Update on the farm

Good news on the homefront - the farm land auction was earlier this week and it won't all be lost just yet.. the eldest brother of the family couldn't stand to see it go cheaply to a stranger so he (going against his sisters that decided to sell in the first place) bought the farm house, barns and 7 acres. A local farmer bought another lot or two, and rumor has it that one of the local Amish families may have bought another lot. We were sure it would sell to another developer but by some stroke of luck it didn't, and the guy who bought the house earlier this summer with the intentions of making a $100,000 profit by reselling it in little chunks actually lost $5,000. Life is funny. Everyone in this small town breathed a big sigh of relief, happy to keep some resemblance of farm land for awhile longer.


left foot “Glory,” right foot “Amen.”

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." – Henri Bergson

The breeze is blowing, the rain is tapping, life is happening, and the time has come to get reflective. Or ramble clumsily.

One year. One year can go by in a blink. One lifetime can happen in one year. It is amazing how much one year can change you, your being, your outlook, your personhood, and yet go by so damn quickly.

This time last year I was living out of a box in New York City. I moved on from tripping through city streets to walking through snowy woods in silence and milking cows in Vermont, lived in an ex-hippy commune in the woods of Athens, understood what it meant to feel home, lost love, gained love, felt humanity, felt the world turn, felt awake, felt dreams, felt high and stared into solitude. It has been a year of drifting into quietude and explosive moments to break the silence, always when the time was right. It has been a year to let go. It has been a year to make peace. Heaviness and loss are some of the best lessons in life, I’ve found.

As a young photographer… or artist… (these words seem shallow.) What is a better way to say it? As a human who desires to share something, something beautiful, something meaningful, and has chosen try visually.. This year has been a whirlwind. There have been so many moments where I have asked myself “why am I doing this?” so many moments of self-deprecation, so many moments of thinking I’ve found peace and then on the drop of a dime feeling overwhelmingly and perpetually not good enough, like a waste of everyone’s time. Fear.

These last few months I’ve been quiet, sinking back into the home within myself, the home I knew before, the home I know now, and most importantly the home within others. Layers lift all the time that I didn’t know where still there. I feel the page turning and the new chapter beginning, and in my heart I say Yes Life. Yes. With open arms, yes. As a woman, as a child, as a spirit, as an artist, I will walk boldly into the future. As a human with a camera, who is to say – what is good enough, what is right, and et cetera… We must be bold. Allow the world to change you and you can begin the change the world around you. Let there be hope. Let there be love. And maybe, if you are lucky, it can flow through you somehow in your photographs. Here’s to being alive. There is nothing to be but thankful. There is nowhere to be but here, now. And there is nowhere to go but forward.

So, “…my left foot says “Glory,” and my right foot says “Amen.” – Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek



August 9, 2009

"It's all a chancy, jumbled affair at best, as things seem to be below the stars." annie dillard


The farm is gone, Ma.

Part of my childhood was defined by the farm next door. Mr. Roy and Mrs. Florence Garver were, as we used to joke, my adopted grandparents. They believed in old-fashioned values, the importance of community, and were passionate about only taking from the earth what you could put back. I was taught by them that the soil, land, and plants were gifts, and if we only rape the land and take without gently giving back and taking due care, there will soon be nothing left. Humans cannot simply benefit from the land, but need to have a relationship with it. We must love the land we live off of and give it thanks through action. The Garvers farmed well into their 90's, but eventually time and age caught up. Roy and Florence have both passed away within the last five years, and with them, so too their land. Six years ago the family began to sell off over 150 acres into smaller plots. Where as a child I once saw nothing but fields and woods, now are long skinny properties with cookie cutter houses. For reasons unknown, some of the new houses are already abandoned (housing mortgage crisis?) (photo 2), leaving the cookie-cuttered post-country looking even more wasted. Three of the Garver's children were ready to sell the remaining property, and the fourth, who still lived in the house, agreed. In June, a man came with cash in hand and they agreed to be out by the end of July. This meant cleaning up a farm that was in one family since 1949. I've been spending time at home for the last few weeks, and was able to revisit the farm.. to remember the smell of the old house, the shape of the fields, my favorite sitting rock, and the hidden grove near the pond, where I used to call my "secret place" (think secret garden) (see first photo below). It's been a week since the house was turned over, and already the bushes and trees are being torn up and the remaining 80 acres has been divided up into 5-10 acre lots. It breaks my heart. So it goes.

This has been an interesting time of transition.. After a year of dealing with solitude, these last few months have been a time of letting go of people, of wants, of the past. The only thing that is ever for sure is change. Time is circular. Like an overlapping spiral. You experience things and then think you move on, but sometimes you are just winding around to find them again when the time is right to understand them and truly move on.

What legacy shall we, as people, leave behind? Will our mark be one of love? Of shallow profit? Will we continue to be a disease to the land? A parasite? How long can that last?

I'm rambling with my mouth half open, stumbling with my eyes half awake and drowning in memories.

14 rolls of film

are the hills going to march off? will heaven fall upon us? will the earth open under us? we don't know.