There was a lull in the crowds coming into my art gallery during the Open House. Carol Law Conklin was at the farm most of the day, she was there when Pamela walked into my Gallery to look at the work. I introduced her to Pam and immediately saw something happen between them. It was the horse connection which both women intuitively have. Carol told Pamela how when she had to give away her horses she felt like now she was alone and had to walk on her own two feet instead of the four feet of her horse that felt most natural to her.
Then Pamela told Carol some horse stories from the Native American Blue Horse to the Ancient Greek Pegasus. Carol listened, soaking them up, I know I’ll see those stories appear somehow in Carol’s Batiks. I could feel the connection between these two women who had just met for the first time. A knowing energy pass between them. An understanding that went beyond words. Neither of them doubts the importance of horses in our lives. Carol expresses it in images, Pamela in stories and the way she lives her life.
I’ve seen this type of thing happen with Pamela before. And I’ve experienced it myself. When Pamela starts to talk to me about the horses, their hearts and the way they think, when she tells the stories of us and them, I feel myself shift. It’s similar to what happens to me when I’m making my art. It’s as if this world that I live in, my day to day existence starts to slip away. And soon I’m inhabiting a different space. I slip into another world. And the stories become more real than the chair I’m sitting on.
I think there are some people who are not of our world. People like the saints and the mystics. When I think of Pamela my mind goes to Johnny Appleseed (who was a real person, a lover of the earth and animals who traveled around planting trees and had the first horse rescue farm in what is now Ohio) and St. Francis of Assisi. Both of them lived a wild sort of life, not fitting into society in any traditional way, if at all. But with meaningful messages about our connection to the earth and nature that have lasted through time.
The more I get to know Pamela, them more I feel she’s not of our world. She doesn’t have the same sense of time, money or ownership that most of us have. Her passion and calling is to protect the horses, to remind us of the important part they play in our lives. She does this by bringing the horses to us one at a time, and by telling their stories.
I understand Pamela, because I’m a visitor to that other world. I’m drawn to it. It feels like a safe place I forgot existed but am very familiar with once I’m there again. I go there, but I always have one foot grounded in this world. The other world, is boundless and mysterious, more of the air than the earth. And when I think of it, my heart swells and I can’t help but cry. It’s a place where time melts and there’s hope for what in this world seems impossible.
But I have this practical side to me. I think it’s always scared me, the idea of staying in that other world. As much as I’ve felt that I don’t fit in here, I keep trying. And I’m finding in some ways I do fit in. But I’ll always go back and forth, because that other world calls to me. And I think living here on Bedlam Farm with Jon and the animals and being able to do my work, I’ve figured that out for now. How to be a part of both worlds in a way that works for me. Surrounded by people who understand. But I imagine that will change and evolve too. As nothing in life is fixed. I think there’s a place for all of us, no matter which worlds we inhabit. It’s just a matter of trying finding it. And to never stop searching.