Friday, May 11, 2012

Breakfast Conversation, quiet time to write

4/9/12 I haven't written much because I have been adjusting to living here and doing physical work on the farm. I guess this could be an urban farm, because its only on two acres, even though its out in the country on the border of Adirondack State Park.

They live in a converted Barn that even has a silo. I am writing from the top floor of the silo which is made into a study. Its a nice eyrie like round room with three windows spaced evenly around lending a commanding view of the homestead. It has a private entrance up a set of wooden stairs that passes right by Star and Jeff's sleeping loft. So I tried to be quiet when I came up this morning, at 5:45. Its a nice atmosphere for writing up here. The air is more rarified at this high elevation! There is a round table here with a small antique wooden chest on it. Its decvorated with Star's eclectic style. There is framed composition of a sheep, constructed from a segment of a paper wasps hive for the wool and mussel shells for the ears and head and two kernals of indian corn for eyes. Its quite effective from a distance it looks like a small painting. Only on closer inspection do you notice the composite materials. There is a pressed flower of some type also framed on the wall, and a composition of an African woman carrying a large jar on her head wearing a colorful shawl, it too appears to be a painting but on further inspection it turns out to be composed entirely of segemts of butterfly wings. Above me is a large window, composed of triangular panes of glass between ten spokes reminiscent of a wagon wheel, with a small beam about a foot and a half long projecting downward from the center and capped with a carving of an acorn.

It seems familiar somehow. I think I may have seen something very similar inside a yurt. Its seems to carry some type of spiritual signifigance, as is the case, from what I understand with the center of a yurt. Above this window is a weather vane designed as a giant monarch butterfly. So its from this perch here that I will do most of my writing while employed on this internship. I can't help but wonder about the alchemical signifigance of this. I will be down in the dirt engaged in very literally “earthy” pursuits and then I will cleanse myself with water and ascend into this tower and transmute my experiences and labors below into prose.

One interesting feature though is that I can't see forever into vanishing horizons from this perch. The windows aren't actually high enough, they are set rather low in the walls just below the dome. So mostly what I see is the farm below. So probably what I will see most are my mistakes! A tool left out, something neglected or a row I hoed crooked. Of course I can also admire what I have contributed. Its intersting that the view fom this tower is well contained in the microcosm of the farm. Surrounding the property are tall trees, the very tops of which, cannont be seen easily from the window. Besides little bits of the road and the neighbors roof all that can be seen from here is the farm. Its the highest view in a self contained universe. This is interesting. Perhaps this will lend focus to my musings, keeping me in the here and now allowing to glean all I can from the experience.

So I just had a quick breakfast with my wife Linda and Star and Jeff, left over oat meal and apple saucce and some english breakfast tea with milk. We saw some tiny birds feeding on fallen bird seed on the ground. Are they little sparrows? Star confirmed that they are siskins. They are only here a little while before heading far up North. We talked about sea glass and I showed them my prized collection, of a piece of a bottle stamped ..EREY CALIF. From Monterey California. She showed me a piece fronm the Atlantic Ocean, that largest piece they had ever found, which she believes was a piece of lighthouse glass. She used it to construct a handle for a drawer. It was smooth, and slightly opaque with a soft glow and fom its shape the circumference of a large cicle could be made out.

My wife showed Star the clothes she had recently purchased from a Thrift Store in Holland Pattent. Star said the best Thrift Stores are near rich neighborhoods “Big Houses, Old money!” “Yeah, big Stone houses...with ivy” I said “and Tennis courts.” she added. “I'd hate to have a tennis court.” I said. “I'd have to rake all the leaves off it all the time” Star said “Who has time for tennis? When would my husband and I have time for that? “right after you come back from horse back riding is usually the best time” Everyone was laughing now. Then my wife chimed in: “That would be your job, Ted, to rake the leaves so Start and Jeff could play tennis. That and take care of the horses. You'd be the groomsman!”

“Yeah, I could shovel out the stables and at night I could hold the latern at the end of the driveway.” Like this” I said holding out my baggy of sea glass like a lantern.

“And you'd have to polish all the silver, and shine the door knobs. That would be your job.” I said to my wife. We had a good laugh at the expense of rich people.

I wondered what it really means to be rich. Jeff and Star were rich in a DIY way. Jeff is a boat builder and has built several sailboats, canoes, kayaks and other vessels. Star sews horse blankets to get horseback riding lessons for her grand daughter at a discount. So you actually could count sailing and horseback riding as their hobbies. They drink fresh ground fair trade coffee in the morning and dine on organic veggies, They don't buy them from Whole Foods, though.

My Wife is going to Saranac Lake to look for work. She'd like to be a canoe guide. That's where her heart is. I am trying to find a species of flower that only blooms in the Adirondacks, because that would be Linda's flower. I told her when we decided to move back to the Adirondacks, We had to be willing to do things unconventionally, because that very well may be the only way to do it. With gas at four dollars a gallon and climbing for how long would it be practical to commute to Utica or Rome every day? Plus an hour commute is ten hours a week on the road for a full time job. That's ten hours that could be spend canoeing or cross country skiiing or just sitting quietly and meditateively by a stream. So We plan to cobble together a life for ourselves here the best way we can. “There is so much to learn from Star” my wife said and that is one of the things we want to learn: Making a life in the Adirondacks.

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