Monday, July 19, 2010

A July Haiku

It has been quite a while now since I have felt I had the time to sit and babble for the blog, and it wasn’t for lack of things going on worth the mention. There were many. They passed and so time has brought me to here and now. I just got off riding two of my mares, and they were both super today after so much time off. I have another painting begun upstairs and things are beginning to get back into some greased grooves.

Anyway, the feeling of finally getting to the edge of the waterfall, after months of gliding along slowly in the currents, gradually increasing speed, until the edge became tangible and real, then, whoosh, over the top, has been my feeling until last Thursday week’s opening of our new Dauber Gallery. Now we are over the edge, in the pool below and are going with the flow. Daily patterns are shifting and change isn’t always bad, and so far, it’s good.

A self admitted hermit, I have lived the past 15 years pretty much enjoying the solitude of being on the farm, and its relatively slow pace, with occasional forays into town or visitors out here for dinner and such. I have just really enjoyed my days in the company of my animals and had little need for human conversation. Now spending time in the Gallery, I find I am really enjoying  meeting new people and hearing their stories, beautiful sweet stories, and sad ones too.

Last night a family group came in with a few kids, all good looking, two girls 7 and 11, and a boy 16ish perhaps or more. Their dinner reservations for the nearby eatery were running late and so the mothers, sisters, hung around and we began to chat. After a few minutes, it turned out that at some time back, the young boy had lost his older brother in a car accident in which he was also a passenger and his father was the driver. This boy had spent the hours waiting for help, his own life fading fast, lying next to his dead brother, and his father was knocked unconscious, leaving him alone with this horrible situation. The scars were fresh in these words from this mother, but she smiled thru her pain at us as she told us of the healing that was beginning.

There was the fellow who stayed and shared a beer with us, and football stories, and told us of his dad who was a strong character who took him to every single home field Penn state game. He told us of his admiration for this man, his life, and his upcoming birthday. He saw the photograph that Mark had taken of the hog and Mr Jessie, right before the hog met with the end of the ax. This man’s father had been the manager of a hog slaughter house and had raised his family by doing this work. I sent the photo to his father, in time for his 80th birthday last week.

To see these people as mere faces, earns nothing. It is in the asking questions that scars are revealed, wants, needs, and things that make others tick are shown, that show the common bond with us all. We all have triumphs, and fears, and we all have personal tragedies. And these are good to share. We are all individuals and yet, we are all in this life together, just folks, just living beings rubbing shoulders as we cruise thru this incarnation.

A few weekends ago I came home in the afternoon to find our mailbox obliterated and a set of car tracks ran right over where the post had stood. My thinking was, and my anger was directed to the thought, that some young kids, perhaps drinking and driving a little recklessly, had been the hit and run source. I set the remains of the box by the side of the road and took out the mail figuring to fix it on Monday, certainly assuming no one else was going to come back to fix it, if they were even aware they had hit it.

Sunday however I drove to the end of the driveway to find a brand new post with our old box sitting there perfectly. There was a note inside from a neighbor we don’t know that said he hoped the box and post were to our satisfaction. His mother had been run off the road there, into the ditch and hit our box. He apologized and left his number incase we were not happy with the work. I was stunned and felt bad at my initial assumption, but happy to find a person of such good manners, doing the right thing, and I do hope his mother is ok. She taught her son well.

I am finding myself beginning to think that perhaps humanity isn’t all scum after all and that interaction has its rewards.

So as I find my new daily patterns, I am cherishing the fewer moments that allow me the slow time, which I took for granted in my pre-gallery/ hermit status. After a very busy, hot and sticky week, last Friday afternoon’s atmosphere lay again like a saturated wool blanket, until a massive summer storm rolled in and the rain and thunder cooled the senses. After the worst of the storm left, a gentle rain remained and the air glowed with a soft yellowish green. Mark and I sat on the front porch and watched the horses as they came out of the shadow of the barn and grazed in this rare comfort in July. A drove of 8 tom turkeys emerged from the woods, bobbing their blue heads, and pecked for bugs among the manure piles. The crickets began chirping a raucous chorus and for some silly reason, all I could do was think in haiku phrases...

Falling rain-
cricket songs, slow
munching of the horses.

Distant thunder …etc. It was a nice afternoon.

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