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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mystery no more

Yesterday it was over 100 degrees. And what was I doing? Around noon I was helping hold a sheep for my vet to take blood samples. Standing even in the shaded barn for 45 minutes nearly killed this Irish blooded lass. The vet left and I returned to the studio, where Martyn had rigged up an old air unit, delapitated but it works."Anything to keep my bride cool, " he said.

I ventured out around 2 pm to do an errand, and again, felt like I was dying. I've written before about my history with the month of August. It is not my favorite month, not only because of the heat, but because I feel like a dead leaf. Just grind me up, give me to the worms, please, get it over with. Surely I'm worth more to the world as compost than an over heated human.

Back in the studio, I had much to do, and attempted it, quite well with my dandy air unit buzzing. It also saved the pug from cardiac rest. But then I was saved. Saved by an email. The email was only 3 words long: "I'm goin' in" and I knew exactly what it meant.I jumped up, changed into my special nymph outfit, gathered my towel, and got my body, now dewey and crisp all at the same time, down to our river front. My friend and savior Annie met me at our river front and we descended from our bank into our birth waters. In an instant, we ceased to be women, but had become the air-water creatures, most of our bodies under water, and only our faces sticking up for air. We are graced with this river front, and while the river is not 'ours', it feels like it. No cars from our road can see into it, and the shore line is secluded. And even more wonderful, we have about 40 feet that is deep enough to do laps.

We swam, we floated, we ate blackberries that were spewing over the bank. We found our spot where we could sit with our bodies in water, and just, breathe. We were being nibbled by the 1" baby cutthroat fish. Martyn has since explained they were eating the dead skin that was floating off our bodies. I had this moment in the water where I felt "of the river".

The heat stayed well into the evening, so I didn't do barn chores until 9pm. The moon was one day from being full. As I returned to the house, the sky, moon, and sun merged together into some kind of mystery, or moment. I was somehow lifted out of my body, only for seconds. Returning to the ground, I stood alone in silence and watched, but felt compelled to try to document the moment, or feeling. As I returned with a camera, the donkeys had appeared, right at the spot of my earth lifting. I took this picture not worrying about camera settings. Was it in my overheated head, an over creative imagination? I think not. Encircled in an energy orb of the moon, Pino is looking directly at me and reassuring me, "Yes, it did happen, I often leave the earth for seconds too."


Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Katherine... I do believe that Kansas has stolen the nice weather from your beautiful Oregon. We are having days in the 70's and low 80's. This is a RARE occasion, for I have never known in my whole entire time of living here... which would be 18 years now, when August was not in the 100's.

I am loving the outdoors and basking in the cool breezes, unlike my usual self induced hibernation. I know it will not last, but we thank you kindly for sharing your wonderful climate with us... if only for a few days.

Terre Busse said...

Sounds magical. I too would like to leave the earth for seconds now and then...maybe even an hour or two.
I love that photo

Mary Richmond said...

oh how i hear you about the heat...and it sounds like you found a perfect way to deal with it! lovely post....brought us right into your world....

Bruce Anderson said...

what a lovely post. the pictures is truly amazing.

farmlady said...

"...of the river." Yes, this is a wonderful feeling. I forget, in the heat of the summer, that I have the great Mokelumnie River a few miles away. I should go more often. It is a good feeling to float in a large moving body of water. It puts things in perspective and makes summer easier to get through.
Enjoyed the story.

Sandra Monat said...

how magical!

Amy Schimler-Safford said...

What an absolutely amazing photograph. You captured it perfectly in this shot! Magical indeed.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Love that mystical, magical photo, wonderful.
We normally [Oklahoma} have horrid days in August, but have gotten the blessing of rain, and coolness... at least for a little while.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thanks for writing everyone. I understand why when you find old journals in antique stores they often just write down the weather. It's so consuming. It's a coat after all.

Amy Cameron Evans said...

flying donkeys = magic

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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 ~