So here I am, on August 22nd, experiencing the last full day of an artist residency program I was lucky enough to participate in at wonderful WaveFarm.org. Wave Farm is...(from their website) "A non-profit arts organization that celebrates creative and community use of media and the airwaves. Our programs provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form."
The community radio station they operate 24/7 is situated on 30 acres of meadow, woods and pond, in the Catskill Mountains. It is drop-dead gorgeous, and a very exciting artistic and community-driven endeavor!
My artistic partner and I have been here for the last 9 days, doing a series of live broadcasts based on a poetic libretto I composed called "NIGHT." There is spotty phone reception and internet here on Wave Farm, which is actually a true blessing. It's so nice to be rather unavailable to talk and text, just mentally and emotionally texting with nature and reestablishing my citified, and so sometimes dwindling, kinship with it.
When I wasn't writing or prepping for the live radio broadcasts, I found myself watching the bees around the property--which seriously abound, and I do understand why. The wildflowers are truly wild here, their bold yellow and purple limbs cartwheeling up and around the deck, it's incredibly beautiful and irresistible. And they are so very busy! Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies all creating just this marvelous commotion in that thick, lovely tangle.
I've been intrigued by bees for a while, especially knowing the state of their survival is in peril, and have started doing a bit of research on them.
FACT: Bees smell with their feet, antennae and mouths.
I've also spent some time while in this residency, being very inspired by them:
Women who run with the bees
Today I ran with the bees!
Ok maybe not exactly running
But I more mindfully folded in with them,
Into those brash tufts of wildly purple lace cones
And that eye rush of bright goldenrod
The most industrious beautiful fuzz bubbles on this earth I swear it!
If I could only pet them
I have such that small silly longing...
They have no time for me
They don't have time for anything but the wild plump drift from bloom to bloom
They don't look up
I have never seen such a determined flight
Such single-minded purpose! (don't tell me they don't have minds)
Herds and glides of them
Gentle glides of them
Their panties of pollen
Their dangling sunrise shirtsleeves
Their lovely gentle drift hanging heavy
In the damp soft rag of the air...
One afternoon, a storm moved in. The bees were in full swing, and I wondered what they would do once the rains started. I popped out when I heard the first drops, and only a few bees remained, huddled up under flowers. Makeshift umbrellas? Brilliant! But most were gone, back to the hives to wait things out.
Less than 24 hours ago, on one of the occasions I was able to access the internet, I got this event notice from SJC on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1664719450410395/
Wow, a BEE-vent! How wonderfully timely!
Here is a short explanation, lifted from the bee-vent page:
NYC Beekeeping Liane Newton will introduce the work of nycbeekeeping.org, and give a short talk on Bees, Climate Change and Complexity. We’ll talk with her about how you can get involved in beekeeping, what is working in NYC, including the Trees for Bees component of her program, and how it’s all “mutually intertangled.”
FACT: Bees dance!
I clicked "Join." I hope to see you there!