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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Misfit amongst us

Every night for the past week the starlings have been gathering in the old Doug Fir in the back of the studio. They begin singing at full strength in a group around 6pm. It goes on for about an hour, then, it abruptly ends all at once. Not one or two birds at a time, just boom over. Martyn thinks it is tied to the exact timing of the sun totally setting. I want to paint it , or the sound of it, but am too caught up in some other things right now. But I will, when I least expect it. I have always had a fondness for crows, and starlings too, blackbirds. Most people hate starlings, but I like them. If you look closely at their feathers, they are quite beautiful. I know they do some bad birdie things, but it is survival of the fittest.

We went into Portland to a birthday party the other night. When we first moved here and we would occasionally go into Portland for some event, I would usually get a few pangs of, 'Gee, I hardly got to live there before moving out here, and it's such a lovely place, so much I didn't discover." Now, I have no real thought like that. For the first time, I felt how attached we have become to our life here, and unattached to the one there. The discussions at the party were somewhat superficial, and no one really understood what we were doing out here. They didn't understand why we bought sheep, so we talked about sustainable living and eating local, which no one had heard of or seemed interested in. [I'm sure there are many people in Portland that understand local eating and such, please note, just not the particular people I talked to this nite]. One person felt that the Oregon farm land should all be vineyards, as it is 'the best use of the land". I told him I disagreed, and that if more people valued eating local, and spoke up to large grocery chains, a shift could begin, even if slowly. I changed the talk back to TV and people's new haircuts. We left about 11pm, and we both noticed how we couldn't see many stars. Back home at the farm around midnite, the air was so fresh smelling, and the sky was just loaded with stars. Neither of us said anything, we just stood looking at the sky for awhile before heading for bed.

It was a nice evening and all, but it felt better here. I've always been a misfit anyway. But I do feel like I 'fit' when I'm on our farm.


Unknown said...

You and I are so a like. When gone from my farm I feel different, like something is missing. When I arrive back home, I have a this calming effect that just rolls over me as I turn onto our dirt road. To me it's the cheapest form of sedative I can get!

Cathy said...

I'm surprised the Portland people were so clueless about eating locally and living sustainably. There are some wonderful chefs in town (Greg Higgins, Corey Schreiber) who are articulate proponents of honest, well-raised food.

I like starlings too, especially in their summer coats.

Juli said...

K: I can relate to the misfitting. We want so badly to move to a rural place to call our own, away from the suburb hub bub of shopping malls and pools in the backyards. I take comfort in knowing that there are like-minded people "out there"... We'll get to our "there"... and there I'll feel the fit.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Thoughtful and delightful--as always.

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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 ~