Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Koan of Relationship

Relationships have not been easy for me ever in my life. I’ve been baffled by the politics of them, confused by the masks people don in them, hurt by accusations flung around in them.

But on the farm, without jobs and trips to & fro and social clubs and the like, it has amazed me to find myself involved in more meaningful, quality relationships than I ever have been. When I sell eggs to someone, their grandchildren also come to visit, and before you know it, we‘re getting together to go fishing. Or we haul manure from their uncle’s and know who has had her baby and how quickly it is growing. When I mow for a neighbor, they consequently know us well enough to call and ask for help on those rare occasions it is truly needed like when their giant dog died and they were both, shall we say, decommissioned in their grief. In just this little holler, I’ve been able to trade out for getting the cow bred, and pigs and male rabbits and big-tree-near-the-house felling. The other home school moms and I don’t have to get together, we love to. “How are you?” is a real question not small talk. The guys at the produce stand say, “Hey, you taught that horse to plow yet?” all in good humor. They were taking food to our sick aunt and uncle a few months ago so the family didn’t have to worry about what to eat. Everyone knows, and everyone cares, really.

And even over distance, with my friend Laura who moved several hundred miles away. And even over the internet, with Sue who I’ve never met but have known for years now. Or MadreMoltoLento who saved me in 4th grade and who I last knew in 7th grade and who just found me again. Or even Joe and JustRose, fellow bloggers who I‘ve only recently “met“.

The less I am forced into relationship, the more meaningful, quality relationships I seem to enjoy. One of the many koans of life.

I’d dreamed of community with like-minded folks, of friends with the same interests and passions. Do I have that? Most emphatically, NO! It is WAY more interesting, I think, to have this neighborhood of colorful characters, many of whom are interested in doing for themselves; WAY more interesting to have these friends who challenge me, stretch me, change me and are changed by me. The dynamic balance of life, bless all of our hearts.

Today I take a deep breath and relax for the past week has been an unusual one for me -- I was off the farm four days out of six. It was all to good things, things we want and need to participate in. I loved it all, but boys, am I glad to be home with nothing on the calendar for a couple of weeks.


justrose said...

I love koans. They make me take a deep breath and relax. Hope you are too.

Shelly said...

I got Jesse out of bed this morning by saying "I fixed you dippy Eggs from CG" He shot straight up and said "Oh Boy". While he was eaten he said "Oh these are so good the orange is like yummy syrup"
Our thanksgiving with our meals is short & sweet:
"Lord we thank you for this good earth and the hands that work it,for our food and the hands that prepare it, and for the provider of our family.Amen"
Knowing where our eggs came from made us a bit more thankful this morning.I am also thankful that you are apart of our lives.

Joe Tornatore said...

Where I come from and I don't mean Big Stone Gap, "How are you doing?" is a hollow salutation. Sad but true.

the Contrary Goddess said...

jr, there are many koans in life, and it is a good thing.

Shelly, you've brought tears to my eyes! Jesse is so cool anyway. And I am very thankful for you all coming into our lives too.

and Joe, most of the time is is hollow here too, but I am happy when it is not.

Sky Niangua said...

I so enjoy reading your writings.
Lovely, lovely.


Kim said...

Yes! Making a connection!

Last night I made wonderful connections with other local artists. Some of them have been here for years with little, to no, community. They are also very into the communty events in regard to local farmer's markets and the like.

Yes, there are those folks who wave and nod with pleasantries...and then there are those folks who will help you fix your roof in the middle of a storm.

That is how it was when I was a kid. Seems, my life has been full of being the "outsider" in a small town...but anyway... :) We had good friends help us on our farm when we needed. They didn't always understand us, but they did respect us. :) Same is true now that I'm all grown up. Lots of folks out here don't understand us, but they do respect us. :)

Your posts are always so thoughtful. :)