"wandering awed" - the farm pt.1

after my cat's heartbreaking disappearance and the abrupt deaths of 3 of the 4 baby bluejays i've been photographing in their sweet nest, (two were fledglings and we have found them dead of unknown causes on the ground, the other we found dead in the nest) i've been feeling disenchanted with nature...yes the very natural world i love so dearly has been tearing my damn heart out.

reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek has been the perfect accompaniment through the existential dilemma in which i find myself. i finished it the other night, with her words of "glory" and "amen" a great thank you to this universe: "all of it intricate, speckled, gnawed, fringed, and free." when a book makes me weep and cracks open the thunderclouds of my inner sky, i know i have seen greatness.

and then today,
we went to the farm.
our dear friend carolann's farm, or to be exact, winterport farm near ione california,
owned by the same family since 1865,
full of mysteries, junkheaps, seedlings, secrets, destruction, abundance, fecundity.
green, green, green
life, life, life...

my title for this post is taken from this amazing passage:

"I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down. Simone Weil says simply, "Let us love the country of here below. It is real; it offers resistance to love."
page 242, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

i have lots more to tell about our farm experience but for now, i'm off to bed to let the day settle into my dreams where fledgling bluejays are still learning to fly.

sweet dreams to you, lovely friends of the world


Courtney said…
I'm so sorry to hear about your blue jays and it's just terrible that your cat is still missing. Baby bird season is so stressful sometimes! Thanks for sharing your farm photos, they're lovely. Enjoy your weekend.
Cel said…
I have to admit, the thing that caught my attention most here was the pigs. I was reading it and instantly just thought PIGGIES! It reminds me of when I was younger and we used to raise pigs. I miss farms and the country! It looks like you had a fantastic time.

I really hope your dear sweet kitty comes home though. And I think I'm going to have to check this book out from the library, because you make it sound really, really good!
Missa said…
This is such a beautifully composed post Heather. Sorry to hear about the sad fate of the baby blue jays :( Ah, the harsh realities of nature.

You look so lovely in these photos though and your friend's farm looks amazing, I'm looking forward to seeing more!
Amy Beatty said…
WOW, the last part of this post, from your book? soaked deep down into my soul. So true. Love those words. This farm looks so great. Where those tomatoes growing? they are twice the size of mine. I noticed that they had a stick in the ground behind them. Is that so they grow up? I also noticed adie had hers in a cage (papa's blog). Am I doing something wrong? Sorry nature is giving your heart such a harsh beating. But that is what nature does best. Makes us cry to see the sunrise over the mountains to the little blue egg we found out on the sidewalk, crack with the little sleeping baby in it never to wake.
ZombieLace said…
Aw nothing hurts like an existential crisis. It sucks so much that death has to be such a big part of life. And that passage from Pilgrim is just lovely.
Milla said…
Bird's nests, feathers, sunshine, that last picture of you is just too adorable. And I'm gonna pick up that book for sure one of these days. I love your photoshoots.

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