Part of a series of interviews between Julia Ferrari and Jane Noyes
Noyes: So, did we think about where we wanted to continue or do we just want to jump in?
Ferrari: I think last time we talked about, if I remember correctly, who we were before we met each other? We could talk about anything… It was interesting, someone just came up from Pennsylvania on Friday and interviewed me, that’s why we couldn’t meet. They had tried to talk with me in July or so but the woman got sick so she couldn’t do it. She decided to come up and I said “Yes, of course”. She met me here because she had…
Noyes: Because this is your in-town wonderful spot!
Ferrari: So, she came up with her family and they got to go and do fun stuff, and that was really nice. It was great because she was asking me questions about the timeline of the press, and her particular focus was women in the book arts or women in the arts.
Noyes: Oh excellent! That’s great, how did she know about you?
Ferrari: I don’t remember, she probably told me when she called in
Noyes: at some point
Ferrari: But I don’t remember exactly… She had interviewed Nelly Gable at one point and Nelly was the woman who taught Dan punchcutting.
Ferrari: And then worked with me punchcutting last summer, and she was going to interview us both working together as one master craftswoman who Nelly is passing on the craft to another woman — that was going to be the gist of her interview, it didn’t end up being that because, you know, she didn’t come up then, but she interviewed me and she wants to get it in Women’s History Month for her magazine
Noyes: That’s terrific, all the way around, serves the women of the world.
Noyes: Has that happened over time?
Ferrari: To Dan and me?
Ferrari: It did, because of you know what we did was unusual so people would come and just do an article. It was okay we got used to it!
Noyes: Yes, it got down your little spiel!
Ferrari: Yes, you got a spiel and you had to be careful with the things you sometimes said. But it was nice. I’ve had now two articles, one that’s just come out with Vermont Views and this one, it’s gonna come out. I don’t know, it’s just been really healthy for me to have someone talk about things and ask questions in that way, in the same way that we’re doing. Ours is off course for our project to trace the history of the press, but it’s nice to get to have people who want it to put it out there.
Noyes: Oh definitely!
Ferrari: Yes, because we were so reclusive.
Noyes: Well, it shares what you did and who you are with the world, and I think the women’s piece is terrific because we always need more models and for people to have that opportunity to see, hear and read about them. And you’re right, a lot of this could become a lost art too.
Ferrari: Some of it, I think people have enough interest now for it not to get lost.
Noyes: I think so too, I would agree. There is a lot of interest in craft and older ways of doing things – people have reverted, rather than taking the simple way, they go back to how things were done thirty, forty, fifty years ago, just because.
Ferrari: Well, in this day and age, too, where things just fly by and we’re on computers and we all wonder what’s going to happen to the book. Well, I don’t think the book is really going to go away, it’s just going to change and evolve. It’s too important to us.
Noyes: Yes, I think there’s been a resurgence which is good.
Ferrari: I think what’s happening for me is that this kind of stuff is helping me reorient a little bit, because that’s the real crux of everything in my case — reorientation of where because of a loss.
Ferrari: How does it all filter out? Where do I fit in?
Ferrari: Back to the question from last week or two weeks ago: Who am I after Dan died? What are the strengths? What is the road, the path? Therefore, it’s really helpful to have these people come, that women and Vermont Views, and just talk to me. It keeps coming back to saying, like, in my intuition where do things fit in, what’s important to me?
Noyes: So for processing it and simply for one who’s had a loss, but also it was your livelihood. You know others might just say “well, I go back to my job” which is a part of their life that doesn’t have to do with their partner, but yours was.
Ferrari: I’m trying to go back to my “job”, which is my vocation, who I am in terms of my craft, which is all still there, but the circumstances have changed. A friend of mine said “It’s like you are in a well and you’re feeling the sides of the well and trying to understand where you are in the well. And as you move out of the well, you’re still trying to understand the place where you are at, rather than sort of just suddenly wanting to be somewhere else and not fully experiencing being in this deep, bright place, a part only you can experience.”
Noyes: That makes a lot of sense, and a place from which you will emerge whole but changed in ways too. But there will be a light and you won’t be feeling for the walls that are right here, there will be a bigger or other place. But the process, it would seem to me, is what’s going to make you thrive.
Ferrari: And more light, too, as I’m able to move out of it, move upwards through the knowledge of what’s surrounding me, and keep continuing; with that extra light, I’ll be able to see where I’m at and not just have to feel my way in the darkness.
Noyes: I was just going to ask you now, you were prepared as much as anybody could be to lose Dan. You knew that it was going to happen. I’m sure the first time you heard about the illness, it would have brought up all sorts of thoughts.
Ferrari: There were different stages.
Noyes: Yes, as they say. But what was grief like for you in those early days and weeks? What time of year was it?
Ferrari: I remember particular things in the shop — one day, I was really not well, feeling extremely tired, we already knew that he had a certain period of time to live. I remember being in the shop, he was upstairs resting, and just feeling incredible loss and crying, actually, alone, downstairs.
Noyes: It was almost like anticipating the loss.
Ferrari: Absolutely! In a way, the grief started then, and I could feel what I was losing. He heard me and he asked me, “Why were you weeping? I could hear you.” And I had to tell him that it was because I felt this incredible emptiness, loss, being there. So, in a way, I went through that before Dan died. At least, a part of it. It wasn’t just sudden that he wasn’t in the shop anymore, it had started before he died, so I think that there was a part of me which had already grieved some of the loss.
Noyes: Hmm. Well, his literally not being able to be in the shop with you working because he was in pain or too exhausted, needing to be upstairs, separated, in bed — present but not physically present there.
Ferrari: Not doing his craft.
Noyes: And not doing what you’d always known him to be doing, you were two parts of one machine.
Ferrari: Right. A part of me felt a sense of abandonment at one point too, because we were wed to the craft and I felt as if he had resigned from Golgonooza unofficially.
Ferrari: We had two encounters where we talked about deep things. Luckily, I asked him when he was in the hospital, and I really am happy I got to ask this question. I said to him, “Why are you not working in the shop as much?” because it really concerned me. I felt like he abandoned it.
Noyes: Is this once you knew he was sick, or before that? What’s the timing on that?
Ferrari: You know, he was ill for a while before we knew that he was going to die, and part of that was that he stopped working in the shop for a while. He was focusing on politics because he was state representative.
Noyes: I thought you had told me that long ago and then I kind of dismissed it and thought maybe I had misunderstood, but that’s quite a contrast to this work.
Ferrari: Yes, so he was going and doing that.
Noyes: Oh, putting his energies there.
Ferrari: Yes, because he was still an elected official. He was also teaching at night. So, I asked him, and he said “I didn’t have the energy. I couldn’t do it all.” And it was just good to know because, as I said, part of me felt that abandonment.
Noyes: Well, it makes sense because the other two parts to his life, the going to teach and going to represent the people, made you a part just among many. So it was abandonment or more like he left the one which was the soul to you.
Ferrari: Yeah it was a little hard.
Noyes: It must have felt that way.
Ferrari: It did.
Noyes: Did he have more to say about that?
Ferrari: Just that he didn’t have enough energy. I sometimes think that he knew it was happening and sort of needed to make this space because it actually strengthened me, I was surprised later.
Ferrari: If it had happened all of a sudden, if we had been working together in the shop all the time and then suddenly he was gone, I don’t know if I could’ve survived that.
Noyes: That would’ve been such a shock.
Ferrari: Yeah so as I said, I had already dealt with and felt that loss. I wasn’t really okay with it, but I had experienced it already for at least a year-ish, so it wasn’t like everything happened at the same time.
Ferrari: I lost him in the shop before I lost him.
Ferrari: As a husband so to speak, you know what I mean.
Noyes: Yes, you lost your work mate, your–
Ferrari: My partner, business partner, so there were stages and I’m not really aware if he’d consciously done that.
Noyes: I was going to ask that if you think that.
Ferrari: It’s possible, because intuitively he might’ve been aware of that.
Noyes: Almost needing to know that you could stand alone somehow, because the other side would’ve been what if you’d fallen apart.
Noyes: Gee! That’s fascinating and sad to think about. That there was some kind of intention. You survived, not only did you survive, you did thrive.
Ferrari: I guess I didn’t fall apart. After Dan died, I was aware that I had this reserve because I had already gone through that. I was very aware, I saw it because in the shop I was like “Yeah, another year by myself.” It wasn’t something I wasn’t used to. I didn’t like it when it first happened.
Noyes: Of course.
Ferrari: But that was when I grieved it, so it was the process of grieving actually. So, if I think about the parts, there was the business partnership which was actually first; the friendship; the marriage; the creative partnership. I lost at least the business partnership first and then the other three were all apiece, gone with the loss of the individual because Dan and I were still able to talk about creative things.
Noyes: And you did continue to talk about those things. Was he in the middle of teaching at that point-
Ferrari: When he died?
Noyes: Yes, or did he have to take a break from that?
Ferrari: He had just finished the semester, because we planned to have an operation. He had a small procedure, I don’t exactly remember, and then we did a bigger procedure right after which was perhaps a good thing because it was a relief that the school year was over. It was May, he was tired from the school year and it was probably a bad time to do a procedure of that magnitude. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it made things cascade so it was one of those things which possibly brought about his death a year sooner when we were hoping for the opposite.
Noyes: And I suppose even those in the know don’t know that it could’ve gone this way.
Ferrari: Yes, they don’t.
Noyes: That’s the tough stuff. So, he had just finished work.
Ferrari: We had co-taught a class together.
Noyes: That particular one?
Ferrari: Yes. He had three classes at night and the doctor said “you shouldn’t really be doing three”.
Noyes: Okay that’s a lot.
Ferrari: And so he worried that “Oh what’s going to happen? They’re going to give that other one to someone else.” And I said, “I’ll teach it!” I told him we could co-teach it “I’ll take the course on and you can give guest lectures”. It was his course, it was his design, and turns out that was really lucky too and sort of a wonderful gift because then losing him a year earlier, being less prepared, I was able to teach his class. I asked them and they said yes.
Ferrari: It took me through a whole year of financial uncertainty and made things even, and now I’m at a point in time where I don’t have that, but I think I’m better able to deal with that now than I was then.
Noyes: Yes, because you’ve had more time.
Ferrari: I’m not just dealing with the grief; I’m dealing with the path, so it was almost like perfect timing in terms of the gift of that year of recouping and having the rug pulled out from me. I know it’s hard, but it’s necessary. I don’t begrudge it. I feel as if it was the right step, for me to wake up and feel the energy in the world and do this next stage, which wasn’t going to be easy, and yet the longer I wait, the harder it gets. So, if I don’t start thinking and feeling now using my intuition and figuring out where I’m at. This is the opening right now, I think.
Noyes: Oh, I was going to say, have you been waiting this winter?
Ferrari: Waiting for?
Noyes: When you said waiting earlier, just a minute ago as though you were waiting for the soup to all melt and come together. Now is it time to stir the soup? Well, how much time have you spent really at the work? You have certainly put this show together to get it up.
Noyes: And then you had this long winter, a cold winter, right?
Ferrari: Yes, it adds another layer of stuff.
Noyes: And literally not at your house because it was not a comfortable place to be.
Ferrari: Yes, I was just talking to a friend of mine today about why did that happen? And try to figure out that. Not that everything has a reason.
Noyes: I understand.
Ferrari: On the other hand, sometimes I think things happen that, intuitively, you can feel pushing into different things. I guess the main thing I see is that it makes me appreciate what I have here. I want to dive in and not just take it for granted. I’m struggling to get that situation worked out, but again that’s another thing, having the resolve to say, it’s usually something big like that what I’m dealing with. A part of it is broken, there was no warranty, but it was close and expensive, it’s almost the kind of thing you’d do as a team and you could talk to somebody about, it’s a challenge. I’m dealing with that challenge by myself and trying to figure out what is the next step with that, because actually that’s one of the central parts of a business and it functions as a building, how it maintains itself.
Noyes: It’s the heat generator. I’ve always seen this since you’d described it as a perfect metaphor.
Ferrari: Can you explain that further? Because it’s interesting.
Noyes: Well, it’s kind of like the heart that pumps the blood, this thing depends on this thing, it’s kind of like the number one, everything operates when that operates.
Ferrari: Right. It’s true.
Noyes: And functions as it should and when it doesn’t all the little capillaries in the toes shrivel and freeze.
Ferrari: It’s like the body is not well.
Noyes: Exactly! It’s the well-oiled machine and it depends on this functioning building; you can’t do it without the heat. Or you could try, maybe you did try a little bit, but it was bigger than not having Dan. That’s a silly way to put it, but it’s like you didn’t have Dan but there must’ve been something in you, because it seems like you’d prepared yourself in a lot of ways for “I’ve gotten a life, I’m going to find my way”. And yet when the heat stops, it’s like an external force.
Ferrari: It’s interesting hearing you say that it’s like I had to undergo the loss of my partner and that human energy, vitality. Now what I’m left with is not only my skills, but I have the physical building, and it’s linked to craft, all the equipment. That got ill in a certain sense.
Noyes: It did.
Ferrari: I had never thought of that, but that was an entity and that entity has been ill all winter and I’m trying to fix it or get it well.
Noyes: Yes, and it’s interesting to me, this may sound crass, but I wondered: I was like “you have this non-functioning furnace but it can, by some means, be fixed”. I know that I don’t understand but it seems like they won’t take responsibility for it. It could cost you money, it appears to me money you shouldn’t have to pay because I think it’s their problem. It was new, relatively new!
Ferrari: Seven years old, relatively new.
Noyes: But still, usually boilers last considerably longer.
Ferrari: They last twenty years, usually. Unfortunately, what we did was, it wasn’t really clear.
Noyes: Oh these things never are!
Ferrari: It was our mistake. We didn’t see what the exact timing of the warranty was, and we looked at places like the Harris Center which is a well-known place for these things. They swore by it, said it was wonderful and they had it. We said, “Well, the warranty is not as long as we’d like” but we did some research and we thought that was good enough for us.
Ferrari: Theirs’ is still functioning apparently but for whatever reason, ours isn’t. I guess it had a split in one of the pipes. Therefore, the short warranty was a deficit. I don’t think I’m ever going to buy anything with a short warranty just because I heard somebody else thought it works, because then you’re stuck!
Noyes: And you appear to be stuck, yet somehow with grace and with whatever some other word would be, you went through probably the most difficult thing you’ll ever go through in your life and that was the loss of Dan. The rest is like, just stuff! And that stymied you.
Ferrari: Yeah, the building thing, it’s a big one.
Noyes: Oh, I understand that! I get it. There’s a lot of stuff I’d rather have my husband do because he’s better on the phone and knows how to move things along.
Ferrari: It’s one of those things that we could’ve done together.
Noyes: Of course, and you would have!
Ferrari: And it would have been easier. The two of us together might have cajoled the people to be a little bit more understanding, or figure out this and that, or somebody’s brainstorming about “why don’t we try this”. Now, it’s all on me, and I’m dealing with everything else, so although it’s going, it’s going much slower.
Noyes: But you went the whole winter without it!
Ferrari: I’ve gone a whole winter on the back-up system, which is oil. Every two weeks, they fill the tank and ka-chink, ka-chink! I’m actually trying not to panic about that because it’s just what’s happening and as my mom said: “You gotta keep the building from freezing!”
Noyes: You’ve got an investment there; you can’t lose it.
Ferrari: Yes, and that’s more important.
Noyes: Than the money that you don’t have!
Ferrari: Right! Because that would be even more of a loss, especially when you think about machines which are run by water like the foundry. I had someone come and look at it, there was a welder because I’m trying to take just one step at a time when nothing is working with the company.
Noyes: So, kind of fix it on your own or find people who can do it for you?
Ferrari: Well that’s the thing, somebody was trying to figure out the sizing if I got a new one. I think it’s been such a cold winter that everybody’s been busy.
Noyes: It’s true!
Ferrari: I’m like the last.
Noyes: Yes, you’re just a minor.
Ferrari: I’m a minor living down here. It’s just not a point of importance for them.
Noyes: Would Dan had been able to get it done?
Ferrari: I don’t know.
Noyes: Would he have a louder voice? Would he have been more insistent? I don’t know why I’m asking that, except I can imagine myself always letting people off-
Noyes: “Oh I understand you have other things, it’s okay when you can.”
Ferrari: It’s hard to say, but it might’ve been that the force of the two of us would have gotten things done faster. I might have been the person who was more insistent because I had his backing, whereas I feel like I just can’t say “This is not fair.” But the simple fact is that I don’t have legs to stand on because the warranty is over and they don’t have to do anything, the people who were fixing it don’t have to, nobody owes me anything on it. It’s for me to figure out. So, it’s another thing like losing the job. So, how do I deal with this new level of responsibility? Do I come up to meet it? And that’s what I think it’s all about and how long does that take me to do or where and when do I do it? It seems to be that kind of a relationship to the issue. It’s interesting to hear that, and for us to come to this idea that it’s maybe the building itself because I always thought of Golgonooza as an entity.
Ferrari: Because Dan and I didn’t have children and we always talked about our work being our child.
Noyes: It is! So you are the single parent?
Ferrari: Yes, I’m the single parent on top of everything else.
Noyes: It’s a hard role!
Ferrari: Yes, it is!
Noyes: But I understand what you’re saying; it makes sense that that’s how you saw it.
Ferrari: And I’m dealing with re-upping connecting to the company and being a little bit more forceful in my gentle way of saying “Hey guys, my temperature’s been forty-forty-six degrees all winter and I haven’t been able to work. What can we do to work this out?” They’ve given me a few possibilities, most of which weren’t going to be done in the winter anyway. They even told me in the beginning, “This is not going to be a fast process.”
Noyes: And who’s “they”?
Ferrari: The company that sold it to me.
Noyes: So, they aren’t going to do anything. They can’t honor this warranty at all but they are willing to work with you to fix your path.
Ferrari: Well, Tarm USA, up in Lyme, New Hampshire, told me this is what we could do: first is they were going to offer me a new one at a reduced rate which was kind because when they heard what it was, they said they just couldn’t fix it. I’ve now talked to a welder and the welder agrees.
Noyes: Not fixable?
Ferrari: Not fixable. We thought maybe we could weld something and close the leaking cylinder, but they can’t access the back so it’s either the bigger deal of getting a whole new thing which is expensive or possibly, just replacing the whole unit.
Noyes: A big part of it.
Ferrari: Yeah a big part, the main thing itself actually, not the back portion but the firebox thing.
Noyes: So we’re still talking a big expense?
Ferrari: It’s going to cost money too, but then do I put money into that and think maybe the system was not made that well or do I go to the next system? That’s the big choice.
Noyes: Next system, as in a new one?
Ferrari: A new one, a different model. They don’t sell the same model anymore, they discontinued them because of the problems. This problem did happen to somebody else so there were a couple of flaws in it which is why it was reduced to a five-year warranty as opposed to a twenty.
Ferrari: Probably shouldn’t have sold them, I guess.
Noyes: Probably not. Oh my god, oh well that’s a hindsight. So, you’re just at the point of having to make a decision about-
Ferrari: Working through difficulties.
Noyes: And the weather is improving, so you could put this decision off or maybe because the weather is improving, you’ll tackle it!
Ferrari: I’ll certainly get to work in my shop again! I go there every day, when it’s warm out, I can stay there but it’s cold.
Noyes: Well it hasn’t warmed up very much, and we’re very close to March. But it’s going to change.
Ferrari: It has to.
Noyes: And then you will be back. So this winter, when you’ve been only able to spend small amounts of time there and probably not really working-
Ferrari: Not much. While it was warm, I was able to bind two books. It was probably when-
Noyes: When we had a little thaw in the beginning of January for a few days because otherwise, we went into deep freeze.
Ferrari: Yeah, I got the wood stove going and I was able to work.
Noyes: But that you could barely keep up with.
Ferrari: Well, the building gets down to forty-four, and all the machinery is holding that temperature, so it takes a while to-
Noyes: Get everything warm.
Ferrari: I probably could just keep doing the wood stove and doing better than I am currently.
Noyes: Well, as the weather warms, probably, because it’s less hard to raise it from fifty than it is from forty-four, once the temperatures are going to rise.
Ferrari: It’s true. When you’re working with your hands, it needs to be at least sixty so I can see that maybe I didn’t do as much to work it out. Maybe I should’ve just gotten my wood stove going.
Noyes: Well, that’s just part of this whole process. You’ve been a half a way of speaking about it and understanding it, when you’re kind of beyond it or you’re in another stage. It seems like the Spring is possibly going to bring you to that other place where you’re going to feel different and you’re going to be more able to be freely outside, being comfortable, wandering the woods — it’s just different! So, this winter though, I know that you were sick, and you were not living at home.
Ferrari: I think I got sick because I would go to my house and shop and I would just-
Noyes: Freeze in the cold environment while you were under the weather anyways, and it just kept you there.
Ferrari: And then I got sick again. I could feel it, my throat was suddenly closed up and I was like “I don’t feel good.”
Noyes: Oh God!
Ferrari: I’d wear a hat and all my stuff, and Dan and I were used to being cold in our shop too, but it was-
Noyes: Not that cold. So, what kind of work did you do this winter?
Ferrari: I bound two books
Noyes: That’s right, you said that! But other than that?
Ferrari: I’ve been writing.
Noyes: I wondered; I was going to say if you’ve been sketching at home-
Ferrari: Well, I was teaching right up till December.
Noyes: So that was up until New Year, ever since I knew you too, you did have that teaching job. And then there was the letting go of that piece too.
Ferrari: Right, yes.
Noyes: You’re going to be able to do some amazing image about this all.
Ferrari: The diagram of loss and the heart and soul of-
Noyes: Kind of, and yet that’s the source of rising up again. You know you have, it seems to me, a positive way of being able to look at things. A lot of people are just like “I don’t know how to do a damn thing! My life sucks.” You’re so beyond thinking that way. You may feel sadness and grief certainly, but you seem to have a hold.
Ferrari: Probably, I attributed some of that from a lifetime of working through the odds where we were doing what we wanted to do despite everybody saying, “Oh you can’t do that!” Despite the minimal income and giving up certain things and just doing it and loving it! Even though not always having it perfect, having to struggle at the beginning especially but throughout to a certain degree. When two people are that close, when you are married and in business together, it’s very difficult.
Noyes: I would think! Did you have times of real disagreements, times of struggle?
Ferrari: We did! You just get saturated sometimes, and also when you want to do things in a certain way and the other person doesn’t see it like that. You’re just like “Okay well, how do we deal with that?” Well, we figured out how to do that — we both learned what compromise was all about! Because at one point Buddy hits don’t work.
Noyes: Why keep digging in your heels?
Ferrari: So, I think sometimes from having living that life where you move through that stage to the next, where on the one hand nothing is perfect and on the other, you keep resolving that.
Noyes: Yes you just keep working it.
Ferrari: Whereas to see the world in a “Why me?” kind of thing.
Noyes: I think you’re going to be a pretty miserable human being if you keep up with that kind of thinking anyway. I’m sure many people just hold it the rest of their lives, but there’s something about reaching a certain age. I think this is wisdom, like, I can let that go or what good is all that negative dwelling.
Ferrari: About all the bad stuff.
Noyes: Right! It gets you nowhere.
Ferrari: You’re right, it is about letting it go.
Noyes: I don’t know how to explain my life, but I do feel like I’ve learned a lot of lessons and that I’m a wiser, richer person for having learned that. I kind of feel for the people who haven’t somehow been able to get to that point, feel the depth of the richness of their lives. It’s a simple thing, really.
Noyes: But not always the American way, we’re good complainers.
Ferrari: There’s probably things that happen to me to a certain extent too, but I try to have the other stuff be stronger because it’s all out there right? Floating around and you can say “Okay, I’m going to have these things floating around stronger.” Like my feeling that this is positive, I can do it, that it is happening for a reason, I’m moving through life. That was my life in the past and how lucky I was to have it, but I have to move forward. A part of me feels, sometimes in my quiet time, why did I have to lose that deep partner? But it doesn’t do me any good.
Noyes: Well, it’s sort of a rhetorical question and it’s not like-
Ferrari: Yes, I don’t sit with it and moan about it. I can feel it but it’s like “here I am”.
Noyes: But I did and here I’m now. Of course, you’ll always have, nobody can take it away, the richness of all that time that you did have, which makes you a stronger person.
Ferrari: I keep coming back to this thing, that enduring the loss of someone you love extremely deeply is in a strange way- if you make it through and you open to what it is- it’s this great gift because we all lose people we love, in marriage our partners, but our life is about living and dying and no one’s going to live and die at exactly the same time, we’re always going to have these things that happen which are not part of-
Noyes: Your own timing, your sense of what would be the perfect timing.
Ferrari: Exactly! That seemed inconvenient, who would ever imagine that they would lose somebody in the midst of their creative life where they can move to the next level? And then someone’s gone. It’s a gift though, because then you recognize what you had and you feel your life, is what it is. Instead of being in the beautiful fog of our lives, a place where nothing changes, that’s a beautiful planet. However, when you’re pushed off of that, when something is taken from you, and you’re on a new playing field, that’s a gift too because you can see beauty, feel more deeply, so there are positives to the negatives. There is an equal side to the incredible loss and its depth of feeling bad- forlorn- like a yin and yang which is this light side of beauty, gift, and insight to life which you didn’t have before. You know, it’s there, you can either stay on the dark side or you can look out the window where the light is, that’s what I feel like.
Noyes: So, there you are. I mean in the large degree it seems like you have the gift you didn’t intentionally choose, but that you, just by being who you were before, gave to each other.
Ferrari: Yes, probably. It’s so different and interesting to have had something so rich in your life and then not have it. It’s just, I don’t know, I can’t describe it.
Noyes: I know. I don’t feel like that’s the kind of thing that has been described except by the absence of, you know that gets described in a way. I haven’t ever been where you are, so I don’t have a clue but it’s almost an undefinable thing- yet you speak of it as a rich gift. There’s always a balance and yet I think we as people don’t always recognize it; that’s where we get into the poor me thing. You think we’re always out of balance when actually if you can stop with that thinking, it becomes a balance between the loss and the richness of what it is. Truly the balance is what it was, it’s amazing!
Ferrari: Yes, because you are in a place where you don’t have a choice, you have to step into the new world.
Noyes: Right! You have to step into the new world, but it’s the attitude that you can let go of if you have the strength, or hope, or belief that a richness will follow.
Ferrari: So you embrace that as opposed to what some people do; what happens is that you step into the new world, or you’re pushed into it. Maybe some people take their own lives, all kinds of things. They just don’t want to face that newness on their own and all the stuff that comes with it, like Golgonooza being sick.
Ferrari: Nurture that, bring that back! And what’s all that about too, what’s the purpose of that? Why are we here? What’s each of our destinies and how does that keep changing one something shifts? Because certainly, we’re all at a point in our lives where we are always on new territory for different time periods, right?
Ferrari: Before I met Dan, I was not in this place where I’m at now. It’s the third major stage of my life, one was like my young life when I was learning and figuring out who I was, then it was like the craftsperson with Dan and now what is it? I can’t define it yet, don’t know.
Noyes: You’ll know in time, and you have to be patient to know that you will know and that you can’t reach out and grab it and pull it by the tail. Three friends I grew up with, and we’ve been in and out of touch over the years, but in recent years have stayed close because we’re all in our sixties now and you sense that richness of time. We’ve all been just little teenage girls enamoured with The Beatles when they first came out, and one friend had said that it was the fiftieth anniversary of the night when they performed and didn’t we all remember that night? I was like yes and I said what I find more amazing than The Beatles is that it’s been fifty years and I was measuring from today to that day and I was like wow!
Noyes: Then a friend emailed back because we all live in different places and she said: “I don’t really know what to make of The Beatles or if I ever really did.” And I said, “it’s the time” and I think we’re in the same place talking about time and its importance. We become such different people, and to recognize that difference you need to have a very strong sense of self too.
Ferrari: Because you are you.
Noyes: You are who you are, and what you find interesting and meaningful changes. Maybe it’s just self-awareness, the whole big bowl of wax, this thing we call living a life. It’s got amazing parts to it and the recognition that we’re so different.
Ferrari: I’ve almost started to think that we’re each on the planet for a unique reason, that’s what I thought about on the way here when I was walking. I was thinking, “what is our unique reason” and maybe that should keep shifting too.
Noyes: Well yes, as we change. I know when you said that I thought of emerging spring flowers and there’s the one which we all notice, admiring its beauty “Oh my god, it’s so gorgeous!” but then there’s all the little detritus on the side of the roads, you know the ones which come out of the coltsfoot.
Ferrari: Yes, right.
Noyes: The coltsfoot grows out of grit and gripe; it doesn’t grow where it’s green. It comes up by itself, it’s such a humble little thing.
Ferrari: Yes, by the roadside with the beautiful heart-shaped leaves and little yellow flowers.
Noyes: Just on a little stem that looks almost white, there’s not much around it. It’s not showy, it could almost be forgotten because of where it emerges.
Ferrari: It’s a healing herb too.
Noyes: I think so, but it’s also a humble little creature with a little pop of yellow color – I mean who would pick those to put it in a glass on the table, and yet all that other stuff that’s going to emerge will be taken home by someone.
Ferrari: But it has its own beauty.
Noyes: I mean you were just saying that, and it brought that vision of flowers and our world.
Ferrari: Yes, we’re like that coltsfoot.
Noyes: It’s a tough life, having to come out of the grit on the side of my back roads in mud season, just in full swing!