Friday, April 7, 2023

off and running


It’s week one of settling in together and it’s going great, with more structure and resources (almost enough!) than ever before, plus the hard-won lessons of years past. Jess Green (the weaving teacher who comes in May) was the person who really got me thinking about the power of failure - to see it as part of the iterative process of world-building and the fabric of relational work in general. The other side of connection is conflict (we don’t get one without the other) and I am reminded often how much I have learned from conflict in this project over the years.

Amidst the organization happening here, there is so much dust. Boots and dogs bring it inside as mud and it gets ground down underfoot, shaken off with pond water, dried, and pulverized. Once begun, cleaning the floor seems quaint; a bad idea, abandoned. 

I finally got the female guardian dog Nola spayed. Afterward, she spent a restful but resentful week in the farmhouse on the floor. We took her back to Donnie and her sheep yesterday and the melodrama of the reunion was the first of many this week that we failed to film for (now starting production for June launch). Needless to say, twas not a dry eye in the barn. 

We are, thus far, light on the lambs here (who else can say that?) and sleeping through the night without barn checks. I am, for the first time in my 10 years of shepherding, not worried about lambing which feels like real progress for me - perhaps the slightest sidestep toward accepting the unknown. It helps to be buoyed by Claire and Zoe, two women who have farmed here with me for years and who I trust with my life. 

I am reading a new book; God, Human, Animal, Machine by Meghan O’Gieblyn which is good if you’re interested in a readable memoir-style intelligent pondering of AI and the replacement of religion with technology and science. I am still working my way through Rosi Braidotti’s Posthuman Feminism. And at random, I pulled from my bookshelf this week Kathy Acker’s Great Expectations which I have not read since college. Re-reading passages of it this morning reminds me of the feral self inside systems of domination. I will get into this more maybe next week.

It’s a full-on whirlwind on the farm; so intense and so fun. We’re going to keep pulling you into the happenings here on IG and soon on the Saipua TV channel. Thank you for all your soap, linen, and bathrobe orders - they make the engine run!

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