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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images are ©Katherine Dunn.





Friday, December 20, 2019

Is this my best work to date?

Yesterday Opie and I ventured over to Cove's Edge to take the Love Mobile for a spin around the complex. This was our second voyage and it was received as happily as the first. I am getting to know faces and some names and people are getting to know Opie and talk about him. Now when they see the Love Mobile they know what is coming. I am also so happy it allows us to visit those that are bed ridden.

Last night I was sitting by the fire reviewing my day - Martyn came with me which was nice too-and I had a flash thought go through my head: I think this is the best work I've done so far. I feel like my elder work with animals is so rewarding and important-and so me-but adding in my work with sharing animals with the elder people on a consistent basis is important work. I feel like I'm just beginning to touch on things that I've been preparing for for years.

There are so many stories within those walls. I like talking to the people. This visit I met a sweet woman who recently retired and has Parkinson's now. She had been a nurse and caregiver her entire life, and told me how she had cared for a gentlemen who had Parkinson's, long before she had it. She took extra care for him, and he knew it, and in his ending days he told her how her care had meant more than any other and how much it meant to him. And now here she was, being cared for the same cruel disease. My Uncle had it, and it is cruel.

But Opie also provides us with a way to share stories about animals, which leads the elders to talk about dogs they had or goats they raised. We also met a blind woman, who became blind from cancer treatments, and she smiled and smiled when we rolled Opie up so she could feel him.

I try to empathize what this would be like-to be sitting in a residence without animals, remembering my donkeys, horse, goats, and more...perhaps even my husband...would I survive that? We all would like to live out our days at home, like my mother did, mobile, free to drive, cook, and do things we are used to doing. But it doesn't always come in script form like that. While I don't dwell on it, in this work one is confronted every day with the fact that life is fragile and often unfair, and often daunting. There is a song that I heard recently-I forgot by whom, it goes–"Sooner or later one of us is going to have to live without the other." Many of these people have lost mates, or their mate lives in their home and they visit - sometimes daily. I hope I don't have to do this, or Martyn.

I don't dwell on this, but I definitely am aware that each day is a gift. I have so many freedoms. I have carved out a life, it took years to get here, but I carved it out for myself and I am intensely living it every day.

I'm not afraid of death. But I am afraid - if I dwell on it-to be kept alive in a building no matter how nice, without my animals, or my ability to make my decisions on the simplest of things like, "Think I'll get up and make a scrambled egg."

I hope Nature will grant me that wish, to live my life out with Nature around me. I have thought about this, NAture might be saying,

"Well, okay, we grant you that wish, but it might mean you will die sooner than you had in mind from a disease or accident." I guess...that would be okay.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~