I hardly ever think to take pictures at our Bedlam Farm Open Houses. I’m too busy in my Gallery. I snap a few scenes, but to get the real feel of the days in pictures, it’s best to go to Jon’s blog.
Today, my head is filled with numbers. I like to sort out the sales and commissions quickly and get the checks in the mail to the artists and poets who are part of the Open House. But I’m not really good with numbers. I usually come close enough to making things work out. But for me, when numbers are involved, there are always mistakes. 15’s can easily become 51’s, my mistakes in adding and subtracting are usually unfathomable to me.
But I had good help with Kim and my friend Mandy (who showed up on Sunday because Kim had to work at the Co-op). And as much as I love to see how much each artist sold and how much money they made, there is the other part of the Open House. The part that has nothing to do with numbers.
And that’s the real heart of the Open House, the part that’s about people. When we first started having the Open Houses, I used to worry that something would go wrong. But I don’t even think of that anymore. It seems somehow that the people who show up are just really good people. They’re kind to each other and the animals. They’re happy to be here and up for it all, art, poetry, sheep herding and visiting with the donkeys and Chloe. Mary Kellogg, the poet and our friend who was reading this weekend said she felt as if the farm was surrounded in a joyful energy that expanded out into the rest of the world. That it was good news among all the bad news we’re so used to hearing.
I see that in the people who come here, and the artists and poets who are a part of it all. And everyone who comes to help make the weekend a good one. I see it in the businesses in the town of Cambridge. How they welcome the people who fill the streets and shops for the weekend. Doug Anderson, who read from his new book “Horse Medicine” and has read his poetry at different places all over the country, said that this was a great place to read poetry. I think it had to do with the people who were here. The feeling of the place and the event. There is an ease and comfort and sense of safety and encouragement.
I’m not sure why our Open Houses attract such good people from all over, but thinking that all that loving energy that swirls around here for two days, may be reaching beyond Bedlam Farm reminds me that numbers are only a small part of it all. And I want to remember that when the numbers don’t add up. I want to remember and revel in what’s really important. Which is all the good people and the kindness they bring, spiraling out from Bedlam Farm.