One of the many things I used to do for a living was paint houses, inside and out. When I got divorced and started making my art part time, I vowed never to paint again. I threw out my brushes and rollers and scrapers and spackle and gave away the paint bucket I kept them all in. I threw out my painting clothes (except my work boots, which are great around the farm).
Then we bought Florence’s house. Our house, Jon’s and mine, my house. And I finally feel like I’m home.
I love Bedlam Farm, where Jon and I fell in love and I started doing my work seriously for the first time in my life, and I learned how to care for and open myself up to the animals. It’s where I felt safe for the first time in my life. I found myself on Bedlam Farm, and it will always be a magical place for me. It has been my home and a wonderful one, but it isn’t me. For me Bedlam Farm is a threshold, a place to pass through. I’ve faced the demons at the gate and now it’s time to move on. To the place Jon and I, as the people we are now, choose to live. And now we’ve found that place, and it shouldn’t surprise me, but it does, that we have the same vision for it. Basically do as little as possible to make it livable for us and the animals, then focus on what’s important to us, our lives together and our work.
So when we decided to paint the kitchen ourselves instead of hiring someone to do it, I found I wasn’t apprehensive about it at all. It was as if another person had taken the vow never to paint again. It held none of the old feelings or fears of being inadequate, nor did it bring up old memories. It was almost as if I had never painted before, except that I knew how to do it. It was actually a pleasure, I’d even say fun. And Jon and I did it together. In between he mowed the lawn, and we danced to Bob Dylan, had lunch on the porch and visited Rocky.
I’ve bought sold, fixed up and lived in a lot of houses but this this the first time I’m doing it the way I want to do it. In a way this is really my first house. And I intend to be there a long time and with Jon, make it the new Bedlam Farm, our home.