of ass jokes were released from passer bys. One man reviewed my book and art and was so grateful for the work-both art and animal-and he watched us as we walked Pino back tot he trailer, and waited to see us drive off.
One of the most verklepmpt moments afterwards for me was when we got home, and we were resting with a glass of wine. Martyn told me that it didn't matter I made no sales, people liked the work, and what we were doing and we met so many people. And then he shared something with me. While I was waiting in front of the shop, Martyn went and got the trailer from where we had parked some blocks away. He said as he drove to the shop to get us, people all over the streets, even in restaurant and bar windows, were waving at him, as they saw the trailer and recognized him. People on the street were saying, "Good bye Pino, thank you!" Martyn pointed out this had never happened in other venues, he said,
"It was different. They really connected with Pino and the work you do."
I also realized last night that while Martyn and I each have our individual careers, we also have an energy as a team. We developed that in Oregon over time and Apifera would not have been what it was if one of us left the picture. The energy of Apifera in Oregon was me and Martyn. But because Martyn has no clients or work here, and knows nobody, I realized that in Maine it is our light as a couple that will send us forward here. We are not personas, we are not trying to be a brand, we are a genuine team and I think our energy just felt so real last night.
I am very excited to go forward, with my animals, my art and writing as compassionate vessels for those who stumble on them.
|Inside the shop of Moulinette Mercantile|
|Pino meets his first police officer|
|One of the piglets thinks Pino is a God|