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

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Arms of The Sea, May Sarton, E.B. White and me

I'm finding that the Maine Apifera is so very different than the Oregon one. And of course it is, it has to be, it was meant to be different, not only for our evolution as Martyn and Katherine, but because all things have a time and place, and life is fluid.

I can't quite pinpoint what we and this place evolving into...yet. I mean, I know we will care for elder and special needs creatures like we did out West, I know I am a writer and artist and will always be an artist, and Martyn continues to landscape...I know all that. But it is different. And regenerations of self take time to show their true faces. I'm not worried. It's a nice thing of being 59 versus 44 [my age when we moved to the first Apifera], with age and the coming of the final quarter of my life comes more patience. Me? Patient? Well, much more than as a young, alabaster skinned woman.

I also remember when we moved to the Oregon farm, my illustration career was shifting wildly [as were many in the field] and I was evolving myself as an artist-it was scary and exciting. That is what is going on now. I had just started writing-in my head-and it wasn't until about two+ years into the farm that I started finding myself again, and started my blog and writing in earnest. So much happened.

But there is a quietness to this place, more so than out West. We had fog back there and I loved it [except driving in it of course] but the fog here is different. We can see the sea's beginning rivers and bays across the road and I think of the fog here as an extension of The Sea's arms, wrapping me, pushing me down to rest at times, covering my animals and barns when they need to be protected. The Sea and I are just beginning to communicate-or I am just beginning to listen to her.

I was turned on to the books of May Sarton back when I was living in Minneapolis, and I was seeking a country life-somehow. Two years later I'd be living in Portland, meeting Martyn, and then living on a farm, finally, a year later. And here I am in Maine. The other day I picked up one of the May Sarton books and skimmed some of it. Her writing had a huge impact on me-for one, it made me want to write and eventually I did. It also was giving me the inspiration and courage to keep looking for my place of solitude, my country home. May Sarton had left her New Hampshire home that she loved, after feeling compelled, pushed to by internal forces to find a place more remote or protected, and she ended up by the sea in Maine. I had forgotten she moved to Maine! And it just struck me so hard-that even back then Maine was in my front window, it was in my soul and little messages were being planted in my highway map.

Back in Oregon, about three years before we moved to Maine, I picked up a copy of a book about E.B.White and how he wrote "Charlotte's Web". I was fascinated by it because it showed how in his real life things were happening that became part of the book. To a non writer that book might be boring, I loved it. But again, Maine was in my forecast.

I also had a teeny flash as I was looking at the May Sarton book that perhaps I will end up even closer to the sea.