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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Moving pretty fast for my size

You've probably heard me quote that line before, from a Neil Young song,

There's a comet in the sky tonight
Makes me feel like I'm alright
I'm movin' pretty fast
For my size
I really didn't mean to stay
As long as I have
So I'll be movin' on

I'm not moving, from here anyway. But I am moving. I've been thinking a lot about the land here, the actual property, and how it feels like it suffered more than the place out West. I mean that the individuals that lived here in 1760 era when the house was built, suffered– the war[s], the deaths of all but one son that lived here in that war, the indigenous peoples here fighting for their land as immigrants arrived–all of that hardship vibrates here, for now. I felt the land here sniffing me out when we arrived, and a year later, I sense the land thinking,

OK, she's sticking around while, she seems committed to us, we might be able to make this a true communion. 

I tend to come into a new situation with guns a blazing, with optimism and big visions of what is to come. The old farm seemed sad when it arrived, it had been neglected, the century old barn that spoke to me that first day needed purpose again-and it got that from us. I miss her but am so glad I was able to work with her.

Here,  each month I peal a new layer of hesitancy off the relationship the land and I have together.

And as we enter the one year anniversary of our departure from Oregon, I was thinking about that old wisdom of giving oneself a year to make any changes after you have moved or been through a huge transition-either of your own making or one that was thrust on you. I have always found that there is truth to this, in a healing or growth process-the year marker helps us look back and see where we were but from a new perspective. And the day you go past that first year mark, it is like starting over, fresh, you tend to not look back at markers from the year before.

I would not want to go back and relive the final months at the old Apifera. I can see now looking back just how upsetting it all was for me. I had to say a lot of goodbyes, and make so many rapid, difficult decisions for the good of the whole. Would I do it again. Yes. Would I do it differently-some things, definitely-and if I ever do a move again I hope I remember the things I would have done differently.

I sat in my second office, the one in the outer barn, on my collapsible lawn chair. I've been sick for five days and have felt lousy and weak, but manage to rally to do barn chores twice a day. I'm hoping today is a turning point. I was sitting and letting the sun just soak into my face. I could hear the sheep, feel the wind, smell the horse manure and hear the occasional sea gull. Random thoughts entered my head,

The sun felt like this at the old Apifera too. It was the same sun that hit my face there, and the same sun that would have warmed the faces of so many-my parents, my friends, me as a child, all the former presidents and all the former loves of my life, the Beatles and Pavarotti and Grace Kelly in Monaco. Native Americans saw that same sun. Hitler, Matisse, my father at age seventeen battling in the Marines in WWII Pacific islands saw that sun.

It was just a moment in a day. Just a clear moment of feeling like I was one of a big whole, as were each creature in my life, and the land.