This coming Friday morning I am heading to Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA. I will assemble dozens upon dozens of scarlet stones into a snaky sketch on a cobbled jetty. I collected the stones (with tremendous help from Scott Schuldt – thank you!) over three visits this summer. I dragged them home, felted them into their bright, new
merino skins and cannot wait to share them with the Lo-Fi Festival goers this weekend.
For those who have never been to Smoke Farm, it serves many populations, but for my interests I can say that it’s nothing shy of Heaven. It’s my Happy Place. What I love specifically about Smoke Farm is the loafing shed where artists of every medium gather to work, eat, plan, plot and do nothing. I love the gigantic tree house, the tree swing, the meadow, the long stretch of the cold and clear Stillguamish River that flows steadily through. I love the abactors’ hideout, the long galley kitchen, the cabins, the vegetable patch and the fireside conversations/debates. When I spend time at Smoke Farm, I spend good time. Every experience there is a significant deposit in my creative stash.
Lo-Fi is a mostly annual festival held in August on the farm. This will be my second year to be a participating artist. In coming up with a project for this year’s theme, Farm Time, I thought immediately of the rocks that are EVERYWHERE on the farm but particularly of those that make up the rocky beaches and jetties. Rocks are the perfect measure of geologic time, of course, and could say so much about the farm in those terms, but what about the time spent there – life time?
To engage in rock play on the beach is surely one of the most ancient of human pastimes. Standing at any water’s edge, we are profoundly compelled to engage with the rocks. We build with rocks, use them to dig, skip them and listen for the bloops different sizes make in the water. This is quality time. This is Kairos – the kind of time for which I named my piece. Wikipedia says this:
The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens. What the special something is depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature.
Just by being at the beach (and for me especially at Smoke Farm) and playing with her rocks, challenges get resolved, questions get answers, sadness is released and shifted, triumph is celebrated and humbled. Weariness is deposited and joy springs up. It’s this kind of time I am interested in spending at the farm.
I hope you’ll join us if you can. I’d love to spend some time with you.