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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

How are you? How am I?


I took this photo yesterday and just loved the quiet beauty of it. I had gone out to groom, and deworm, the equines. Spending time without words in the paddock is one of my favorite things. If you sit quietly, they will come. I'm finding besides my visits with the elders at Cove's, I prefer to be alone with my animals even more than ever.

The beginning of September is always a favorite time for me. I always feel like it is a time to take stock on what has been, and what is needed and coming. I liken it to being a flower in the garden, I bloomed all summer full force and now it is time to reflect more and go within as winter comes, a time of creative renewal  once the summer chores of the farm lesson [not that they ever go away].

This summer started out pretty good. We had some equine healing days and Beauty Parlor Days here at the farm with elder residences. But that was cut short quickly with rising Delta cases. We also could not secure a porta potty this year due to the pandemic-go figure! I can't have elders using the house bathroom, it is unsafe due to the old house trip factors, and the many animals wondering inside. It also takes me away from the animals outside and it just isn't practical [we had an incident with someone really needing to go, so we agreed of course, but it wasn't a good situation. I need to be with the animals].

So I was disappointed in the lack of equine healing visits, especially since Biggs really seems like a natural.

But our visits to Cove's Edge have been really special, and to be able to see them in person and not through a window is great. We also have had them come in a visit on their van, and me and some smaller animals go on the van-perfect for hot weather! My Girl Friday there is going to attempt more of these visits with a couple of the wheelchair residents, and one that is blind who loves the animals and touch is so important for her. The heat and humidity made visits a challenge too, and rain!

I have other ideas about how to keep the residents lifted up in winter. I am wondering about a letter writing project where one of the animals writes every week and my Girl Friday can read it out loud. I also am looking into a portable projector where she could put a photo show on the wall.  All of this depends on how the pandemic swings, but I am feeling like things might close up again. We'll see.

I think this year has been even stranger than last year when we were in lock down. Last year, we knew what we had to do-stay home except for the most important tasks. At least that is what much of America did. This year, it felt like starts and stops, more uncertainty, anger everywhere, confusion, misinformation-all lumped in with so many upsetting things in the world like climate change and wild fires, wars, refugees...the list goes on and on.

I feel like I got a bit beat up by it all, as many of you have. I always strive to keep my posts online upbeat, but honest. I'm also more than ever putting on my pink bubble suit to defect many comments that are in my face. I think most people, good people many of them, are on edge. I get it. So I post Pickles leaps and Franklin Muffinpants chats and Harry the llama giving kisses to elder people. And sometimes I slip, and post something a bit more raw, and there's always somebody who calls it out-stop, Katherine, we come here to be uplifted, do not share that side of your feelings!

I'm dancing as fast as I can.

It's hard to be honest right now and upbeat at the same time. Maybe you disagree, but as an empath, and a sensitive soul, I am having many spiritual conflicts...about my fellow humans, and about my feelings toward them. This is a time to really grow spiritually-at some point. When I get there I'll write about it. I was thinking the other day that animals have never angered me-well, except biting flies-and nature has never angered me on the same level...but people do, and I'm working on that through this upheaval of a divided world.

So...goals for the non profit are to keep trying, to keep sharing the animal stories, to keep showing up for our elder people. You know, I don't think they really understand how important the visits are for me too, they feel like family visits to me. 

So, how are you coping in this world these days? Are you isolating more, or are you trying new things?


Robin said...

Dear Katherine,
I have a heart for Apifera, for your work and the animals. I will always do my level best to support you, even though my financial contributions are slim. It hurts me to know that people say and do what they do, especially when it's seems so obvious that your intentions are good. And it pisses me off. As for coping, I feel like I'm on a slippery slope. I've had all my folk art shows cancelled this year, and in June I was luckily able to scramble to get another. That has forced me into a kind of isolation, plus my husband isn't well, has cognitive changes, and requires some extra protecting from the virus, including vaccination.
I'm sad to report that when times are hard that people don't always respond with kindness, empathy or even honest business practices. However, when I look at those moments of ugliness I still want to believe that I don't have to subscribe to being an asshole. I can still be kind, I can still look after my family and my animals. In these small deeds I remain true to myself. I support you Katherine. Robin

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thank you for sharing your life Robin. You comment reminds me of many things-that many people are good and kind, and are trying their best. I think there is something about a computer screen [for all of us] that allows it to be like a mask, and it doesn't take much to tick someone off these days and they react instead of reflect. We've all been in that position I think and have hit the 'send' button or used wrong words...but some people...Anyway, I'm also reminded you never really know what others are going through in daily life, so kindness is important, and often a grumpy person is grumpy due to so many factors. I offer my strength in spirit for the coming days with your work and the caring of your husband-that is hard.

Robin said...

Dear Katherine,
I forgot to mention that I for one do not require a constant happy factor to support and continue my interest in Apifera. Not all journeys are made in the sun with temperatures in the 70s and no potholes in sight. Apifera is a place of the elderly and sometimes cast off,that come under your care. And thank for your sharing in spirit of your Strength, because it helps. Robin

Lin said...

I think being with the animals helps us to cope, re-group and helps us to deal with people again. It's certainly been a challenge! I volunteer at a Children's Farm and like you, I find my peace with the animals. Nothing like getting to the barn early to enjoy the stillness. I can nuzzle my favorite goat, talk to the chickens and brush my donkey friends. It helps center me and reminds me to be kind and patient. I don't look to Apifera for happy stories all the time as that is life--ups and downs. I think I have commented previously that I like to avoid political subjects, but hey, it's your blog, so I go with the flow. The animals connect us and that is what remains to be what brings me here. I usually send a donation each year to support your joyful place.

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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 ~