Friday, September 2, 2011

Day One on Carpenter Ranch - Getting to Know some Hay Bales

First of all, I admit to lingering terror about being here at all.  Apparently we (the three artists) are each expected to make a 35-40 minute presentation at a community event on September 24, and I have no idea what I will say/show/present.  There is no connector for my computer to the projector, so unless I find a technical solution I won't be able to present video, which I had been thinking could be a central element of what I will do here this month.
However, I decided that rather then focus on this gaping hole of fear inside me I would shift towards the external environment, so I set off across the ranch with my pack full of notebook, camera, video-camera and tripod.  What would I see?  What could I find to think about in a positive way?
Suddenly out of nowhere the sky opened up and I was caught in a rainstorm with no protection.    What luck!  I ran through the tall grass and ducked under a shelter for gigantic round hay bales.
I had some time to appreciate the aesthetic form of these hay bales - they are substantial in size, each taller than I am, yet they are somewhat fragile, and could be torn apart with not much effort.  They are a good example of the interconnection Thich Nhat Hanh talks about:  the bales represent a lot of energy, all that went into growing the grass that became the hay; the sun, the rain, and the minerals and nutrients in the soil.  Then they also contain all the energy that went into harvesting the hay, processing it into bales and transporting it to this storage area - all the human energy, plus the fossil fuel to power the machinery used.
And here the bales sit, beautiful to look at, waiting to take their next steps to complete their destiny to supply energy to cows or other livestock.  Their circular form is a perfect reminder of their participation in a cycle of production and the perpetuation of life.


Tom Hirst said...

Jessica -
I think this is one of your best posts!! The imagery, especially the first picture, and your interpretation of it are marvelous! You seem to find much inspiration in nature and the world around you. Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights!
- Tom

Tom Hirst said...

Jessica -
This latest entry is one of your best! You may be filled with anxiety and self-doubt, but your images - especially the first photo - and the tie-in to the cycle of life, the transformation of energy and form as we move to the next stage - that is wonderful! Thank you for this marvelous entry!