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

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Thanksgiving prayer

Martyn and I have been together for almost 14 years. We met in our forties which was a good thing as I still had a lot to learn before I met him, and I imagine he had his own work to do too. What I find so beautiful about our relationship is it just grows stronger every year. Like any couple, we have rough spots and warts, but we always go to bed with a kiss-at least 99% of the time.

The other night we were having our usual wine by the fire and as we were talking about a particular subject, I had this epiphany-that I loved Martyn even more than the day before and each day I kept feeling more love, and that it was a much more mature love than when we met. Our skills as a couple have grown more fine tuned and our ability to work as a team is more polished. I got up and told him this as he started to make dinner, and I cried a little because it felt so strong inside of me, this sense of strong love.

When I wrote the book, Donkey Dream, it was about how I left Minneapolis with a broken heart after The West spoke to me, called me, pulled me to her. On my first day in my new house, I met Martyn. A year later, we married and a year after that we were pulled further west, to find Apifera. Or I found Apifera. Selfishly, I always thought my finding Apifera as my cosmic plan, that Martyn was living his own path with his landscaping business.  I thought of Apifera as a gift to me for my heart, art, and work with animals. It was my call to service, the perfect meshing of my soul to land and animal. And all of that is true.

But I now realize that Apifera became an ongoing grad school for us to learn and evolve as a couple. The farm created opportunities to partner in ways we might not have been able to in town. When my father died in 2008, it opened another space for our marriage. And when my mother died, then Martyn's father, more spaces were open to us as a team. Our dynamics shifted somehow because of those openings. It is not that our parents were bad for our marriage, but there were things I shared intimately with my mother I didn't with Martyn. I realized our relationship has grown so much on many levels, due to these new spaces. Intimacy, true intimacy, involves trust in the partner. After 12 years of marriage I recently shared some dark secrets of my past, that almost came to me out of the blue, incidences I didn't want to revisit. Martyn was moved, and sad to hear of these things, but it was a beautiful moment too, that after all that time, he was the one I told, and nobody else knows, or will know.

Apifera is very much about my relationships with the animals and land. My art and writing work will always be about relationship. But I have been reawakened of late that Apifera is also about my loving and evolving relationship with my best friend and husband, my Dirt Farmer, my ever most gentle hearted, Martyn.

My Thanksgiving prayer is one for me and Martyn, that we be able to stay with each other until the end in sickness and in health. A more realistic prayer might be that we stay together until the end, and if we can't, that we grow wings and harvest strength to endure what life gives us.


Kerry O'Gorman said...

Sounds like your prayers have already been answered. The proof is in the pudding. You are both very lucky indeed but don't forget that you're also two smart people who are open to the game of life. Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Ah a beautiful ode to love and your husband. I believe you have pegged what marriage, real marriage is all about, warts aside. But a growing feeling of fullness being with each other that gets stronger all the time. Roots and wings, love that lets you both grow in all the ways you need to. I am lucky and grateful to have that too. Makes life the richer. Happy Thanksgiving. xox

lishofmann said...

This is just so beautiful ... Apifera seems to be this space - possible within us all perhaps? - where we are challenged by love to love and to grow in partnership ... with ourselves, and by extension with those we are blessed to create a new story with. Warmest wishes on a cold post-Thanksgiving day. It's been a rough few years, but the challenges knit us closer together.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Kelly- you have no idea how your comment fits "don't forget that you're also two smart people who are open to the game of life."-details soon.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Corrine, so glad you have that too! Life is hard if not beautiful and ragged, but it sure helps to have a friend along for all of it. Thanks, Lisa- I love that, yes, I think I recently said Apifera isn't necessarily a 'place' it is my intention for how I work and walk this realm. I know you had a wild couple years-but man, so much of a journey you have been on too!

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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 ~