31 August 2012

Resurrection And Rebirth

Resurrection And Rebirth

This old barn led me to the New Bedlam Farm. When it collapsed in the snows of 2010, I drove by and saw Rocky standing forlornly in front of it. It looked as if his world had collapsed, even though he had never lived in the barn. I pulled into ask Florence if I could take a photograph and she looked at me and said, "I'm deaf and he's blind. We are riding it out together." Two years later, we have begun tearing this old barn down. It is an eyesore, a hazard and full of rotting junk.

Lots of scavengers love to take apart old barns, sell the barn wood and the meta. Ben and Ajay will be knocking it down, and then I hope to find some of those scavengers to haul the rest of it away. We will probably dig a burn hole with a tractor and burn a lot of the old into ashes, and then bury them. The barn is perhaps the most dramatic symbol of rebirth and resurrection, a living monument to change and the inexorable laws of life – we will all wither, crumble and pass out of our time. If the barn is a symbol of brutal change, it is a symbol of rebirth to me. We are giving birth to our lives again, deciding once again that no risk is too great for a meaningful life.

As the barn is taken apart, so we are rebuilding our lives, seeking to live up to life's promise, accepting the challenges of a new way of living. The barn means a lot to me. I owe it a lot. I wish there were some more dignified burial for it, but the barn is like a chicken. You don't waste too much time and money on it when the time comes.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

Resurrection And Rebirth: New Bedlam Farm

What is the New Bedlam Farm about? Resurrection and rebirth. Buried for decades under layers of paper and glue, this beautiful thing lies in wait to be discovered, uncovered, seen again, only to end up in a garbage bag on the way to the dump, to be replaced by an off-white wall with human art that is framed. I was moved by these images, coming out of our new wall, things of the past, no place in our memory or lives. Still I am glad I uncovered them, saw them, photographed them. They are all in a mucky heap on the floor.

The farm speaks of resurrection, of the bringing of a place back to life, and through that, rebirth for the people moving in. As Marquez said, we are not born only once when our mothers give birth to us, but life asks us to be born again and again. So it is in our new home.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

Bottom Wallpaper Layer: New Bedlam Farm

Bottom Layer: New Bedlam Farm

It's a kind of archaeology really, scrapping, prodding preserving, and then I finally got to the bottom of three layers in this part of the living room. I have the editing technology to bring up the old colors and this is a very beautiful image for me. Can't wait to see what else is under these layers in the other parts of the room.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

Bottom Wallpaper Layer: New Bedlam Farm

Bottom Layer

I have to admit I love removing the wallpaper. It is an intensely creative process – scoring, spraying, scoring, spraying, easily, slowly, to protect the wall. I worked hard on one corner of the living room and came to this bottom layer on this wall. In my Aperture photo editing program I was able to bring up the colors that had been dulled, and this is a very  beautiful haunting pattern, between 80 and 100 years old, possibly older. This room has so much feeling as does the place. Tomorrow night we are having a rag-tag pizza part in the new house for just a few people – there are no chairs and few lights. Can't wait.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

The Diagnosis

Diagnosis

I talked with Suzanne Fariello of the Cambridge Valley Veterinary Service and heard the final diagnosis for Red and his leg. Dr. Fariello sent his x-rays to an orthopedic specialist and he said they were not conclusive. There was the suggestion of a very slight fracture in the paw, but nothing certain. He said he thought he found some evidence of arthritis in the foot. No signs of any chips. Red either suffered a bad sprain or a hairline fracture. Sprains can be as or more painful than fractures, she said.  Both are treated in the same way – rest. Dr. Fariello says Red can't work for at least three weeks, and then has to reintegrate the work slowly.

She agreed that there is no need for further tests, and she also shares my belief – she is a great vet – that  dogs ought to be given the opportunity to heal themselves if possible. The fact that Red is comfortable, eating, sleeping and no longer limping rules out tendon or ligament damage. We decided against pain-killers or anti-inflammatories. So this ends this chapter, I think. No need for further concern or updates. Red will work again at the end of the month. He's quite full of himself again, ready to go.

Posted in Farm Journal