Posted on April 10, 2012
It’s been five months since I started going to the farm. I began this yearlong adventure last November with nothing specific in mind – no predetermined objective other than just being at the farm and noticing. I wanted to start out simply being there and to see what organically bubbled up and make work around that. I thought that was what I had been doing. However, what I saw there, what I felt there this time, surprised me.
I took my children to the farm for the first time yesterday. It happened to be Easter and the farmers were not there. My mom was along, too, and the four of us had the entire place to ourselves. It was gloriously sunny and warm and A, my oldest daughter, fell in love with the place instantly and especially with the alpacas. Not surprising. My youngest was mostly interested in roaming and in daring herself to touch the electric fences and in playing in the mud.
It was great to see all of the animals. Most all were there except I didn’t find Ellie the dog or the puppies. I didn’t see Engage, the cat, either, and there were fewer baby pigs, but it seemed like everyone else was there plus some. I counted 13 lambs. Their fearless approach, their tiny wooly bodies and their leggy agility just about sent me over the moon. In comparison, the “baby” pigs now seem huge. Just enormous compared to only a month ago. The boar and the sow were in separate pens and all the pig pens were in different places. I am sure there is an interesting story there.
While I didn’t do any work this time, farm or art, I did get to simply be at the farm – the thing I originally set out to do. I think this was actually the first time I really just watched and experienced the farm as a very distinct place. I think that I have been coming to the farm with an agenda – a self-imposed pressure to have a clear knowing about what I am doing there. I want to exude confidence so the farmers will believe it’s okay to have me there in their most intimate space. I want the people who are cheering me on, namely my family and my funding grantor, to believe the time spent at the farm and in my studio is a sound investment. To that end I intellectualize and think about how I can make a big splash – how I can go big and therefore prove that what I am doing has real value. Yesterday, while watching the animals, my children and my mother just be in the space opened my eyes. Walking among the new plants and listening, listening, listening – I experienced a shift – a new beginning. I experienced a springtime and feel like my time both at the farm and in my studio will now be very, very different.
Thank you for visiting.