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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Natural tendencies

The May madness of planting the vegetable garden and prepping the perennial beds for summer have been in full swing. Basically I am 5 inches shorter, from bending over so much. But at least I can still bend. I do often require two hands to get back up. Not too pretty from the rear, I guess. I definitely notice my body reacting differently to manual labor, no matter how enjoyable. I just can't handle intense manual labor like we did our first couple years here. I actually was so stiff last week that I convinced myself I had some strange joint disease. When we were really little, my brother used to warn me I'd get worms someday from giving dogs kisses on the mouth. I scoffed. Perhaps that scoffing has come back to haunt my joints.

I did this piece a couple years ago, and many of the pieces from then had a kneeling woman, all bent up. I was tired - hanging on to a plant to try and get back up on my two feet.

I don't read blogs daily, but lately many I visit are taking hiatus for one reason or another, some really seeming in angst over it.To me, it seems the bodies natural tendency is to want to be outside in the days of warm weather. The desire to switch from creating on a canvas, versus creating with mud and dirt and seed seems perfectly acceptable and logical. Our ancestors probably busted out of caves on a spring day - perhaps the cave paintings were only done in the winter.

Business is slow. I always stress the first of the month if jobs aren't coming in or things aren't selling. But at a certain point, I have to remember I got here from art, I am allowed to stay here through art - so why do I think after 10+ years the universe would kick me out of this place due to a lack of art? So, I continue to work, and each day let the powers to be work behind the scenes... "Hmmm, let's let her work in the fields and play with the horse for a good month, and then let's give her that huge illustration job..." . That might sound egotistical, but I just have to believe in slow times that I am not always the one to be privy as to what the heck is really going on.


Mare said...

I can totally relate to having troubles getting back up off the ground! hahaha Last week i had a truckload of mulch delivered and thought i could do that-shovel and spread the mulch in the yard. I could, but at a price! OUCH! I walked like a duck for a few days, but at least i can still do it...and i like ducks! I agree with you about seasonal work and how most folks are out enjoying the weather and nature after the long Winter months. Everything has it's own time, and an ebb and flow, including our work. My favorite saying is "This too shall pass" I say it when things are good, to remind me that i need to pay attention and enjoy this good time. And i say it in hard times, just to remind myself that it is only a temporary situation, and good times will return. Funny how little saying like that help...

farmlady said...

I certainly know what you are saying about these bodies if ours. A few years ago I could weed a hillside and lift firewood with little effort. Now, I vacuum and mop the floor and I'm in pain. What has happen?

I love your reason for the cave paintings.

Keep gardening until you drop and I will to.

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Katherine.. how RIGHT YOU ARE... we just have to trust that the universe is looking out for us... in slow and busy times.

I lament when times are slow but then all of a sudden a bounty of sales, commissions, teaching engagements happen all at once.

I look forward to reading your book about your little artistic donkey. The illustrations are quite endearing!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been laughing for the past quarter of an hour imagining a very serious young brother delivering such a "wise speech" to his sister. I absolutely ADORE it !! And he's right you know, (little people always are) giving dogs kisses on the mouth is bound to cause trouble - I just hope you haven't kissed any donkeys on the mouth !!!!
My mother used to tell me that I'd get worms from picking chewing gum up off the street and eating it (she refused to buy us gum because she didn't like to see us "chewing the cud"!) - maybe that's where my stiffness comes from.
Anyway, I'm convinced that your strange joint disease will disappear as the warm months progress and that you will continue to sell your wonderful, wonderful, wonderful art.
My specialist advises me to drink green tea to avoid stiffness and Champagne when I am "really stuck" - I recommend both.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

My mother hated gum chewing, although we did get Chewcy Fruit on the way home in the car sometimes. She also called it 'chewing the cud"! To this day I hate gum chewing sound...it really aggrivates me. Oddly, I love to hear animals chewing in the barn, very soothing. ...You mean I'm not supposed to kiss a donkey on the mouth?...oh dear...I do give them mussle kisses. ..I draw my limits to animal kissing with the chickens. I hold them, but no kissing. Yes, I was my hands...My mother is also pretty sure I might get some disease from the chickens. I usually only get sick when I've been around other's people children.

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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 ~