Since things are off to a very leisurely start, I head off to move some rocks. But, I run into S coming the opposite direction up the road and she asks to go for a walk with me, so we do. We visit the squatter's cabin first. I lead until we are close, then I point towards the last stretch of trail and stop talking. I follow a short distance behind. When we are done exploring and discussing that interesting structure, I ask, "what next?" - my way of politely giving a person a way out of a long hike. S surprises me some by wanting to push on farther away rather than head back for breakfast. In fact, I notice that if I stand still, she will walk farther into the forest. It is a good trait and one that many of my artist friends have...their curiosity drives their creativity. "Let's head up the road, I have a cool stump to show you." I tell her that I pose my hiking partners with stumps and that some of them have a wonderful ability to look like they were born there and that they belong there. I talk of them as matriarchs and how they guide me back out of the forest when I wander. We get to that tall stump, and S climbs to the top of it.
She asks, "have you been up here?"
I respond, "That is not my relationship with them."
And she does something gentle that I've seen no one else do, and she looks like she belongs there.
May 12, 2012
Night was just cold enough to reach through my sleeping bag with only the stars as the skin of my tent. Sometime in the early morning night, a half moon rose and drifted sideways across the sky. Wind came sometime early also, with a breath of chill touching my side with each gust. When it woke me, I had a starlit sky above and fuzzy in my nearsighted vision.
I rose before sunrise, made breakfast, and headed out to continue work. As the sun rose and arced through the sky, the half moon disappeared.
Site visits for prospective Lo-fi artists begin today. I knock off and wait for people to come at noon, but they are more casual and leisurely than I am about time. But, they do arrive, and each meeting is a good experience with the possibilities of lasting friendship. We have fine discussions, we tour the landscape, we eat an excellent dinner, and when all have retired to various buildings and spaces for the night, I lay down under the stars once more.
May 11, 2012
It is as much a summer day as one can expect - warm and sunny, the farm is green with new growth, the cottonwoods all leafed out and the grass in the meadows is somewhere between thigh and chest high. My days here, the past few months, have been ones of exploring, days of finding new things and days of finding the outer edges of what I can call the farm (it does go beyond the legal edges of the farm). But, today is a work day. Familiar with the area, I decided to make something for others to find, an installation that will do no harm, but perhaps cause people to pause and think. I've been told and seen that one of Smoke Farm's best traits is the exchange of ideas that occur when people come together here.
So, I move rocks. Lots of rocks. 2 buckets at a time, 6 buckets to the wheelbarrow, 3 wheelbarrows before a rest. The red breasted sapsucker that likes the cedar tree where I work returns. It is unafraid of me and we look at each other from 6 feet away. When I move, it just sidesteps a bit further around the tree. As I collect rocks, I spot a mule deer on the far side of the river, a 100 yards downstream. It looks back and spots me, watches me, and then takes its time walking further downstream. I return to moving rocks.