Wednesday, May 3, 2017



When I start to write this it is a little past 4:30 in the morning and I've just come in from the dark field to see about sheep births. I don't like birth, by the way.


The two dogs go with me, a long walk for such a dark hour. Ziggy, the herding dog goes all the way up to the sheep and starts to run her circles around the fence. Nea gets distracted or lazy halfway up -- disappearing into the peepers and the mist around the stream. 


This morning there are no lambs, no laboring ewes. I trudge back to the house through the field with my flashlight and a particularly buoyant Ziggy. My boots sink 2 inches into the mud with each step. Inside the dark house I peel off various layers of sweaters and rain gear..  should I start the coffee or go back to sleep for a few hours? This debate is the same every morning and is loaded with my own distorted sense of achievement. A toxic, irrational link between hardship and integrity. Bullshit really. 

I start the coffee on this particular morning, flip the switch and then things are off running in a specific direction. A janus point, after which two realities exist: the Sarah making coffee, the Sarah that goes back to sleep. Nea is still out on the farm somewhere, enlivened to the dark by now, investigating a field mouse nest or rolling in something dead. Likely she's gone up past the towering compost piles to where there is half a deer carcass; only bones remaining. This deer has been Nea's spring project, and most afternoons she can be found diligently working on the bones or rolling around on her back in them. I consider for a minute the particles, the atoms of a dead stinking thing now on the thick fur of Nea's broad back. Moving on to their next adventure through the cosmos. 


I take my coffee up to my office and read about extinctions. I'm reading about the Ordovician extinction; it marked the end of the Trilobites and about 85% of marine life. The earth was mostly water. There were no polar ice caps. All land was south of the equator in a continent called Gondwana.  In some research I've been doing it seems that climate change deniers use the Ordovician extinction event as evidence of natural climate change. I spend more time that I'd like to admit reading these climate change deniers blogs and comments on the internet. I need to stop.


Things moving around, things changing. We can all agree on that. The world is changing no matter how we try to understand it. A lot of physicists now think that time is merely a human perception. It's how we experience change in the world, it's the projection of change in our reality. The mathematics of  Quantum theory and the General Theory of Relativity do not require time. When I think about the larger outer areas of the cosmos, and then the inner smallest working of the atom it makes me feel stuck in the middle and confused. But that feels better than trying to figure out how to feel about a coal-burning, national-park-destroying, human-rights denying Trump world. 


There are around 50 Quintillion atoms in a grain of sand. Thats more than there are grains of sand on the whole earth.

On my second cup of coffee I go outside and call the dog again. She trots casually in from the darkness. Smelling fine.

The birdsong has started now, and the world seems safer. The sky lightens.

In the city my bedroom view is of nondescript concrete buildings, asphalt and a pair of big dick dildos someone strung up on a wire. I miss nature when I am there but like the restaurants.

I woke up one morning to a loud sound in the city and I was for sure it was a nuclear warhead sent by North Korea descending through the atmosphere. When I was safe to know it wasn't, I let myself think of Kim Jong Il. Maybe lying in his bed to go to sleep on the other side of the world. So evil and also so undeniably human. Also made of atoms. Around 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them.

Atoms are rather indifferent to politics, which I find comforting.


I was, for a few weeks, reading Breitbart every morning, just to make sure my blood pressure was up before I started the day.

I would click the most ridiculous article on the main page, scan it, and then go straight for the comments section. I learned a lot about the other side this way. I found a comment on a coal/EPA story that says 'we should burn Mexicans for electricity.' I close the window on the screen so suddenly, so as to minimize the amount of (perceived) time that idea is exposed to the air in my room. 

I think about all the hate in the world and the people who are so full of rage. I am full of rage sometimes (often even?) and I see my own anger more clearly now than I have in the past. It's uncomfortable but arguably empowering. I stalk my own anger,  like a spy in the bushes I watch it. Right under the surface of my skin like a hot liquid about to boil.


I go downstairs for my third cup of coffee and it's fully light out now. I look in the front yard, a true country ramshackle of broken chairs, piles of wood, plastic 5 gallon buckets. I love it this way. A work in progress. I silently swear to never polish it, never finish it.

I look out the back of the house and can see beyond the stream up to the field, small specs of grey and black starting to mull about inside the sheep pens. The stream is running high, from recent rain and the last of spring's snowmelt. It flows so surely, so exuberantly - the water if full of exclamation points!! Just another small tributary dubbed Fly Creek in this wild and weird ever changing country of ours.


It's hard wired in us, to see beauty in nature. Me and the commenters on Brietbart - each with our own unique set of man made angers and hatreds would see a teeming springtime stream and be momentarily calmed by it. Nature is full of things that we can all agree on and I trust the power of that more than anything these days. 



10 comments:

Shelly said...

And the seasons they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down. I'm not sure if we are captured on the carousel of time. It seems that when I/we stop, and fully perceive the moment, like you contemplating your worlds, that there is only now. Thank you for the reminder. And so pleasing to catch up with your farm and flowers.

Anonymous said...

Saipua World is an antidote to Trump World.

Thank you for the beauty, and the realness.

Shelley said...

Your best I think.

Wild Stems said...

This is so achingly beautiful. I love your writing, how what you write is so much more than blog post. It's essay and prose, and folds itself around the images like so much perfect mist around a dense green hillside. As a reader, I feel pulled through each post with such effortless momentum, like stepping into a river current, deposited on shore gently a few moments later, the ride always over too soon. Whatever I turn my attention to next, I do so more thoughtfully and more dreamily, but also with more ambition and hunger. A new drive to make all my actions a purposeful march toward making myself a life filled with more of the feeling your writing just instilled. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

That is a lot to think about. Beautifully written.
~Melisa Green, Indiana

weave&rust creativity wrangling said...

you sing a true & very human note in your writings...and this species of note can summon all manner of subtle power to resist the murk in the world.

Just discovered you today. Loving your honest, bright, middle-distances. Thank you.

linden said...

Sarah, I love your writing. I love that your mind exists in this world and I think it is proof of magic. xoxo Linden

lmissenda said...

This is beautifully written, thank you for painting such a sensory picture. And your photos are amazing.

roth phallyka said...

Your best I think.



Goldenslot

Haylina said...

i want to read your writing all day long, honestly. makes my heart and hurt in the best way.