This is the frist Columbus Day Weekend, in many years that Jon and I didn’t have a Bedlam Farm Open House.
I believe that when we stop one thing, it opens a door for something new to come in.
All the years we had Open Houses at the farm I loved doing it. It was a lot of work and it had its problems, but I always felt it was worth any trouble that came from it.
When we decided not to have an Open House this year, I felt relief.
Relief at the thought of not having to empty out my studio, relief at the idea of not having to put a hold on my work for the three weeks it took to prepare and doing the finishing work after the Open House was over.
There were, of course, many good things about the Open House too. It was complex. But I was ready to let it go. And I believe that left a space for something else to come in.
This weekend two things happened that did just that.
The first was my dancing in the Worldwide ATS Flash Mob with my fellow dancers of the Bennington Beledi Bellydancers. Dancing was in a way the opposite of the Open House for me.
One of the things about the Open House was that I was in complete charge of the part of it that was about the art and artists. And there was safety in that for me. I was choosing the artists, making the rules, controlling things as much as possible.
Dancing on Saturday evening, Bellydancing, in general, makes me vulnerable in a way I’ve never voluntarily allowed myself to be before.
Every class I make a ton of mistakes that are visible to me and the people around me. I’m often singled out and in front of everyone try again and again to move my feet in a way that they can’t seem to move.
But this doesn’t bother me.
In the past, I would have been afraid of making mistakes, or even well-meaning criticism. Now I feel like I just want to learn. And I’ll do what it takes to do that.
The other thing that happened this weekend is that our shearer Liz offered me two of her sheep.
They’re a Cormo/Romeny and Blueface Leicester mix. A wonderful combination of wool sheep. I’ve been thinking and talking to Jon about whether to get them or not all weekend.
To me, these sheep feel like another possible way of filling the space the Open House has left. Taking on two good wool sheep would be like making a renewed commitment to the flock and my business of selling wool.
If I add two new sheep to the flock I will have too much wool for the Fiber Mill I use now to process. So this is an opportunity for me to get creative about how to sell the extra wool. I’m just beginning to explore the different options and have the feeling that I can figure something out that I never would have thought of before since I didn’t have to.
Last year I was certain we’d have more Open Houses even if in another form. But now I’m not so sure.
I like these new directions I’m taking. Being more committed to and active on the farm (whether I get the sheep or not), and stretching my creativity in a new way through Bellydancing.