I've been reading Barbara Kingsolver's collection of short stories entitled High Tide in Tuscon. People have been telling me to read her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for years. - since before I even thought about farming... and since I hate doing what people tell me to ::wink::, I have avoided reading it! But, I picked up High Tide while doing laundry at a friend's house and stuffed it in my sack once the spin cycle finished.
A few nights ago I came across some words that stuck to me. I should say that there are a lot of words in this book that stick... but I felt compelled to share these, in particular:
"I'm in awe of those people who seem bent from early childhood upon a passionate vocational path... When I was a child, if anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up... I planned to be a farmer and a ballerina and a writer and a doctor and a musician and a zookeeper. This is not the right answer. I know that now. 'Philosopher-king' you might as well say. 'Sword swallower-stockbroker. Wrestler-art historian'. A business card that list more than one profession does not go down well in the grown-up set. We're supposed to have one main thing we do well, and it's okay to have hobbies if they are victimless and don't get out of hand, but to confess to disparate passions is generally taken in our society as a sign of attention deficit disorder."
She goes on to support a case for the multi-tasker:
"Thoreau was unabashedly both scientific and literary; so was Darwin. But something has happened since then. Life is faster and more streamlined, and there is too much we have to know, just to get the job done right. To get one job done right, let alone seven or eight. And certainly we are supposed to get it right." *
As many of you know, I was (and still am!) an architect. I still very much identify with that part of my brain. But, at the same time, I am very much a farmer. I love to create, design, get dirty, problem-solve, grow, tear-down, nurture, dream big and focus on the details. From that list, I find it hard to differentiate which verb matches what noun. When I was a child, I told everyone that I would be an architect. And as soon as I could, I made educational moves to make sure that happened. I never dreamed I would turn out to be an organic farmer. But now that I am one, I couldn't imagine a better way to spend my days. I joke that my business card would read "farmitect"... it would also be crumpled and muddy - written in the most perfectly designed font, with instructions to cut+fold it into a mini doll house!
* pg. 130-131. Singsolver, Barbara, High Tide in Tuscon, HarperCollins, 1995.