Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ode to the farm.

The worst part about the present is that it becomes the past and then you have these completely glorified memories upon completely glorified memories on top of memories of the totally shitty times that you're super glad are over.

For absolutely no reason, Hot tubbin' on the late night popped into my head today. My first reaction was, "Man! That shit's still funny!" even though I haven't actually watched it in over two years. So then, I'm thinking, is it still funny? But I don't want to watch it in case it isn't and it causes me to have to go back and re-write my memories of living in the lodge.

When I first started living at the lodge, I very nearly wept for joy almost every day. Jessica and I did most of the move in by ourselves because the guys were somewhere (where?), and we slept on her full size mattress on the floor in the dining room because we were painting our room and we didn't have electricity yet, and it was hot, and we only had like two candles.

Initially we named it the "Hiewismordinka House" in honor of us all having last names (we're clever like that), but TJ, being the recognized genius that he is, wrote a lovely song involving a Lodge and getting crunked up and for some reason this translated into the most obvious choice for our home.

We hung a clothes line. And TJ made our counters for us because there were none in that tiny house. And we got chickens, and named them, and then stopped naming them when they started becoming the victims of ruthless late-night raccoon and opossum attacks. And we made a garden in the front yard that I contributed to not at all but still got to mooch off of and eat out of.

And we spent time together. We went on trips to Austin (one in which we stumbled across a happenin' bar called "The Lodge"). We hung out at the farm. We went to church together. We started a church together. We had a dance party, and a ninja party, and an 80's Christmas party. We recorded music. We read books and poetry and wrote them too. We did our laundry at the laundromat together and hung it out to dry in the back yard under the pecan tree and I remember thinking, "Dear God, please let me live like this always."

Obviously, we don't live like that anymore. Jessica got married and moved to Pennsylvania to be a farmer. TJ moved to Boston to go to school and be a poet and be the Beloved of the Universe. Kris moved to New York to work and to live and to be far away from here. And I stayed here.

Things weren't perfect in the Lodge. We fought a lot towards the end, which is a thing I think roommates do, but if there is a time in my life that I want to remember to my children, it is this time. The farm and the lodge.

At the farm I found who I am, as an adult, as a worker, as a member of a community and a contributor. That was invaluable.
If you know me, you know that I have journeyed. I have stepped out and gone places and done things all by myself and I have been deeply unhappy and homesick. I think I had lost myself at some point in my childhood and meandered into adulthood feeling very insecure. You have to have some self to be sure of. I didn't. I embarked on my time at the farm feeling unsure of my ability to succeed at anything (you can read about it here, on this blog), but, for some reason, found in it an amazing contentment in all things.

What glory.

I am who I am today because of that place and that time. Whatever confidence life had leeched from me was presented to me every day to be grasped and drunk in. I was gifted companionship's more than friendships, connections more than conversations, laughter and love and epic, snapshot moments. We worked very hard and were often very tired, and very dirty, but we danced under the stars. We walked, as the sun rose, with mugs of coffee steaming in our gloved hands, towards frosty fields ripe with harvest. We sat and read under that grand old cotton wood, dappled by its leaves. We lived some life that our time has forgotten, and we lived it together, in love.

Wuh. This is making me all mushy inside.

Dear farm from 2008, I miss you. Thanks for loving me. Maybe someday I will write a book about you.


Stephanie Cole said...

i love you!

i loved reading this and reliving some of those oh-so-fond memories!

hannah said...

yes, yes, and amen. miss you, miss that place too.

christine said...

I love the artistic composition of this photo. I was wondering if you would mind if i were to put it in my file to use for an illustration. I like to ask rather than just take and will be totally respectful if your answer is no. thanks christine