Friday, November 14, 2008

warm wind

Warm wind on an unseasonably balmy night has a way of exciting and unsettling me at the same time. I can't put my finger on it but something has me very uncomfortable lately. It's not a bad thing. I think it's a mix of nerves about the book coming out and my own doubts about the farm. I think too much about things I can't anwser.

Tonight I spent a good chunk of time in the hammock. It's going to rain tomorrow so the world's all saturated here, about to burst. I was in a pair of light cotton pants and a hoodie and I was as comfortable as if it was August. Which is not a correct way to feel in mid November. But I was glad to have the company of weather as out of place as I felt. So I swayed out there thinking of nothing in particular and everything in general.

I'm grateful for this little farm. It gives me a sense of purpose in a world I'm not sure has one. Here at Cold Antler there are certainties no one can argue with. The animals and garden depend on me to care for them. Eggs need to be collected, drinking water hauled, food offered, wool sheared. You work hard and plant often and hope the sun and soil will carry the general burden and your back will shoulder the deficit. Or something like that. I am very new at this.

I do know that the more you build up a thing the more dissapointed you will be if it doesn't work out. I worry I make the farm too much of myself. I don't want this not working out to crush me. I don't want to be working in an office in ten years and hating myself for not getting my dream of a working farm as my livlihood. Which sometimes makes me wonder if I should be in a loft in Philadelphia and not in a cabin in Vermont. Maybe I should have stayed somewhere safer? Some place where the farm remains a far away dream and not something I am constantly crawling uphill for. I wish I had more faith in this thing. But I never had much faith, I always preferred hope. Which always gets me in horrid amounts of trouble.

I remember an old friend telling me that some people have faith and others have hope, and that difference was what seperated us. He was right. The whole world seems to be divided by people who have questions and those who have anwsers. A dangerous divide, probably the most dangerous.

But I figured something out. When I am at work at this farm my hope churns and writhes until it becomes faith. At some point durring the chores around here a transition takes place. It's as weird and uncomfortable as the weather is right now, but like the creepy wind outside it is ridiculously wonderful. the change happens when I am deep in the work of planting vegetables or fixing fences or working with Sarah and sheep - all my questions become a practice and not an idea. Worry becomes work. Things become clear. And all of a sudden the world falls into my version of order and I get my anwsers. Or something that I allow to pass for anwsers. It really doesn't matter.

I don't know how many people spend perfectly good Friday nights swaying above the world and questioning how hope evolves into faith given the right ratio of dirt and hooves and Octobers and thunderstorms in late July? I hope the number is just enough to keep things interesting, too many of us and nothing gets done except some novels and the occasional garden.

I really should get a TV. Christ.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, sorry that you're in what I call a blue funk. Hopefully it will soon pass. Look how far you've come in this short time. You have a farm, you produce some of your own food and have made some money from the farm to help pay for it. You've learned a lot. Please don't become discouraged. Isn't that better than living in a loft still dreaming? Things may not progress as quickly as you'd like, but you are moving forward and I trust that one day you will reach your goal.

I remember one Thandsgiving when it was 70 degrees in New Jersey. It will be cold again before you know it. - Joyce

November 14, 2008 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger P~ said...

Jenna, we've not talked before, and I've only just been reading your blog for a few months but I can see your passion in your writing. All I can say, is continue your journey as long as your heart is in it. To have something that makes your "..hope churn and writh until it becomes faith." is a blessing not to be underestimated, particularly in today world. Enjoy the moments, learn the lessons and continue forward, the world will open up as it is meant to.
I hope that doesn't come off too forward coming from a relative stranger, but I've had the same issues myself from time to time.
Best wishes to you.
P~

November 14, 2008 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Open said...

In my humble opinion you should not worry about the book. If you have cast the same spell over it as you have in this post and your other writings then you're home. You definitely have the touch, the talent for taking experiences very passionate to you and making them personal to someone else. It just makes you feel good. My guess is the book will do fine and become a solid stepping stone if ... people can get a glimpse of your skills. I bought your book a couple of weeks ago because it was something I was interested in. Now that I have read most of the blog archives and few other sources from you I think I would have bought the book regardless. You are a very good read. My bet is the book is fine. Sales will be due to marketing. (just SEO it son)

BTW loved that iPod pocket hat in a prior post. You making those?

Have fun,

Tom

November 15, 2008 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger Jennifer and Steve said...

we can relate as folks who often think too much and also joke about getting a tv to shut us up! ha ha :) when i really get into a funk, i just think to myself - just get busy doing something (presumably something to move me into the direction i want to go). that's all we can really do to move us forward. take care. enjoy your weekend. jennifer

November 15, 2008 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I think you are always safe if you are following your dream, following your heart. I have just found your blog and think I can say that if you ever find yourself struggling with faith in your choices, it seems like there are many, many people in this little online community who could lend you some of theirs...some of their faith in you. Having faith in you is giving some of us the courage to start to hope for ourselves...for our own dreams. Thank you for that, Jenna.

November 15, 2008 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

i don't want to come across as negative, just thinking a lot. I know I've accomplished a lot here, but it looks like more on paper than it is. I am a kid with a collection on baseball cards who wants to open a Hall of Fame museum. And I don't even own the lot to build the musuem on! It's just a lot, and the older I get the more unrealistic it can seem. I was just thinking that, and wanted to share it.

and tom, yes, you can buy a hat. depending on the wool and such, prices are betweem 20-30.

November 15, 2008 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J, you think, unusual...you think out loud...priceless!! cw

November 15, 2008 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Darx said...

Please never get a television if it will deprive your readers of delightful posts like this one. Pure gold.

November 15, 2008 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Mare said...

All thses saying come to mind...Follow your heart...Bloom where you're planted...and the one that pulls me out of the hole every once in a while..."This too shall pass..." Hang in there girl. :)

November 15, 2008 at 7:03 PM  
OpenID cowsandplows said...

Life is more than just what's on the paper in front of us. We can't quantify happiness with a ledger page and what other people say we should have at certain points in our lives. These aren't simply the platitudes of a fan. As a grad student there are times, sometimes several times a week, where I think of just giving everything up and getting the first job that I find. Something has to be more realistic, more plausible than the existence that I have now. Don't give in to self-doubt during those hard times, those dark moments when it doesn't seem possible. We are constantly bombarded with the message to give in, join the machine, do what's expected of us. Strike out on your own! Life in a cubicle doing what's expected of us at a certain age is a life without joy. You'll get the farm, you'll find your way in the wilderness. And you know what the beauty of it all is? When met with setbacks, you find new ways to achieve your goals. You've done it before, we've followed you across the country and through other decisions.

November 15, 2008 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger AnnaMarie said...

I completely understand your post. I sat on the porch last night, in the 65 degree windy weather (in the very northernmost reaches of Vermont) and wondered what I'd done to move my family, husband and Corgis, here to become market farmers. We are lucky enough to own the land but what if by summer, when we actually can put it all into practice, it doesn't work? It's not like there are alot of jobs up here... I have hope it will work and like you I need to work hard enough to make the hope change to faith.

You are young and you've written a book, I think you are wayyyy ahead of the game.

Don't buy a TV, I don't have one either and frankly you are better off watching Chicken TV than the drivel that is out there.

I think the snow on Tuesday will probably energize both of us!

November 16, 2008 at 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you can have both questions and answers. I don't think life is so black and white.

Sara

November 17, 2008 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger dazy.mae said...

Not sure if you will see this or not. I thought I would give it s shot regardless. I read your book Made From Scratch and loved it. I have started reading the archives of your blog. Which brings us to this point in time. My own head is swimming with ideas as I'm sure yours does. Some days I'm ccontent to dream and plan while other days I feel overwhelmed and stuck..just planning with no doing. So much more to say but will end for now as I can not even be sure anyone will even see this. Completely new to the blog thing.

February 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger dazy.mae said...

Not sure if you will see this or not. I thought I would give it s shot regardless. I read your book Made From Scratch and loved it. I have started reading the archives of your blog. Which brings us to this point in time. My own head is swimming with ideas as I'm sure yours does. Some days I'm ccontent to dream and plan while other days I feel overwhelmed and stuck..just planning with no doing. So much more to say but will end for now as I can not even be sure anyone will even see this. Completely new to the blog thing.

February 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger dazy.mae said...

Not sure if you will see this or not. I thought I would give it s shot regardless. I read your book Made From Scratch and loved it. I have started reading the archives of your blog. Which brings us to this point in time. My own head is swimming with ideas as I'm sure yours does. Some days I'm ccontent to dream and plan while other days I feel overwhelmed and stuck..just planning with no doing. So much more to say but will end for now as I can not even be sure anyone will even see this. Completely new to the blog thing.

February 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM  

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