Creating Your Farm Garden Life

Moving to a rural farming community is to come faced with how creative many farmers are. It’s not just the choices made in designing their lands … positioning their crops… color choices of barns and out buildings… it’s the very act of intention. “I will now grow something that is of use to myself and others.”

I listened to “Julie Burstein: 4 lessons in creativity” because I need to search for things that feed my “Creative Mind” as many times a week as possible and in today’s world, we are inundated with media choices that excite every part of us other than our creativity. “Consume.. be at war with others … sooth your anxieties with shopping, drugs, and porn in the attempt to safely satisfy our need for human passion.”

100 yr pot put bak with gold lacqureBurstein used Japanese Raku to illustrate that in the process, we often have to let what happens—happen. (Click on the link above and view the video.) Wonderful things come out letting go of our need for safety… of being “right”… of being aware of that there are things I can control and things I have to let go of … because they happen all the time. The weather, deer eating what I don’t want them to eat… a ground hog or an owl in barns where I don’t want them to be.  “Creativity grows out of everyday experiences… including letting go. It also grows out of the broken places and the best way humans learn is through stories,” states Burstein. To tell those stories… through art, writing, sculpture, dance, is to be aware that all stories, novels, and songs are somehow about Attachment and the lack thereof, so putting other people at the center of your work. Burstein list four aspects we truly need in our alienated world in order to create the life we wish to move manifest… to create:

  1. Pay attention to the world around us…experience life instead of cell phones and twitter posts. Being open to the experience to what might change you is the first thing you must embrace.
  2.  Embrace—not necessarily overcome—your challenges… learn from them instead of being destroyed or turned off by them. Some artist’s most powerful work comes out of elements of life that are the most difficult. Acceptance leads to wisdom.
  3. Embrace loss—looking squarely at rejection, at war, at heartbreak, and at death… standing between what we see and what we hope for. (“The tragic gap is inevitable”… but you can hold the tension that comes out of it and create something beautiful.) Pushing up against the limits of what you can do can help you find your own voice, as well as your own genre.
  4. And of course opening to your passions. The need to get to work … that sense of urgency. The passionate obstinacy that compels us to create something out of our experience… cathartic in its transformation of trauma or symbolic in its beauty.”

Don’t let worries about not being perfect or strong or smart enough stop you. Forget about finding the PERFECT place that will have perfect neighbors. Inperfection is “perfect” for the creative person. That one-hundred year old Japanese pot that still shows the creators fingerprints was made more beautiful because when it was broken, the owner put it back together with gold lacquer … emphasizing the broken places… and hence, it’s story is still worthy of being told. What’s yours? What will be the story that leads you to plant a seed in your urban, suburban, or rural garden? Who will come to share the meal… a blue bird… an old tired aunt… a child not yet born?


The Necessary Courage to Create Yourself

“No Child Left Behind” left out art.
Art evolves consciousness.
What is the nature of art… or anti-art… that you have access to…
….that has access to you?

“Art is an echo of the creative force that birth the galaxies.”
what if you have no art?
what if your art was only darkness or violence?

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To view, click this link–>

Art and Science in Rural Maine

Yeah, Guy (that’s his name) has a great brain. His resume includes having worked on “Star Trek the Motion Picture” in 1979.
The Hip Quaker

The Hip Quaker

Somewhere around 2001, he and his artist wife Rebekah packed all their belongs and escaped California for rural Maine. I’m highlighting them because we urban folks tend to dismiss everyone who lives in the sticks as “potentially dangerous ignorant hicks.”

But regardless if you want a home in the country or not, you still need to have a look at Guy’s website. He’s got everything on there from thermal window insulation solutions and info about solar differential temperature controllers, to links and comments about wireless surveillance equipment, and robotic equipment. (No, he doesn’t have any robots running around the acreage, but he does have a solar powered lawn mower … and I’m sure he’ll gladly answer any questions on robots you send him….) is intentionally folksy and down-to-earth.  One trip to the site and I guarantee you’ll … feel smarter. It’s like a mini Smithsonian for geeks, homesteaders, and art lovers. You quickly discover there are no high or low-tech problems that can’t be solved. Some solutions are expensive and others … relatively cheap. (After all, he was one of the Visual Effects engineers for Star Trek…)

Guy and his wife Becky are wonderful examples of “Back-to-the-Landers.” I doubt if they’d classify themselves as such, but this team of art and science lowered their overhead, escaped the rat-race, and now live healthy and extremely creative lives. They have time and space to create far more than they would had they remained in an urban space where problems like … well … everyone knows the problems.

Oh yeah, any woman curious about fashion, click on the Chicago Native’s link to her  textile art … and while there, explore her latest photos that came out of a recent MFA program. These are folks. Smart folks … but folks… aware … GOOD folks. People who enrich the “neighborhood” they move into—if allowed. They do their homework before picking a spot in paradise, and then they become “neighbors.” Neighbors are important in the less alienated rural countryside. You have to be. One wet spring morning you might need one to pull your car out of a ditch. Isn’t that part of the allure?

Becky continues to travel to market her textile art and Guy… creates high tech toys, teaches homesteaders how to insulate their homes, answers high tech questions and provides solar and wind solutions. He even built a canoe.

Visit the hip Quaker at:

Becky’s newest art site:

Her older mainstay website is: “Younger Knits”: