• Farmstead Shepherd

Raven at a Disco

It’s easy to lose focus when you live in a mind that likes to do a lot. That also makes me a great self-starter with fantastic initiative. Sometimes (often) I bite off more than I can chew, and since my body cannot keep up with my mind’s restless ways, I end up overwhelmed. I know I‘m not the only creative out there who desperately wants to do the ”right thing.” Be a “good girl/boy.” To fit in. To do what is expected and requested of them... but I have come to the conclusion I just have to do things my way. Which means I have to believe in myself. That is a tough cookie to swallow. I often wonder if it is harder for artist-types to do this, or is it just a universal issue?

I have been asked for months to write up the recipes I make, tutorials on bread and cheese, and tutorials on gardening.... I have tried. I really have. But every time I hit record and start photographing one, knowing that I will also have to edit and write the tutorial out - I end up so overwhelmed and so stressed, I no longer enjoy baking or planting. I’ll be straight with you. I bake so I can create a scene to photograph, not because I love baking - but because I love photography. Specifically I love photographing people, but it’s COVID so I am making do with photographing still life instead. As soon as it is safe to do so, I look forward to getting back to my portrait projects! Which I hope will include people with disabilities doing homesteading activities - and at that point I will record tutorials (when I am documenting another person). I garden because I love nature and being in the solitude of wilderness - gardening brings nature to me, where my disability makes it harder for me to go into nature.

What I have discovered with a developing disability is learning to pivot again and again and again, is like climbing that insurmountable mountain over and over, never quite reaching the top. If by some stroke of luck I end up at the top of that mountain (The Farm and Forest School, Clown with a Camera...), it is impossible to sustain with such limited energy and questionable pain management - pivot. Life has become a desert of endless pivots... or has it? What if each pivot is really a dance step on a journey with no destination? The goal then becomes the journey. The problem is I have never been a graceful dancer. More of a Raven at a disco, captivated by the light and movement, shifting attention from one shiny object to the next. Lucky for me Ravens are clever and resourceful folks!

So I have rebooted my website, switched hosts so it would be more accessible for me and hopefully more end-user friendly as well. I do not know how to make a tutorial on the inner world of my creative mind, but I would like to continue to share my journey on homesteading with a disability - with the focus on life with a disability. I look forward to sharing what I learn on my journey and hearing from others as well. It can be isolating and a deep struggle to do on our own, so I invite you to join me so we may travel a bit of our journey together...

Keep Dancing - we all have our own special moves, lets share them with the world!

Believe in your journey friends,

Tara Mae

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