Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On Writing and Making Space

Well now, I swore to myself I would write more here this summer and ah well, you see how that is going. But I do "write" every day, in my head....long narratives, funny anecdotes, explanations, justifications, and How-Tos. I "write" all day, every day really because there is no one but goats and dogs to talk to most days. I do most of this "writing" while my hands are doing other things.

It is rare for my hands to ever be idle as the chores of the farm are myriad----milking, cleaning, feeding, watering, harvesting, hauling, chopping, slicing, stirring, folding...you get it, or maybe you don't. It is impossible to be idle on the a farm because there is always something to be done.

Writing requires quiet and space and permission to ignore everything else for a sustained period of time. I rarely find that quiet and space and as for the permission...well, I can't give myself a day off. I just can't. I'm driven to work until I drop, because the list is so very long and behind that list in another list and another and another. The work is relentless and I feel a heavy sense of responsibility to the animals and land that I care for. Every day is some version of Overwhelmed for me. Somedays I buzz through the list, others I stress and fret and beat myself up for not being Enough, for not being fast, nor efficient.

But yesterday as I began writing this post (longhand on little paper while "grazing out" with the goats), I had lost sight of the ways in which the Universe intervenes sometimes. As I took the goats back to the barnyard and the secure pasture, I nabbed the naughty Midnight swinging him up into my arms and heard an ugly crackle-pop-snap in my back.

I spent the afternoon on the couch in a funk, a stupor, and bored out of my fucking mind. I don't like to be MADE to lie down, but our bodies tell us what they need. Today, I'm nursing my back....my husband lectured me about taking it easy and asking for help and followed it all with, "I don't know why I'm telling you any of this. You aren't going to do it. You're just going to do what you want. You're stubborn" and he was mostly right, but it really isn't about being stubborn, it is about feeling Purposeful and strong. So, although I get overwhelmed at the daily chores sometimes, I need that Purpose to keep me moving,

Today, I am taking it easy and I keep thinking the word "shirk" and reminding myself that I am not actually shirking my responsibilities, but re-prioritizing to put myself first at least for today. I did my morning chores diligently and well, but I can in and cleaned up and fed myself and had a second cup of tea today. I started in on making cheese, which is sometimes a chore, but was today, a joy to create, To take our (mine and Ruby's) hard work and make mozzarella and ricotta for this week's dinners was a celebration.

I've had my lunch and I've given myself this little bit of time to write and now I'm off to my sewing room to create something...but I don't have an agenda, just the Space I need for myself for today at least.


  1. Just popped over from Susannah's August Break... Nice to meet you :) I have a 'thing' for owls and trees, so I HAD to visit :D

    1. Nice to meet you too. We named our farm Owl Tree because we have a pair of Great Horned Owls who live in the vicinity....we hear them calling each night and are sometimes lucky enough to see them. Thanks for stopping by....I'm looking forward to Susannah's photo challenges!!