Wednesday, March 26, 2014
In The Beginning
What a whirlwind! My hands have been busy painting, drawing, typing, and otherwise scheduling this strange rambling trip I will be taking in May, so much so I've nary had time to pay attention to the story-telling part of this journey.
But in between classes to be taught and the art, soap, and beauty items to be made and sold along the way, it occurs to me that many people just joining up on this little adventure do not have the story of how this whole thing came to be.
And so this is a little story within that story.
While a much more comprehensive (and by more, I mean a Tolstoy-style novel, so grab a serious kettle-full of tea to drink!) "about me" story can be found, well, in the About Me section at the top of this blog, this story is a bit more about the heartbeat of why I do what I do.
See, this tale really isn't mine to tell. To really understand it, you must go to my family tree--the stuff of gypsy lore, Balkan musings, and Tales of exotic, bangled men and women from places where dust flies. Those were my people. My parents were of far-flung ancestry that allowed them to tell tales since I could first remember. At the time, they were both awesome and rebuked; what use does a girl who grew up in New York City have with tales of "poor farmers" whose life was clearly NOT AS FABULOUS as her modern little life. Funny, how the youthful attach themselves to the newer shiny stuff.
I will admit though, there was something curious about those souls. My parents, who lost one parent, each, as children, whose parents were midwives, farmers, soldiers--who struggled through so much poverty, heartache, loss--and seemed unfazed by it. One grandmother was a midwife who stepped on scorpions with her bare hands, my great grandfather was a veterinarian in a country that had little or no value to most creatures. One uncle ran the first leper colony in his country. My other grandfather was a soldier who spent seven years in military prison. My grandmother cooked in the house of German nobles.
Is there any. damn. wonder. that I'm the person I am today? I mean, you can't take that and decide it will be okay to take the path of least resistance, or convenience or--heck--even predictability.
For me, those stories just expanded my natural curiosity for old things--and that love would pepper everything about my psyche: besides being a die-hard artist, I loved archeology. I still love antiques. Even the dance troupe I ran touched on themes of mythology and old legend.
Ahh, the troupe. I've been a performing artist, and that thing was my dream. Until it wasn't. By the time the big crash in The States rolled around in 2008 happened, I had officially lost my soul to the strange underbelly of the city performing arts life, and since I'd barely been making a dent with what I was doing, I turned back to these stories I knew so well.
There was farming, there was beekeeping, there was story telling. I sort of jumped on all of these as little totems, and they pushed me forward. First, a motley group of writers and farmers made up little armada for online farm advice and one of them, a wonderful herbie-artsy friend invited me to teach classes. And this, my friends, would be the start of my little touring life.
In the meantime, I turned those old stories and fairytales I'd heard into folk art, and some old time herbal love became this enchanted little tangible projects, remnants of woods, and flowers and old-time love. You can find those HERE.
And so I stand here, packing satchels and whisking together goods and class lessons, ready to take the road. In about a month, I shall continue that affair of car and pavement, the most reliable relationship I've had to date...
TOMORROW: The Heart Of A Beekeeper