A previous life

This collection coalesced as a page presented here some time ago and, although I cannot now remember why, I removed it from view. It shows the evolution of, and day-to-day activities that were, Pairodox Farm during its years of greatest agricultural production and prosperity. Given the subject of my last post, you may find this one of some interest. I’m neither philosopher nor existentialist. Having said that, I find it interesting that my own reactions to the collection are of two sorts. The first is appreciation. I think it is fair to say that I often suffer from what I have heard called The Red Herring Complex. This is when one considers themselves unworthy of achievement because of perceived shortcomings. My antidote for this unfortunate malady is to consider the many accomplishments won at the farm during our tenure. From our very first day there, we all became students and, as a family, learned together. By reading and trying it ourselves. By making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and trying again. By being inquisitive and by asking questions. Fans of Jon Heder (as Napoleon Dynamite) will know the importance of a rich skill set and because of the farm, that skill set runs deeply among us. For that, I am appreciative. If these sentiments describe what was sweet about farm life, the second of the two felt emotions is more poignant. It’s not the unfortunate outcomes, for those were as much a part of learning as the successes. No, it is the realization that all of the accomplishment is past. I am no longer faced with the daily, oftentimes hourly, task of having to put things right. Joanna would disagree and argue that our new life is full of new challenges. Those of your who have followed this blog may remember that I very much enjoy Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn. This classic has much to say and what has always resonated so well within me is the idea that change, and especially our capacity to both anticipate and to then realize change, is important. One wonders whether the urn, the walls of which are adorned with images depicting acts of pursuit and anticipation, represents a paradise in which pleasure may be forever anticipated, or a torment in which it may never be realized? Surely there is excitement in anticipation, but there is nothing in life so very sweet as experience. And, then we move on.

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