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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comin' and goin'

[Pictures were taken by Jan Harris on her recent visit to Apifera. She has graciously allowed me to post some of the many photos she took that day. Thank you, Jan.]

I put my mother on the plane today. We left about 10 hours before the plane was scheduled to depart, even though it only took us 1.5 hours to get to the airport. I didn't bother suggesting we leave, say, 4 hours before the flight left, because at some point a daughter just understands her mother will always leave 10 hours before the flight takes off.

The plane was delayed 3 hours. So I guess she had lots of extra time to contemplate if the pilots might fly past Minneapolis.

Anyway, I think these pictures capture how I feel. Going in two directions. Rushing. Fussing. I've decided artists should hire hostess companies to come into their homes when their mothers are here. It would really be better for everybody, especially the mother. I rarely cook anymore since Martyn is the resident chef, and likes to cook. Actually, he also likes to feel full after a meal, and I'm pretty happy with a bowl of pickled beets sprinkled with feta and a drizzle of sesame oil. But I went into this attempt to cook. I burned a lot of things. Made some really tough bread. Made a bad crust that tainted my apple pie with Apifera's first good apple crop - although my kind in-laws ate it with abandon and praised it.

"You need to focus when you cook," my mother kept reminding me.

"I am focusing...on Stella and Iris, who just jumped the fence and are eating the plum tree again."

I drank extra wine after everyone was in bed. My head was thinking about projects. I missed my projects. I talked a lot in whispers to my puppets, and Huck. The One Eyed Pug can't hear whispers.

I just like to work. I like to use my head, mixed with my heart, for at least 8-12 hours a day. Talking about dead relatives, or dying relatives, or relatives I don't know - and their children- just gets me anxious.

My mother graciously treated us to a dinner out at a local French restaurant. I wore a dress. My legs felt funny out of my dirt farmer attire. It seemed nice being waited on and not having to get up from the couch for a second glass of wine. But it really dawned on me I was really, truly eating out when I realized there was no gas emanating from my feet- that is there was no gas coming out of the 90 pound lab at my feet. Sigh, it made me think of him, how much he'd enjoy this little bistro.

As lovely as it was to visit with my mother, I think I failed horribly as a daughter these past two weeks. I kept slipping out to the studio, where I was once again "me-artist-farmer-wife-goat rescuer-horse rider-do-er-dog lover-mediocre cook-pie baker- self enterter- half loner-writer - rogue daughter- person who paints the name 'Neil' on her jeans."

Keep on rockin' in your own world.


Sycamore Moon Studios said...

You are darling just as you are. I love to listen to you as you move about in your world. Keep it up!

farmlady said...

Don't let anyone get in the way of your BLISS, Katherine. Don't let them " be the boss of you." and..., don't think less of yourself because you burnt the pie crust in the presence of your Mother.
You save goats and understand donkey speak. Come on..., you're a farm girl and you're the best "-artist-farmer-wife-goat rescuer-horse rider-do-er-dog lover-mediocre cook-pie baker- self enterter- half loner-writer - rogue daughter- person who paints the name 'Neil' on her jeans." that I have had the pleasure of knowing in a very long time.

Kathy said...

I think your mother probably enjoyed her visit with you regardless of all the self doubts you had going on there. After all, you are her daughter and she was probably as proud of you as a mother can be, given all the hats you wear around your home. Glad you had a nice visit.

Barb Mowery said...

An, I know this feeling. I love my mom, but if she sees me reading/writing/painting/sewing she assumes that I am "doing nothing" and can come help her do something else. I also love helping her and working on projects together, but it's frustrating that she considers my favorite, most satisfying activities to be empty filler for empty time.

Cathy said...

We become little kids again when our mamas are around, don't we? I adore my mother but after a few days in her company I want to curl into a foetal position and suck my thumb.

The part about Huck's gas made me laugh out loud. Please give that sweet pup a scritch for me!

Sharon Stanley said...

Katherine...I think any mother is proud of any child who bakes pie for others, takes in elderly animals, & provides interesting entertainment for hospice workers even if she does not understand it entirely...perhaps she cannot put that pride into words...but that does not mean you should not be proud of yourself...because that is most important. And just think...you can now go back into your very artful life knowing you gave pleasure to her for a little while...even if that pleasure was handing out "unnecessary" advice! (some people just love that!)

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Well, thanks all - these mother-daughter posts seem to generate discussion. I had several emails from friends about it too.

I found this great quote today:
". . . I knew that a day I took away from the work did not make me too happy. I just feel that I’m in tune with the right vibrations in the universe when I’m in the process of working. I always felt right when I was right here. And even if I didn’t want to compose, so I painted or stacked the pieces or something. In my studio I’m as happy as a cow in her stall. That’s the only place where everything is all right."

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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 ~