statistics: 2 (pig murders i am aiding and abetting, per year)
1 (tons of giant stones i moved my hand the other day because the farmer made me)
1 (chicks i killed today because i thought it was a fresh egg and i stole it from under the hen and brought it to the fridge)
Soooooo.... For these two weeks I've been living on a small, organic family farm near Galway, Ireland. It's been lovely, soul-building, sometimes back-breaking, but it always feels like God's work. I'm going to write a long piece about this (in the same vein/voice as my hitching story from last year). But, for those that have been asking what I'm up to here, what follows are some rough thoughts from my notes:
- conversation between two local farmers:
'who'd you hire?'
'the one that's been shot.'
'oh, he's good.'
'i asked him what happened to the other guy... 'oh, he's dead now.''
- the little girl dips her pink-socked foot into the chicken's water. 'want to swim with the chickens?' long, enthusiastic nod. 'uh huh!'
- i spend a lot of my time blasting the render off the cottage with a mini-jack hammer. underneath is the original stone work, some 200-years-old. today we found the archway from the old stables. 'holy shit, this is awesome,' the farmer told me. the stones are too good for a common farm. the farmer says the original owners did the stone work for the railway, and that they probably stole these stones during their lunch hours.
- me: strawberries don't really have any self defense mechanism, do they?
farmer: that's the idea, isn't it? they're so sweet you can't resist them, and that's how their seeds get spreads. sometimes seeds get spread through you.
- i'm helping to build a pig sty. in fact, i kind of pressured the farmer into getting pigs. i am horrible, horrible vegetarian.
- the old bull from the next farm watches me pee through the window. when he sees me flossing i swear he thinks, 'oh god, what's that asshole doing now?'
- my first morning a baby dove was born. two days ago there were chicks. tonight tommy down the road is killing his cockerel.
- YET, tommy wants to be a cock in his next life. he says this after the farmer's wife mentions how their cock has been raping the feathers off the hen all week.
- the wife grew up in a thatched house. 'when it stormed we'd all lie on our bellies in the kitchen and say rosaries, hoping the roof wouldn't blow in.'
- i'm here because, essentially, i didn't want to be an Italian club promotor. i love this life. for years i've talked about wanting a farm, and 4-5 foster boys to help me with it. i feel like i'm getting closer and closer with each bit of knowledge i take in, with each strawberry i pick from the vine and eat straight away, with each walk i take where the momma cow next door growls at me, chews her cud, and blinks slowly as her baby takes in the milk that was made for her.
more to come...