I Don't Read This Blog
By Raven Pray Bishop
At Antlerstock we farm-goers were sitting around the campfire and someone asked how I met Jenna. I think the story is very telling about our girl, so....once upon a time...
One day, all around our college dorm were fliers advertising Yoga Club. I'd been dabbling in yoga through high school and was excited to meet others who were interested, so I planned to be there at the place and time specified on the word-and-clip-art flier. Several days later, the fliers disappeared—vanished as though they never existed. Soon, however, new fliers took their place, this time for Knitting Club. Curiouser and curiouser, they had the same format and were scheduled for the exact same time and place as Yoga Club. So I changed my plans and arrived at that third floor dorm room, needles and yarn in hand. When I arrived, I found the room littered with cast-aside knitting paraphernalia and everybody was doing yoga. The girl leading the group (I think you know who this was) explained that she was told that she could not start yoga club because she was not a certified yoga teacher, so “Knitting Club” began in its stead.
It's this same “I'll find a way” attitude and perseverance that has led Jenna to follow her dream here to CAF. The knitting-yoga girl has grown into a woman whose vocabulary does not include the words “I can't” and this is why I believe people read this blog—to be inspired by her abominable spirit and to watch the amazing things that can happen with we give ourselves over to the “Of course I can” way of life.
But I don't read this blog.
When I tell people this, they can't believe it. But I don't read it because I get it “unplugged”. Since Tennessee (before Idaho), I've been one of Jenna's first-responders to the trials and tribulations of chasing and building this dream. I've been there for the elated, breathless phone calls when things went right and the late-night, tear streaked phone calls when they didn't. In her books and in her blog she writes with such a steadfast and humorous aplomb that it's easy to forget that this grounded perspective comes with a price paid in blood, sweat, tears and stress. Case in point—the instances of the dogs eating the chicks and the caged queen bee in Made From Scratch, when they happened live and unplugged, were downright traumatic. And when you know someone like I know Jenna, and you listen to a voicemail laced with tears and panic, you are reminded of that price she's paying each day to live this dream of hers.
I do have to say that these pained phone calls happen less and less these days. Lately, when I get the farm updates during our weekly phone calls, most mishaps, scares and tragedies are reported with the humor and perspective that happen when one comes into their craft and starts to get a rhythm. She's come a long way since the “ Raven, do you think it's crazy for me to write a book?” conversation. I think our girl's growing up, and I couldn't be more proud.
We have found ourselves living the lives that we giggled and whispered about over late night tea and candles in our dorm rooms. Both of our resumes tout achievements that are rare for women our age. Getting here, for both of us, is a story best told not through resumes, books and blogs, but through text messages, voicemail and three-hour phone calls. We've grown up and we've grown in separate directions, but through the years we've grown to trust we're always here at the end of the phone line to bear witness to each other's trials and joys. To give perspective—everybody needs that person who's going to say “cut the crap” as much as she says “way to go”.
Now we are entering the time in our lives where it's not about resumes and achievements anymore. We're playing for keeps here—she's full time on the farm now and I'm changing my name to Mommy—both labors of love that we've been pining for since we can remember; both requiring strength, perspective, dedication and spirit. It's a beautiful but scary threshold we are standing at now, and I'm thankful to know that we have each other—to know that I have a friend that is a voice of reason, an inspiration and a cheerleader.
It's sometimes easy for us to read a book or a blog and lose sight of the real person tapping away on the keyboard at the end of a day of real-life stuff. But aren't we lucky that there's someone who will share this life with us, inspiring us through that same yoga-knitter “I'll find a way” attitude that those old word-and-clip-art fliers foretold? I think we are.
But I'm still not going to read the blog, Jenna. I'll keep getting my CAF news unplugged.