10 September

My Front Yard. My Beatiful Farm

by Jon Katz
My Front Yard

I suspect I will never again in my life live in quite so beautiful a place as Bedlam Farm, my front and back yards spaces of breathtaking beauty. I am ready to move on, I need and and want to move on, but I do feel the power of this quite wonderful farm. It is humbling to me – I wonder if there will ever be an end to humbling? – that noone has swept in and scooped it up  yet  in the nine months it has been for sale  and I guess I do not accept the growing spiritual notion that a house decides if it will sell or not and let its residents go.

The kind of spirituality I am drawn to teaches patience, acceptance and responsibility. If and when the farm does well, and I know it will sell, people are looking hard at it,  I believe it will be because we were strong enough and clear enough to lower the price by $100,000, money we wanted and needed but knew we had to let go. This is not a complaint or lament. Everyone in the world has it tougher than me.

I know several friends who have consulted psychics and spiritualists and all been told the same thing that I was told – their houses are not ready to say goodbye. This triggers a rush to chants, rocks, crystals and buried statues (we have done many of these things) to persuade them.  As I grow up, wrestle daily with fear and change and confusion, I have come to a different place in my spirituality, and it is this. To do nothing more.

To recognize that I have done what I can. We have taken out ads, lowered the price, buried statues, built altars, found the hottest websites, listened to much strange advice.  It is now out of my hands. No statue or chant will mysteriously free me of Bedlam Farm, no transfer of energy, no positive thoughts, nor would I want that. As the animal world increasingly personifies and emotionalizes animals like dogs, I see the spiritual world personifies objects like homes. That is not what I would wish for my beloved farm. It is not to blame and neither and I. There is no blame for life. Sometimes I have to meet life on its own terms, get down on one knee and surrender to spirits beyond my imagination. They will decide.

10 September

Faith: A Meaningful Life

by Jon Katz
Faith: The Meaningful Life

Fear is, I think, the great threat to a meaningful life. Fear kills more lives than any army could. Fear shuts us down, kills our dreams, stops our plans, holds us back, makes us small. Fear tells us to wait, to hide, to run, be paralyzed with indecision. The meaningful life means risk, challenge, change uncertainty. Fear is its hidden companion, it’s silent witness, it’s pursuer and poisoner. If you turn from fear, you will walk into a meaningful. Not an easy life. Not a perfect life. A meaningful life, gloriously fulfilling and and exciting and terrifying and difficult. There is only one thing that devastates fear, shrinks it, and runs if off. Faith. It is impossible to live a meaningful life without faith.


10 September

“Dancing Dogs. Stories.”

by Jon Katz
Dancing Dogs

“Dancing Dogs,” my first short story collection, will be published September 25 in print and e-book formats. It has gotten a wonderfully positive response so far and I am excited about it. Short story collections do not generally sell well but I am hopeful for this book, a departure for me, but a direction I would like to pursue. The book explores the emotional connection between people – mostly dogs, but cats and other animals as well. It explores the real lives of real people, some struggling but celebrates the importance of dogs and cats in their lives.

It also, I hope, challenges people to sometimes see things through the eyes of their animals. It is available everywhere, but I will sign and personalize any book purchased through my local bookstore “Battenkill Books.” The store is also giving away signed Bedlam Farm notecards with purchases of the revised paperback edition of “Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die,” “Dancing Dogs,” and “Lenore Finds A Friend. You can call Battenkill at 518 677-2515 or buy books on their website, www.battenkillbooks.com. I am going to fight hard for this book, I really am proud of it.

Thanks for supporting me, Bedlam Farm, the dogs and animals and a great independent bookstore.

Email SignupEmail Signup