28 March 2017

Poem: The Trees Cried Today

The Trees Shed Their Tears

I walked in the deep forest today,

I could hear the trees crying, whispering out to me,

they can love power all they wish,

and make all of the money there is,

but now, they have turned our

living bodies, into a funeral pyre,

which will light up the sky,

with out pain and sorrow,

they will draw the wrath of

Mother Earth,

with their greed and anger,

those heartless men in Washington,

how much money do they need?

they have turned their backs on life,

our cries rise from the tangled web of

rage and blindness,

we scream from the bowels

of infinite existence.

Love is the burning pyre,

from which the heart must

turn to stone,

and lay its body down.

We will weep until we wither..

Posted in General

In The Sugar House With Scott. The Fabulous Old Men’s Club

The Fabulous Old Men's Club

This was our third meeting of the Fabulous Old Men's Club, we met in the Sugar House at Pompanuck Farm, Scott and Lisa Carrino's beautiful retreat.

On our first meet in the Sugar House, we invited my good friend Paul Moshimer, he committed suicide shortly afterwards. In his honor, the club  really never met again after that, but I think of my annual sit downs with Scott as a celebration of friendship among men, a rare and complicated things.

Our idea was to gather a group of men who are beginning to be old and Scott and Paul loved the idea, we spent hours sitting in front of the steaming vats doing what most men rarely do and don't know how to do – talk openly and authentically with one another.

After Paul's death, I gave up on the idea of friendship, recently a man I disagreed with about something sent me an e-mail telling me to "fuck off," and that is too often the way friendships with men end. We are vulnerable, and opening up to other men just seems to make me more vulnerable, and for good reason.

Scott and I, on the other hand, have overcome that trial. We have become good and close and trusted friends, we talk often and quite honestly with each other. We each have told the other things we have not told anyone, we root for each other and support one another. When Maria went to India, Scott called me every day just to make sure I wasn't lonely or in need of help.  I didn't need anyone to do that, but it is also true that no one else did so that.

I count on Scott, we argue often, but he would never tell me to fuck off. We trust one another.  Scott is a complicated, sometimes difficult man, as I am. He also is a man of great heart and talent. He runs the Round House Cafe, is obsessed with serving his community, even at the expensive of his own time and health, and is a Tai Chi Master.

I think Scott and I have come to that unusual place with me, we truly love one another and would happily sacrifice for each other. That, I have to say, is new to me in my life with men. I am grateful for it

It is a good thing Scott is a Tai Chi Master, otherwise, the top of his head might blow right off. We are both driven man, but also two men who have been opened up by life and who seek to know the truth about ourselves. I very much appreciate our hours sitting in his sugar house, vats boiling, fires burning, bottles of sweet syrup getting filled up.

We are at peace there, with one another and with the world. I wish it were bubbling all year. I might get back one or two more times this year, or yesterday might have been it, I left with a small bottle of Scott's maple syrup, it is quite special.

As I sat in the car outside, I thought of Paul, and said a little prayer for him. Paul, I remember your promise that we would do great things together, and I hope that will still come true, in one way or another. The Fabulous Old Men's Club still meets, and Scott and I are doing what we all talked about doing, we are working hard to be better and more sensitive and supportive men.

That is, as you know – you were a big tough First Responder for years – easier said that done. Were you kidding, I wonder, when you said you look forward to our meetings, or were you hiding your great pain and sorrow from the very people who wanted to hear about it? I suppose I will never know. Wherever you are, I wish you every happiness and fulfillment.

For me, the road to authenticity is long and hard. For me it seems to lead to the sugar house, and Scott.

Posted in General

Poor Fate. Afternoon Feeding.

Poor Fate

Poor Fate has to sit by the gate for the next several days, she sprained or pulled a muscle in her right foot and she is barred from running or working. She is very unhappy with us and is good at projecting misery. She's not getting back in at least until Monday, providing her leg heals quickly. Otherwise, to the vet and hundreds of dollars of tests like to show nothing and many pills likely to do nothing.

Is there anything sadder than a border collie who can't work?

Posted in General

Bedlam Farm: The Changing Landscape

The Changing Landscape

Chloe has been gone for a day or so now, and the farm feels peaceful, the animals have moved on. The donkeys switched feeders with the sheep this morning, perhaps they are reasserting themselves, they did defer to Chloe.

We are not planning on any more visits to Chloe in the near future, she is in good hands with Treasure and Donna, and we are not worried about her.  She needs to move along also, our presence would only be confusing, as I think it was yesterday. She needs to live her life, as we need to live ours.

It's time to look ahead,  we both are much inclined to look ahead than backwards, and there are so many things we wish to do.

I enjoyed writing about Chloe, my continuing, and sometimes sparky dialogue with my readers is a good thing for me, and I h ope, for them. I learn a lot, and I hope to make people think a lot, however much they disagree. Everything involving animals seems to bring that opportunity, it makes my blog and writing life exciting.

The dialogue via e-mail and social media that I had with my readers and blog followers was both interesting and useful. There were the  usual kinds of responses – good wishes, kind thoughts, useful experiences, much empathy, beautiful and thoughtful messages that really made me think, and then, people disagreeing, people telling me how cruel and un-feelling I am,  telling us things we already know about horses, people reassuring us about things we were not worried about, people tell us what we should be feeling and are feeling, and people offering advice we were not seeking.

A rich tapestry, across the spectrum, I am flattered so many people care about me at all. And I am learning to live with the joys and trials of social media. I guess it would be hard for me to survive without it.

As I wrote yesterday, there is no reason for anyone to be sadder than we are, and we are not especially sad. It was the right thing to do. Chloe could not be going to a better place for her, we did have some kid-goes-to-camp jitters yesterday, they were gone by dinner last night. Every pony should be as lucky as Chloe is, living with Donna and Treasure, we are letting go, not looking for or needing more updates or offering many.

In a couple of weeks, we'll go see her again, but it will be in a very different context, for her, for us. She will no longer be our pony, but somebody else's pony. We will be visitors, we will give her some cookies and get on with our demanding and interesting lives. We don't really need to fuss about it every day.

Chloe does not belong to us any longer, and is no longer really our business. Do not be steal our sadness, we can handle that ourselves.

We have lots to do. I am so grateful for knowing Chloe, horses are amazing creatures, she and the carriage horses and Rocky have changed the way I see the world. Maria can speak for herself, and will. Time for me to keep changing.

Bedlam Farm is an ever-changing landscape, it adapts to the track of our lives and growth and love. If you don't like change and cannot bear to be around someone with whom you might disagree, this is not the place for you. Lots of people just can't bear me. Our animals, like us, live very real lives in the real world.

Real life happens here, every single day. This is not the story of the perfect life for them or for us. But it is a pretty damn good one.

Posted in General

Purple Maria. “I’m So Purple Today”

"I'm So Purple Today"

We went for an early morning walk today with Red (Fate is limping) and I was suddenly reminded of what is so different and wonderful about my life now. All of a sudden, Maria looked down at her feet and announced, "I'm So Purple Today", and it is true, she is.

I told her that never in my lengthening life has anyone suddenly announced that they are "so purple today," or any other color, for that matter. It is uniquely Maria. On any given day, she can be just about any color, although rarely one.

I wanted to get a shot of her in all of her purpleness, but she doesn't ever pose, so I went to my standard back of tricks and told her there was a baby rabbit in need of help by the side of the road.

She turned quickly, then claimed not to be fooled, so I went to my second favorite trick I said something I can't repeat  on a family website, and she not only turned, she gave me one of her very wonderful smiles. That one works every time.

The life of the photographer is not simple or pretty.I love Purple Maria, as I love Maria in all of her many incarnations. I am glad I have lived long enough to hear someone I love say "I'm So Purple Today."

Posted in General