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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Sometimes I'm afraid...then I get up

I am not sure why, but lately I have been having feelings of fear when I wake up in the morning. Not panic or anxiety, just thoughts come into my head, like,

What if Martyn dies? What would happen if I died today?

I don't know what is underlying these thoughts. I guess it feels like the same way I felt when I took a new job in NYC in my twenties, or went off to school for the first day as a first grader. When I was younger, I didn't have the skills to work through these things as well as I do now.

I have a very good way to deal with these thoughts. I think them, mull them for a few minutes. And then I get up.

I remember when I lived alone in Minneapolis. I lived alone most of my adult life, always preferring to have my own apartment or home. I had two boyfriends in all the years I was a single woman and they were only around for a year...although both of those breakups caused me great pain. I let the first grieving go on way too long, I hung on in so many ways...including trying to maintain a friendship. I know that is how I had to deal with it at the time, but I think seven years went by before I began to really move on. By the time the second person had come into my life, and ended our time together, abruptly, and in a very secretive behind the scenes way, I did grieve it, but I remember waking up and thinking, I'm not letting this grief or this person hold me up for as long. And I didn't. The latter was also not a very honest person, so it was a different kind of feeling during the grief.

I see women my age or older lose their husbands and I wonder if I would get through it. I remember some well know scientist in an interview, forget who, but he lost his wife and best friend after 60+ years of marriage, he was now alone at about 90, and still working. When asked how he was coping, he said he had lots of good things in his life, including his work, but when his wife died

"It kind of took the fun out of everything" he said.

I can understand this. So much of my time with Martyn is spent laughing. He is really funny. We just really enjoy each other. He makes my days brighter. We spend a lot of time together. In winter, from November through March, Martyn is here on the farm working and helping take care of the snow, maintenance and all sorts of things. He is the main chef too and our meals together, breaking bread, talking about the day, our plans, visions, are all wonderful, juicy things of life together. We come up with ideas, and then bring them to life, together, each one with a separate set of skills to see it through.

When I'm with my animals, I feel whole. When I was hurt, confused or lost in my youth, or other times in my life, animals and my relationship with them and Nature, got me through. So did having my parents around, they were best friends too before I met Martyn. But touching and working with the animals keeps me grounded to Earth, the place I am meant to be now, in my evolution.

But I don't know what I would do if Martyn died before me. And I guess it's a 50/50 chance. And I don't like to think of him without me. Don't worry about something until it happens, they say. Sage advice. And I'm not worried. I am simply stating...I'm aware of this thought that pops into my head lately.

I'm not sure, like I said, why this is popping into my head these days, more so than at other times. Maybe it is just the uncertainess [for me and many, that is] of the global world and our chaotic administration. Maybe it is part of the transition into my 60's. Maybe it is because Martyn just ended his winter-at-the-farm-routine and his days are now off the farm working with the landscape crew. I am perfectly content on my own during the day, my life is busy and full. I do not spend my days mired in fear. I'm not seeking advice.

I just am acknowledging the recurrence of these thoughts. I like to think I would go on with gusto [at some point] and that the animals, and the land, farm and my art and writing are what would get me through losing my best friend.

I guess...you just do your best. And you have to determine what the best is you can do each day when you are faced with a big loss. It is your own way, not another's. Nobody has the right to tell a person they aren't getting over something fast enough. Nobody has the right to tell another person they aren't grieving well. The person that gives an opinion to grieving person telling them -even though they have not asked for advice-that they could or should have done something differently while the dead person was still alive...is cruel and narcissistically informed.

This photo was one I took yesterday of me and Calla, one of the elder flock members. I just love the look of her head, so big, almost like it is out of proportion, but it is so like her, to come to me and lean into me and we just can sit that way for many moments. I had no bad thoughts while sitting there with her, no worries...and if I had I'm sure they would have been lifted, even if temporarily.