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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Barn speaks woman listens

I was taking pictures this week in the donkey area and turned to see Paco licking the grave of Giacomo, our old donkey who died a year ago and is buried in the main donkey paddock. I have spoken often how it is a gathering point for guests, farmers and donkeys, a quiet place to reflect on life, or the moment by moment sensations of the creature in front of me.

We all have our belief systems and my post today will not try to tackle putting mine into a descriptive narrative. But I've been noticing the electrical "skin charges' in the old barn on a more frequent basis. I call them "skin charges" for lack of a better phrase - a physical sensation accompanied by a sense of something watching, participating, checking in on me as I work in the barn. Often, there is something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn, it's not visible to me. I have always had experiences like this, but the old barn and a few other places on the farm seem very electrified. From the day we arrived to look at the farm [I write about this in my illustrated memoir that is being pitched], the old barn spoke to me, always in a caring way, or a meloncholy way - "Do you know how many cows I've birthed, and buried?" she asked me. "You must come now, dream deep with me."

With each new arrival, or parting, the energy is shifted slightly - sometimes softened, but it can also feel stronger on a given day or month. Lately my little "skin charges" have been abundant, and while it's comforting to think it is Giacomo - and often I sense it is- I also feel the presence of a man, non threatening, someone who just misses his barn and is checking in on us.

Each animal has his or her own relationship with the living, and the dead. When Paco licked the stone of Giacomo's grave, he might have tasted salt or the appealing scent of something that had rubbed on the stone. Or he might have had a "skin charge".


Carole Reid said...

Okay my dear Katherine, I'm writing this through tears! Maybe it was the image of Paco licking the memory/grave stones. Or maybe I'm remembering the little ceremony/memorial we had around the stones. Or maybe I'm feeling your love for Giacomo. Or just that fact that Apifera Farm and the donkeys will always have that wonderful effect on me! xo

hawksnestfarm said...

This tender moment made me tear up Katherine...how lucky for you to witness. Sure does seem like a bigger story is unfolding...listen hard!

Cathy said...

It's so lovely that all these souls are comfortable enough around you to tickle the edge of your senses. They must recognize what a good provider and caretaker you are, both of the land and everyone who lives on it.

Sharon Stanley said...

such a thoughtful post katherine. personally, i think when you work the land, or are really connected to a place, you do feel the past as well as the present...some people more than others and you must surely have a sensitivity to apifera's past...do i feel a book coming on?

Anonymous said...

Opening your blog feels like coming home. You are living an extraordinary life. Your animals inspire me, your art comforts me, your words spur me to acceptance of my own desire to surround myself with animals in need. Thank you, sweet lady.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thank you everyone...for not calling me 'nutty barn woman"...All About Buck- I went to your blog and I am sending healing thoughts to you and brave Buck. Our animals give so much in the face of their own discomfort.

Adrian said...

Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. We are never alone, not ever.
So glad you could share your experience with us. Thank you.

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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 ~