Friday, December 21, 2018

choose your own adventure.

This is the pond where Nea and I cut a hole in the ice every morning to dip drinking water out for the sheep. This morning, emboldened by the solstice I stripped on the dock and dunked myself in through the ice. For whatever it's worth.

I've been having the feeling daily here that is palpable and different. I just love it here so much. Imagine being a child again and having the most incredible playground. This playground has fortresses and sandboxes and rope bridges, slides, swings etc. And lots of creatures to play with. There are endless things to do on this playground and the best part is there are no adults to tell you what you can and can't do - there are NO RULES! This is what Worlds End feels like to me lately.

What I'm talking about is unbridled creativity. One afternoon I find some strange meat in the bottom of the deep freezer and I make a weird fatty, garlicky meal for the big white guard dogs who sleep with the sheep. I cook it outside on the grill and take it up to them and delight in their reactions. I'm playing chef.

I have a sickly ewe who never gained weight after lambing last spring and I make a hospital for her inside the barn. I fluff it out with extra nice hay, feed her free choice alfalfa pellets and sweet grain. I call Farmer Meg to come over to hold her while I take her temperature and give her an injection of vitamin B. I bring an electric tea kettle up there and put tea on in the infirmary. Climb to the top of the haystack and sip my tea watching this ewe carefully making mental notes of her progress. I'm playing doctor.

Lately I'm (reluctantly) playing architect. I find some graph paper and sketch out window layouts for the second barn renovation. Those of you who have signed up for the summer residency program are helping me fund the finishing of this massive project and each of you will live in a different beautiful room upstairs. One has big windows that open up over the lily pond, one will be a small cave-like room just next to the library that will be decked floor to ceiling in floral chintz, and the third room has a writers nook perched over the main farm yard.

All is to say that the boundaries between work and play are blurred here.

Our culture is excellent at separating work and play; leisure and labor. This is a major theme in our discussions here at Worlds End and will be an organizing query in the Alternative Economic Summit we are starting to plan for September 2019.

Every morning I walk up to the field to do chores and I feel so fortunate to have this continual puzzle to engage in. I know I don't have to remind you that it's not always peachy -- that there are moments of sadness, loss, confusion and exhaustion in the mix for me and this strange place. But as a whole it's an endless choose-your-own-adventure sort of experience that I am looking forward to sharing more and more with you this coming spring. 



rare things said...

cheers to the choose-your-own-adventure-non-peachy moments :)

Anonymous said...

I love choose your own adventure!! I'm coming.....

lulu said...

amazing to discover your blog posts again after noticing you missing from instagram :) and read them all in one go last night-
I hope to be able to meet you and World's End one of these days, your words resonate. I love your description of playing reluctant architect, from someone whose day-job it is to be one, I feel like I have gone through a similar awakening re: the un-sustainability of the industry I have worked in, and looking for better ways to make my work. it's a challenge but re-energizing!