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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Are you distracted?

I've been talking to a lot of people about the current climate and news cycle being such a distraction to the creative spirit. I am never in a creative flow in August, but I do start getting percolations and the itch to be in my studio once I feel autumn coming. There is so much to do on the farm in summer that my writing and art take a bit of a backseat.

But the current world situation and the constant chaos in our country right now really has a lot of people feeling agitated and ungrounded. We are charged up in many ways but I for one am now going to make an attempt to tweak how I go about the day. I've fallen into the habit of checking news online a million times a day like an addiction. This is not necessary, and certainly isn't really helping me in any way. This happened after 9/11 too and I remember people were being encouraged to step away from the TV. There was no Facebook [oh how glorious!] but still we became addicted to checking the TV to see if anything else had happened.

I am lucky I have so many chores. It grounds me to go the barn and work with the animals twice a day, muck stalls, carry buckets, look at trees and faces. Today I noticed the shifting sounds of the seasons-fall is upon us and I love fall more than any other season. The leaves sound different when the wind blows this time of summer and the insects are rabid right now-to get as much biting and blood in so they can lay eggs before dying.

The animals are not impressed with news nor do they need it. They have no idea the turmoil we are in right now. They don't fear global war or white supremacists or leaders lacking in morals or empathy. But I do. Can my art change any of it? I don't think so. I think all it can do is calm me, and maybe others. If I'm calm at least half the day, I can project the best parts of me to the world-which means standing up for the downtrodden, or speaking up when I see something that is racist or unfair. Not checking news all the time doesn't mean I will shut up. We can not be silent.

I've been doing more morning walks with Muddy. He knows when I put on my Muck boots I'm going to the barn but when I put on my walking shoes he gets to walk down to the sea's internal cove with me. He just is so happy when I put on the walking shoes and looks so disappointed when I put on the Mucks.

In this small way-walking with my dog, being engulfed in the Queen Anne's Lace, feeling the dampness of the fog-I am reminded of one thing-I'm of Nature, and Nature is not evil. It might throw a storm our way and take down a tree or flood our villages with mud and rock-it can kill us without motive or ego. But as part of Nature, I'm reminded on my walks that I breathe from the ground up, the air comes from a spiritual space and allows me to live. I do not breathe from the heart of ugly, misinformed people and I will not let their hate or bigotry drown out my creative spirit.