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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Birdie reaches out today....from...everywhere

Birdie's been on my mind. It was a year ago when we were giving her physical therapy twice a day, trying so hard to help her. We did that through mid March. This film was taken the night before she died. I documented everything on Instagram, and I even keep it all on my phone so I can go back and look at it sometimes. I don't do that as much now. But when I do , now that is has been a year since she got sick, what I see now is an animal that was fighting the fight-with me, and maybe for me- but there was a moment in the photos where-now-I could see her change. Her hair even looked duller and grayer. Even in this film posted here, when I posted that back then, I didn't think it was the end. I could still see a smile there, a tired smile, but a smile. When I look today, I see how tired she was. The next night, she was clearly...pushing away a bit, in her demeanor. I am not even sure anymore, if I did right by her, fighting so hard to save her. I do know she was trying. I'm a bit sad that maybe I should have given my usual speech, "It's okay to let go"...but it wasn't ok because selfishly I wanted her to stay, and she did, as long as she could.

Today, I got a package from a kind follower. It had a gift for Bear, who arrives in a couple weeks, which I will let him open. And a package for me. My mother was rolling her eyes in heaven because I am notorious for opening gifts when they arrive, not waiting. When I read the woman's sweet note I had to open it. The woman had been following Apifera awhile and was very fond of Birdie and was so sad when she died. But sometime near Birdie's death, her mother grew ill, and she was caring for her, which was a challenge both emotionally and physically-any caretaker can tell you the toll it takes no matter the love surrounding it. She said that in the hardest days, when she felt like she was in a fog, she would repeat to herself, "Birdie On, just Birdie On!"

This just made me rip open the package, I knew what it would be-a soft fluffy white llama doll. Now you don't have to all go out and send me llama dolls, but I have to say, the fact I've been thinking of her so much lately, and hearing this woman's story...I go back to my belief I've expressed many times...we are all connected-in actions and breath. It's not about not making mistakes, it's about understanding your words and actions have repercussions, and we get to choose how we'd like our repercussions to be felt-as positive, kind, sincere, authentic...or hurtful, harsh,domineering and judgmental.

As Lou Reed said so well, "Spittin' in the wind comes back at you twice as hard."

Birdie never spit, and together, I think we formed a union and partnership that helped me shine my strengths, showing the world what I wanted to be and could be if I just had a llama with me.

I think she was part of that doll that arrived today, reminding me, it's okay, she's where she needed to go, and I'm here where I need to stay for now. I truly hope we meet again.