Tuesday, February 22, 2011

nosing what you want

The first principle of success is desire - knowing what you want. Desire is planting of your seed. -Robert Collier

The range of what any of us desire on the Larga Vista on a daily basis sufficiently qualifies as preposterous. Not speaking for my co-workers, but the force of the universe receiving invocations lifted by snow geese during my morning chores must shrug shoulders, shake postulatory head.

one breath
: : please let there be a 2x4 for this fence to trap the bull calf
: : : good God, why must Punky always get so dirty?
: : : : oh if only I had a sharp knife this world would be grand
: : : : : may all farmers earn a decent living (and vacation time)
: : : : : : thank you for most this amazing day

My dog Chela's desire is pretty clear
: : something delicious come my way

. . and so it does, from the top of a nose to the tip of her tongue

Blog post invocation
:: may all those watching mercifully forgive my first attempt at a video recorded with a phone

Sunday, February 20, 2011


One (interminable) revolution: from there [honduras] to here.
This is a year in lines, absconded from messages to very important people whose gravitational fields cup these tender tides of my heart - head.

Such wonderful moon and sun you are, friend.


Thriving as a farmer, not just surviving is in part why I returned to the US. My personal goal in many seasons ahead is to become a really good grower.

Perhaps this message is premature because I'm still not sure where I'll be digging in the farming revolution.


This past week I visited the farm where I worked 2 years prior; looking at my dirty finger nails, feeling muscles flexed under a shovel, I'm more than ready for farming.


you will see me soon
riding my green dinosaur
license: plant eater


Weeding ridiculously long rows of organic garlic, pounding holes or shoveling manure seems to be my extreme reaction to expectation at some level. All of these activities ground me so literally to the earth and challenge the notion of who I actually am becoming.


There's no sound in the farm house to compete with wings hitting the lamp next to this bed. I can't even muster the 20 feet to shower and yet I know the cow patty layer over my skin needs peeling. The world is too still, clamping skeleton and muscles to its quiet.

How many months and stories are there to retell as manifestations of life that we now live? A list of times where this road seems so short/to go on forever:

1. Today - picking watermelons in the fall sun with farmer friends as 4 year-old Kilian runs in circles around my dog running circles around Kilian who's eaten no less than 5 watermelons in the last hour.

2. Yesterday - driving my car loaded with dirty laundry and a free hour in town, wishing the traffic lights stopped working, a motorcycle taps my window after someone tries to clean it, that I had no car, only my feet and a thumb for jaloning (hitch hiking).

3. Last month - battling weeds, weeds, picking carrots and beets from 1/4 mile rows from irrigated ditches providing water through tractored furloughs.


The darkness keeps me inside these mornings with the almost neurotic dance of looking out the window, going away, coming back. I've moved out of a rented room and find myself house sitting with some chores I can do in a lit barn. But the last few mornings I've created large mud holes for the cows in the dark, thus I wait for nights reprieve. I've been trying out honesty with folks regarding this time of year, however I'm always skeptical that I'm truly busy. Does not all this work come from either my inability to manage it or stop doing it?


I danced in the garlic field, then picking tomatoes, and now with winter I do a jig in pajamas I've worn for ehrr, a few hours (+20).


I've consumed farm work like air, as if my lungs only had capacity for oxygen that I left somewhere on my way back north and manual labor thus keeps me alive. I work at a raw milk dairy full time now and along with the milking, animal husbandry etc. I dedicate much energy to discernment of where to next. Here or somewhere else, always wishing my boots were a bit heavier or lighter.


It's not too cold here - but it's cold. And a storm moving in threatens below 0 temperatures with snow up north and only bitter winds to make my morning milkings in an unheated, partially open barn nicely fit the definition of helado (freezing). For now, a farm cat with fractured paw yawns at my feet and a spoiled dog who doesn't eat concentrado (dry food) but raw meat gnaws on a stuffed animal. My day off writing grad school applications, a community yoga class, grocery shopping at a natural grocers, long afternoon nap and an evening watching football with my dad. Land o'magic transformation nearly complete . . . Now I lean on cows in the morning and watch for their slight shivers as I save their milk and hope not to contaminate the buckets and cause grave illness to our costumers . . . Mexico was a romantic way to package leaving [Honduras], bright colors and vibrant food that twinkled above my head, the wailing inside distracted by pretty things. This month will be my last as a full time dairy woman - the road ahead still unclaimed, yet entrenched in finding stability, being accountable and connected.


I needed to say to someone: one year. No tattoos, no piercings, no mortgage, or motorcycle, no land, no six pack, no sewing machine, no band, no bakery or broken toes. A dog, a car, a smart phone, a yoga class. Haven't been to jail, sleeping in my parent's house.


Hence, the fence wire pulled around my waist as I lean away from the post and to the unseen next one erect beyond weeds, furrows and a grey sky yesterday. A woman in CA told me over mushy pasta that her time traveling requires that she farm to remain grounded, literally. Compared to her, I am a thought-wanderer underachiever. But during days I cling to forking hay, stretching wire, lifting buckets. Otherwise, I float away.