For the last seven months, this blog has been wordless. I thought it would remain permanently wordless, believing that I had divorced myself from social media. But, here, today, I find myself tapping at the keys again.

The last seven months have been a great time of change, on the farm, and in my mind. I have shed bits and pieces of the farm and have been disillusioned and enlightened countless times.

I have cried. I have chuckled. I have struck out in anger and frustration. I have nursed and cared with empathy and compassion. I have felt adrift. I have felt more firmly moored. I have felt trapped. I have felt set free. I have lost. I have gained. The farm has been my savior. The farm has been my executioner. The pigs my joy. The pigs my fury.

I have been Sisyphus. I have been Prometheus. I have been Hercules. I have been Achilles. But, most of all, I have been myself, and in being myself, I have struggled to be — to be a farmer, a husband, a brother, a son, a friend…

I have lost hope more times than I can count. I have regained it just as many.

Pigs. I love them. I hate them just as much. I am invigorated by them. I am tortured by them. They  are my totem and my curse.

After five years, the honeymoon is over. I am living real life now, free from lies, free from myth, free from hyperbolically romantic notions about farm life.

Free, finally free. But, it is an enmeshed freedom. I am enmeshed in mundanity, the banality and utter boredom of rote chores.

The thrill of being part of something grand is gone. I know now there is nothing grand about farming; it deserves no cachet. It is a job, like any other. I hate the fresh air, the rumble and bounce of the tractor, the mirthful narfs and antics of the pigs just as much as I hate the cubicle, the water cooler, and PowerPoint.

But…

But in spite of the end of the honeymoon, in spite of the loss of illusion, in spite of the loss of the myth of the grand, I continue farming, on the brink, spurred on, vocationally enlivened.

 

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