I've gotten really into the old science of life as guided by the moon--phases, waxing/waning, sign passing through, ascending/descending--not only in gardening and growing, which in my (simplified) definition is the basis for biodynamic cultivation, but in daily household tasks, in charting mood--hopefulness? Despair?
You know, that sort of thing. But that's a project for another post down the line, once I have some data (what a nutty word for what I'm doing) to share with you.
But it's got me thinking about the moon and her fixed face. That's not uncommon, so I've read, with satellites, but the moon seems so much more than mere satellite. She's a guide, a prodder of secrets, one who secrets things away, and one who exposes them. She pulls the tides, the sap, the seasons, and the water table that is the majority of our make-up. If the sun is electric, the moon is cool blue pulsation, a reverberation sometimes too low to hear, but the thrumming is always there, in the ebbing and re...
I think most of us are pretty sure we lead boring lives. Or, worse, that our lives won't mean much, don't mean much, in the grand chessboard of it all.
And I'm also pretty sure that's both untrue and an honest-to-god tragedy.
I mean, I'm right there with you--I find my own story (as a *whole*) pretty dull. But then if I challenge myself? If I call myself on what absolutely has to be a lie, because who doesn't have a good story somewhere, I remember the chicken story. Or the summer our neighbor in Brooksville loaded his shotgun every morning, discharging it into the air every time the developer/realtor team came to show prospective clients the development site across the street from him. I remember the time my sister and I shook out our piggy banks and walked to the Five & Dime all by ourselves to buy gifts for everyone at Christmas. I remember my grandfather picking us up at the bus stop and taking us to get cupcakes after school. I remember the freakishly amazing way my childhood...
You see, the true trick is not to get sick of yourself. That may be the thing we were put on earth to accomplish (because once we can see ourselves, really see ourselves, every day, then we can get onto the real business at hand, like honoring the earth, honoring each other...).
I thought about this over the holiday weekend. I love to watch people--which can be a wonderfully compassionate pastime, or a self-serving instrument of torture, depending on mood.
At a few points, it was the latter.
But then I wandered into a shop in my town, and the owner was so wonderfully charming that we ended up talking for quite a while. Finally, she stood back and looked at me, waving her hand in a circle to indicate my head and shoulders, "I love this," she said. "The hat, the hair--it's perfect."
It was like a gut-punch with a rainbow-bedazzled boxing glove. And it was exactly what I needed. You see *she* wasn't sick of me; *I* was sick of me. I was vanilla pudding *again* in a world feasting on...
Sometimes the evil, slimy, self-pitying monster lying coiled (most of the time) deep in the soles of my feet slithers his way up through some path in need of repair, sneering at this whole gratitude thing all the way.
"Be grateful for *what*? Your debt? Your lack of independence? The relentless schedule you keep, just to hold it all together? Your mistakes? Your failures? Your laziness? Your lack of ambition? Ha! Good luck, there, girlie. Gratitude is a trend, a fad, a 21st Century New-Age version of the Grapefruit Diet."
And, man, that voice is so tempting--like Bond-villain tempting. You know what I mean--smooth and British, sophisticated and so seemingly logical. And so beautifully dastardly--like, drugs-in-the-veins kind of dastardly; he takes your pain for the briefest of moments, turning it into something you long to prod, like a loose tooth, regretting it only later and for so much longer.
But more and more often, I find counters to those tempting obstacles. I counter with...
I know in light of recent events, hope can seem a dangerous, apathetic, complacent commodity. A liability. I hear that argument, and I understand it.
But in this life, I have clutched the floorboards in panic, in substance-draining terror, in sweat-drenched and erratic surely-this-must-be-it palpitations. I have been there; I have seen and welcomed darkness, even asked for it.
But I'm here. You see? I'm here. Nothing saved me, no one saved me. Things pass. Things pass because Pandora, bless her curious soul, was right to open that box. She was right to free hope. Sure, she let out a slew of nastiness that hounds and haunts us now, whose slimy touch is still on our skin from earlier in the month, but think of it this way: hope was trapped in that box with those things. And it survived.
It not only survived; that sweet sister flew--last out, cramped and stuffed beneath an eternity of darkness, and still she flew.
Hope changes everything. Hope is what assures us that yes, yes, the sa...
So, perhaps that title is a bit deceiving. I don't have a farming life, not as such, not yet. But slowly, slowly, I'm collecting skills. The past two weeks, I've been on blog sabbatical, taking care of a friend's farm.
Five goats, a plethora of chickens, a field of winter greens, and one border collie named Pepper. (I don't know if the other animals had names but, of course, I named them). So let me tell you a little story about a dog and two chickens. We'll call the first one Flo.
Flo had looked pretty droopy for a few days, and I knew about SCD (Sudden Chicken Death--they just sort of decide on it one day...not a bad way to go, honestly), so I'd had an eye on her. Anyway, that morning, she was in her nesting box, having very obviously passed on in the night. Now, dead and dying beings don't bother me much, as a rule. I mean, they do, of course, but I can handle it. But still. I gave her a little moment of silence; I wished her great grubbing in her next life.
I still have moments of disbelief, but I do acknowledge that fear is strong, that it takes a great deal of will and faith to overcome.
That being said, I still grieve.
I am, however, lighting a fire under this grief, using this grief, this anger, as kindling. I'm inspired. I'm inspired because there's nothing else to do. I'm here, I'm willing, I'm strong. I'm reaching for hope because what other choice is there? Hope is light, hope has a fierce fury to it--it cannot be extinguished and, indeed, can serve as a light, passed one to another, in the dark.
Despair is easy, but hope takes fire. It is, as wise Emily Dickinson once wrote, the thing with feathers.