Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For you love

Eat, nourish yourself with truth. Be free. Canonize your existence with the fervor of your breath. Breathe, you are alive, now take your soul and hold it tightly and say “dear, oh dear I love you so, oh dear I will love you till the time ceases to exist”.  Hold yourself tight because you will want to run from this knowing and this darkness of what you don’t, cant, will not know in proof, but yet must believe, I am going to be okay. Now feast. Feast like there is no tomorrow. Feast on your giving. Your listening, you’re questioning. Feast on your humor and your love of rusted artifacts and affectionate goats  and kissing llamas. Feast on your innocence inside your corrupted memories and experiences and pain. Feast in your loving and being loved. Feast.  Feast. Feast. There is plenty.I love you.

The bees

Linda and I are the proud foster parents of a bee hive. Our friend Karen is actually its real mother, and does all the real work, we'll give them sugar water if they need it, and make sure the shade cloth is right but most importantly provide pollen for the bees to collect from all the blooms that need the bees assistance to produce food. Another quite obvious display of interdependence that I have been able to witness and be a part of.

These bees are very gentle, I had one land on my shoulder and just sit there. I braced for the sting but none came. It just flew off. When Karen (pictured below) started prying up the frames the bees seemed only a little put off. The smoker was going which helps of course but in general these bees are very mellow. So she took all the frames from the supper which were for the most part filled with honey that she will jar later. Pretty cool!

I might graduate some day to having my own hive. I've been intimidated by what seems to be an endless amount of knowledge and information one needs, so having Karen come tend to the hive has helped me gain a better understanding of what a hive needs.  She is indeed a bee charmer. I enjoyed watching her work. Her slow graceful movements seemed no different from the bees themselves. What a lovely gift this is.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Life after turkey

I had a great thanksgiving with good friends. My family all live in Seattle and its hard to get back there due to the farm goings on and of coarse financial restraints, but I am fortunate to have a group of friends right here I can call my family. Years ago the premise of Indians and Pilgrims  changed for me, so much of my time during this holiday is spent in compassion and sorrow over the near inhalation of the indigenous population. I wanted to write more about the sadness I feel but have not been able to craft words that can properly express my great inner grief.   I try to focus on the present and what I can do as part of this human family to live more mindfully. This is a history of our nation that must be looked at with great care and honesty.

Its hard not to notice how much pain and suffering there is in the world, how much war and violence. At times it feels so overwhelming I just want to bury my head in the red dirt out back. But I know that's not the solution, its the problem. But its hard and I feel at times helpless. There is nothing I can do for the Palestinians, New Yorkers, or Oklahomans. So much suffering. All I can do is grow the vegetables. Take care of the animals, love the planet, listen, breathe, help where I can. I feel there is more that I could do and I am starting to try more diligently to find out what that is. But more and more avoidance isn't working for me.

Its time to be brave and look at the truth of suffering in the world. I may not be able to do anything about it but to acknowledge and be awake to it is more honorable I think, than to pretend its not happening. I have been bestowed with many blessings in my life and those blessing have awakened a spirit of gratitude I have never known. So much that when I wake up in the morning the first thought that comes to mind is; How can I serve? Today I'll be serving the animals and the vegetables. I may not be changing the world but I know I am part of being the change. That will have to be enough for now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving- Forgivness, it takes trust

So after my little rant on Friday, I headed straight off to the Osage Forest of Peace monastery/ashram/retreat center to sit for three days in silence. I didn't have any great intentions, I wasn't going for supreme enlightenment, I was just going to simply sit and be in the Sangha (meditation group). Well I wasn't there 20 minutes and something came up. A old wound. A deep hurt. A person that years before would change my life forever through pain and spiritual confusion, just so happened to also be at the Forest that weekend. What to do? I counted my breathe, I tried to slow down my rapidly beating heart. My hands were cold and sweaty and my feet actually started to get numb. I sat like this all day. During Dokusan (when you meet with your teacher) I explained the situation, but I thought I had let all this go, I thought I had forgiven. "You didn't" was my teachers simple response. "Quit avoiding it, don't push it away, confront".

I wont go into too much detail for respect of privacy for myself and the person on the other side of this shore, but I did confront. It was difficult to gather the courage. Our meeting went well and I was able to forgive down to my very soul. What is so remarkable about this, is what a gift to myself it was to forgive. Being forgiven is, I know from experience also a very powerful gift but your still stuck with you. Until you forgive yourself which I believe may be the most difficult task anyone can conquer. Until you do that you don't get the prize. Freedom, lightness, openness, oneness.

I like many have had the experience of forgiving someone I couldn't confront or have a conversation with, maybe that person was dead, maybe just not available or not ready or willing to apologize (there is always two sides to every story). That's fine too, forgiveness is forgiveness. Forgiving someone you cant have personal dialog with is fine, but its like diving off the river bank into white water and trying your best to get to the other side. If you make it wonderful but you've worked for it, struggled for it, but you had to do it and it was messy. But if you are lucky enough to meet face to face, open and not attached to the outcome, its like the person whom you may feel wronged by helps you build the bridge and walks you safely across. Now that's some shit right there! We cant always have that. We don't always have the opportunity, or we just may not be ready. I was ready kids believe me, I have been carrying around a a fifty ton weight in my heart for four years. I know how birds can fly now.

So the rest of the weekend I'm sure you wont be surprised to hear was fabulous. I sat, in stillness and silence. and as this has absolutely nothing to do with farming has everything to do with growing. This thanksgiving I have such gratitude for bridges we build with people we never thought we could love.

Friday, November 16, 2012

a lil' firiday rant

This morning I'm catching up on some work that needs to be done before I head off to my weekend retreat. Do a little cleaning, pay some bills, finish up the last of the laundry, basically clear the air so not to have too many distractions...Because lord knows I don't want to be in deep meditation and all of a sudden think, "THE LAUNDRY!!!"

I've really taken to this zen thing. Its not a religion per say although you can take it very religiously, but really for me it has been about training my body and my mind to be more present and observant. I don't think its made me any smarter or funnier just calmer. I'm able to negotiate  problems a little more efficiently and I'll ask myself more often "is it really worth getting this worked up about?" I like the way it feels. Last winter I started searching for a way to express and experience my strong spiritual cravings. Christianity more and more has become almost repulsive to me as I see the hateful and frankly anti Jesus sediments rolling around, especially in Oklahoma. The whole Chick-fil-A -hole. was more hurtful than I could have ever imagined. I'm too exhausted over the matter to make much of a comment about it but I must say, I started lumping all Christians in one big pile of hateful and intolerant lot that I want nothing to do with.

What would Jesus do? Although I believe along with having a Christian partner who is not full of hatred and intolerance I have taken steps to understand that not all Christians beat the drum of racism, sexism, classicism and homophobia. and through my zen practice I've come to see the displays of intolerant rantings as simply people that are hurt, scared and for what ever reason feel threatened by ME, lil ol me. And frankly I'm scared of them too. Especially when I actually fear for my life. All in the name of Christianity or at least how the bible in any given moment is interpreted. For the straight person may not understand that a gay person living in a rural area actually has the knowledge that if "out" and open they could be subject to extreme unprovoked violence. Even me.

I was not raised in a religious household although my mother and gradparents identified as Episcopalian. When we did go to church which was not often, I enjoyed it, and my Aunt was Unitarian so I actually spent more Sundays in the 70's in a metaphysical realm of spirituality, but I missed the liturgy, I missed the fragrance and the profound meaning and beauty of the sacrament. Of laying it all out there and receiving this blessing. Its powerful. But as with all things I have experienced in regards to religion, the corruption, the bickering and the money always get in the way of a good ecstatic experience.

I thought for a while I might be Buddhist. I seem to identify with it on many levels, and I am fully committed to my zen practice. I love the teachings, the philosophy and what it means to really live in the moment. to be fully awake. To feel each step, to take notice of the good and the bad with out an attachment too them. So Buddhism becomes a religion of compassion and Christianity and Muslim faiths become a religion of conforming and controlling and distrusting people. Now, I'm only explaining how my mind has been negotiating this subject, and I'm not saying I'm right, as a matter of fact I'm actually out to prove myself wrong. Ironicly my zen practice has helped me in this reguard.

So, look the basic reality is I am a white (Swedish, so pink really and also quite hairy) woman. I have a lineage of Christianity. I will tell you right here and now I really love Jesus! I think about him all the time. Its in my DNA. it comes naturally. But where I am lost and feel disenfranchised is the Bible. The list is too long to get into now, but what my fellow man and woman has done with the bible to justify a culture of hate and greed I just cannot get behind. So can I have Jesus without the bible? with out the right wingnut jobs who set forth on destroying the planet by claiming some sort of domination over it rather than stewardship, or the bands of people who would just as well see a gay teenager hanging on a fence post burned and beaten than defend and protect their gay sons, daughters, aunts uncles, cousins, sisters and brothers, That does not make a lick of sense.  what kind of crock is this? And this love the sinner not the sin? I once heard a black gay woman put it like this; "that's like a white person saying to me, you can come in, but you cant sit on the couch".

I'm not mad at Jesus or at God, I'm mad at the people that take it upon themselves to justify violent, homophobic, sexist, racist, classicist acts in the name of God. I'm not really sure where all this has come from this morning, it just came spewing out. But its something I think about more and more as I come back to a spiritual faith. It might or might not be Christianity. But what it will be is a life that will encompass compassion, love, care and thought, I'm prone to that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the exhale

Wow I made it! three weeks of breakneck speed. pushing myself into places I didn't know I could fit and managing each time to come out no worse for the ware. I'm exhausted, I'm tired and almost every muscle in my body aches but I'm alive and I have a sense of a gruff raw satisfaction that only comes from defeating your own doubts. There is still work to do, wood to be cut, composting, taking care of the farm and all that, but deadlines are met, the things that were crucial and important to the farm's survival have been crossed off the list! This weekend I'll be rewarded by a zen retreat at the Osage forest of peace where I will sit for three days in meditation. HA! the things I do for fun!!

The CSA this season has been great. I've been able to harvest more than ever and in spite of having a little pest issue (flea beetles) food is growing and thriving. I have learned so much about the soil in the garden in the last three years, I feel like I have an almost personal relationship with it, as insane as that might sound, and I cant explain it but I have watched the soil change from white sand to dark beautiful humus, sometimes I find things like a clod of clay that has work itself up, curious. for the first time in my life I have witnessed first hand the change, growth and personality of dirt, and I have to say it has simply been stunning.

But here I am, just about to head out to work on a few projects I need to get done by the weekend feeling grateful and lucky. exhale

Thursday, November 8, 2012

still rockin' it

I've been going like bat outa hell lately. Its like this sometimes, when several very big jobs need to be done at exactly the same time. Fall and spring are usually those times. Spring for the farm starts in February when lots of things get planted, goats start popping out babies, and the fight to stay warm is still on. But fall is the time to get the things done that are or might be impossible to do in the winter, things you want to have done.

So I've been tiling doing some repair work in the cabin, finishing up planting for winter, pulling greenhouse plastic, harvesting like a mad woman, trying to keep up on cheese production and finishing up the season come this weekend with the last private parties. Then after this weekend cutting wood like a mad woman, covering rows of vegetables to protect them from frost and a deep long breath. Then a book, legs stretched out in front of a sweet fire in the stove.

So after the hustle comes some well earned rest. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to this. I'm looking forward not just to relaxing with a book in front of the stove, but writing, playing dominoes, drinking home brew, cooking on the wood burning stove, working in the sun warmed greenhouses. Winter walks in the woods, all that, its coming I know it is. Just a few more days this time next week.