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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I just had the most beautiful encounter with llama love...I guess I needed that

It was sort of a hard bunch of days for several reasons. Some I wrote about, others I kept private. I was back in the studio this week, much needed, and when I finished one of the pieces, the title came immediately, "Sometimes You're Upside Down'.

As an intuitive person, I know when I'm off. I felt that this week. Being off doesn't mean you are or bad, or unworthy, or doing it all in the improper way. But it can feel that way.

When I was doing chores this morning a beautiful thing happened, an encounter and I needed and I didn't realize how much.

I was mucking out stalls and cleaning water buckets in the outer barn, the sheep were still taking their morning lay downs, chewing cud in the shade. Birdie the llama was nearby, laying down. I approached her and she remained down, and I massaged her neck.

I got up and went about with my chores. Within seconds, I felt a presence, a light breath, and Birdie was standing directly behind me, her llama breath hitting my neck, softly. I laughed, she is known to do this to guests or vets, anyone visiting and talking to me will be checked out by Birdie. But when I turned to leave the stall, to go out to the pasture, she blocked the exit. I laughed again.

"Do you need more attention?" I asked, rubbing her neck. She then laid her head on my shoulder, another thing she likes to do while I cradle her head. Llamas don't usually like their heads touched, or 'patted', which is why I always instruct people to rub the neck. But Birdie has always been different from many llamas-even the breeder said this about her and suggested I not take her as she was already too interested in me, which would not make her the best candidate for protecting the sheep. I took her anyway.

I stood with her for some time, holding her head, kissing her nose and eyelids, rubbing her neck. At some point, I tried to again leave the exit. She repositioned herself slightly, and pressed into me, laying her head, strongly this time, onto my chest as if saying,

"Stop, stay here with me. I mean it, stop."

And I did.

It dawned on me that I am the one who needed this, not her. Oh I guess one can surmise anything in the woo woo world of animal love. {While I'm on that, please don't call Birdie one of my 'fur babies" it really wrinkles us Apiferians to be labeled 'fur babies. We think its fine if you live with fur babies, but we do not.}

I realized this week I was so absorbed in my 'upside downness' that I was a bit shutdown to Mother Earth, and I think Birdie knew this, or sensed my unbalance. I have seen Pino pick out the depressed one in a group, I've watched Opie stay put with one elder over another sensing something I'm not privy too but he senses it.

When I am unbalanced, I feel it inside. I feel uncomfortable with the world, with certain people, with 'the outsiders' which entails anyone outside the front gate. That's a lot of people. If I can feel it, I can rest assured my animals can, and some partake in healing, some down't.

You won't see Girl George coming over to commune with me, but Birdie, White Dog, Boone, Paco, Pino, Marcella-they are pretty tuned into me. There were many like this back at the old farm too. So there I was, trapped by llama love, forced to stop and care for myself with a beautiful long neck pressed against my heart. I allowed myself a short cry. Not a blubbering one, but the kind you have when you stub your toe and it hurts intensely for seconds.

I thanked her, and she slowly loosened her neck from me, but you know,I think she was prepared to stand there longer. I better check in with her later today, make sure I don't need another session.

"When You're Upside Down" an original