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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

When you are given a lemon make it into a project-my time with the llama is ripe

Today is my birthday. I would have liked nothing better to walk into the barn and see Birdie standing. But of course that is not how this is going to work, I do not have the magic wand, nor does Birdie. We only have each other and our inner strength to plod through this. How it evolves nobody really can predict. I am finding beautiful moments with her, like after our sessions I put a heat blanket on her and do massage, and we listen to the music. It's beautiful work to be able to do this.It is hard, but I am so lucky I can help her. If I had a job off the farm it might be very different-and many people have had to face that with their llamas when they are stricken with brain worm.

It makes me feel vulnerable I guess. A life can change in an instant.

But, this is the relationship I have at this moment in time with this particular animal, and I will take it and make the most of it. Yesterday, we put up some sheet rock in Birdies' barn and I will be turning it into a Birdie Wall-full of hope, messages, quotes, poems, art, inspiration and humor. I realized that I was looking at something wrong too. I've been a bit torn because my focus has been on Birdie, as it needs to be, but it has made my studio time somewhat fall to the wayside. While I've made lots of headway on my White Dog book, I've felt scattered and unfocused in the studio, or I haven't even made it there too much this month. So by putting up the Birdie Wall of Hope, I realized I can turn a lemon into a project. This is the project I am meant to flow through right now, a three dimensional project with my llama. I am going to do some drawing out there in the coming days now that the temperatures are finally going to get more normal. I don't know what will come of it, but I feel the need to be out there and draw.

The other wonderful gift that came this week was an old boom box so we can have music for Birdie in her recovery. Someone gifted it to Apifera. Another one is coming for the front barn so the elder cats and goats can have music too. Birdie and the goose seem to really like it. Right now they are listening to classical but we will mix it up for them too. Opera had the goose really jiving, see the video posted here.

This is probably the biggest challenge I've faced with a creature, and an ongoing one at that. I've ordered some more things to help with out our therapy sessions. I want to have straps that will help lift her hind end better, just ordered some I hope will work. I also invested in some minerals and therapies to maybe help with nerve regeneration. My vet is helping as much as she can, and I have been working with my wonderful healer/guide back in Minneapolis on healing things–I've known and worked with her for 30 years and trust her sense immeasurably. When I enter the barn, I am upbeat, and so is Birdie. If I feel myself getting non upbeat in my heart, I step away and snap out of it. She needs me strong.

Which is perhaps why this birthday had me in a funk. It's grey, snowing, and I could not even manage to decide what special meal I wanted. I didn't make a cake or anything. I felt like Eoreye when I awoke. I did go and buy myself tulips. I used to buy flowers a lot in Minnesota during the winter, and in Oregon never did because to me it was always spring during winter. But today, I bought tulips and thanked them and talked to them. I know when the temps rise this week and when we have sun, I will feel more like myself. I kind of miss my parents today, more than normal.

But the pussy willows are popping. This brought me great peace.