I’ve been taking pictures of Robin all weekend and posting many, but I’ve saved the most significant ones (to me) for now.
I got serious about my photography because I wanted an additional and credible way to tell my story, which is what the blog is all about.
Bedlamfarm.com is an experiment in the living memoir, as shown as often as told. Photos can’t lie; they leave little to argue about in our suspicious and contentious world.
People often ask me two things about the blog: why would I share my life if I didn’t want the outer world’s advice, and why do I share so much of my life if I didn’t like and expect all the feedback I get, nasty or nice?
I’ve answered those questions a thousand times; people either get it or they don’t and never will. I don’t answer it anymore.
If this blog were in book form, everybody would understand it immediately – I wrote four memoirs in book form and was never once asked either question – but this is a new kind of memoir, and it will take more getting used to.
The people who get it like it. I have a lot of followers now. The blog began with words and now tells my story in two forms – words and images.
This weekend was a significant affirmation of that for me. On several levels, it is just what I hoped for. The pictures tell the story sometimes.
These photos, to me, are a way to tell the story of Robin’s visit in images that speak for themselves. I write a lot and often am too wordy at times.
These photos tell the story better in pictures than I could relate in words. You are invited to come and see them for yourselves. I put in words when necessary.
I’m still learning how to do this. I’m never quitting on words, but I love this powerful and often emotional new additional way for me to tell a story. My blog is an experiment that will only end with me.
The story of Robin coming to Bedlam Farm is not about a granddaughter and daughter visiting a father, grandfather, and stepmother. It’s about the magic of a farm, which drew me to this life in the first place.
A farm that gives children a chance to roam free in nature and the animal world, two things I believe essential to human health and well-being. She opened up here and I was able to return the favor.
When Robin first came here a year ago, she wanted little to do with the animals, which unnerved her. She found the donkeys overwhelmingly big. She stayed inside all day watching the fish.
This weekend, she was outside all day, feeding and talking to chickens, donkeys, sheep, dogs, and fish, sledding, and building a snowman. New experiences all. Maria’s presence made a huge difference.
She wants to come back. She wants us to go there.
As the photos show, Robin was doing things she had never done all weekend.
In the photo above, she held out several handfuls of grain for the sheep and was delighted when they ate it all. A heavy gate was between her and them.
Something magical happened here this weekend; we’ve seen the farm’s magic before, which is beautiful, before. This time, it struck even closer to home.
Robin is a city kid and a great and happy one. She is not shy or self-conscious and says what is on her mind. She is scary smart.
Her life is filled with classes, lessons, museums, and some of the richest cultures in the world.
She loves Brooklyn and believes it is superior to any other place she’s seen. She even talks a bit about Brooklyn.
Robin often calls me “wise guy” and “buster” when she is teasing me or arguing with me. She loves blowing paper straws at me and throwing snowballs at me when my back is turned. I love doing both back to her.
There are all sorts of ways to communicate.
I think there’s some love in there.
Every kid should get to stand on a hay pile once in a while and baaa like a sheep. They answered her back.
Robin has spent all of her in Brooklyn, surrounded by tall buildings, cement, and crowded streets.
She loves it there, but I thought the magic of Bedlam Farm would penetrate sooner or later. This was the week. This will never replace her love or life in Brooklyn; that’s not the idea. I think we all love animals in our hearts.
Some of us don’t get the opportunity to feel it.
Our farm will give her another way to see the world and feel the powerful pull of animals and nature. I wasn’t sure this would happen – my daughter has resisted the country thing – but it happened this weekend.
Enough said; see for yourself. I’ve written brief captions. Pictures do tell a thousand words.
Robin was throwing rocks over the pasture fence with Zinnia and Maria and loving it. Both of them were laughing each time they did it.
Robin finished the snowman Saturday but woke today realizing he needed some hair.
She got some moss to put on his head. She is delighted with the outcome and asked me to take pictures (Maria’s idea) so she can show the kids at school. Done.
We blew paper straws at one another all weekend, making a huge mess and learning how to communicate with each other. I understand I am not an easy person to get close to. If straws do it, great.
Wherever Robin went, Zinnia came along. He adopted her over the weekend; he was her dog. They want in and out of the barn all weekend. By today, she knew where everything was.
Sweet Zinnia waited for us when we entered the barn; she didn’t move; she just waited for us to come out. She was a Disney dog for Robin.
Throwing rocks was so much fun; Robin did it again and again. She sees the world differently. She and Maria seem to be on the same channel. Maria was laughing just as hard.
Five strong women. Robin and Maria loved feeding the hens together. A year ago, Robin wouldn’t go near the hens; they made her nervous. Yesterday, she sat alongside them and demanded that they eat from her hand. They did.
I loved the sight and sound of them squatting on the ground and clicking loudly and enthusiastically. The chickens were a little puzzled but game. After all, food was involved.