Barn Raising: Days 4 & 5

Barn Raising: Days 4 & 5

The Barn Looks Like a Barn
They continue steadily on in a zen-like way without any zen to their self-concept. Tim makes the frames for doors and windows. He leans intently over the saw horses to trim a piece of 2×4 for a window frame. Every frame he has made fits perfectly. He didn’t finish high school. Never saw the need. None of the three have much use for college—didn’t go themselves and can’t see how it would have made much difference to their lives. If their kids want to go, they shrug, its up to them. On day #4, I hear more detail about their lives and opinions as they chug down orange soda (Tim), 7-Up (Juany), and Coke (Steve).

Steve has been married twice. He is wise. He has gentle sotto voce advice for impetuous young Juany, who, at 29 , knows it all: is so decisive, his wife spends all his money!, she wants him to make more money but she wants him home. Juany wants to get home soon cause he loves his little girl who misses him, she wants her daddy. Yes, he loves his wife BUT… And there is always the “I love my wife, but,” in every break-time effusion. Steve listens, off-hand, dropping a bit of succinct, calm advice here and there which is mostly ignored.

Last Day
The final day on the barn is a day of finishing—edges & trims. All the doors and windows have been framed and installed except the slide doors, which lie in position on the ground at the south end, ready to be hung. Tim gathers tools, piling leftover lumber, propanel, and insulation as Steve and Juany measure and mount the slide door track. They all stop and smoke a cigarette around noon.

I walk around, inspecting, asking final questions about the bottom edge of the west wall which doesn’t touch the ground. Steve nods. “See it touches on the east side. The ground slopes ever-so-slightly which is why that side has a gap,” he explains. The barn is level and squared. I’ll have to seal around those edges before winter. I continue to inspect and see nothing to complain about. The barn is clean and sharp and wonderful.

They grind out their cigarette butts, heave up the first slide door, working it onto its track. Then the second. Jauny shoves them together. Thunk! He gestures to the door, like the circus lion tamer, “Fits snug as a glove!” And it does. The barn is done.

The Crew Leaves
They will go now and I feel both sad and relieved. It’s been a consuming five days; I can use a digestion period. We shake hands. I give them the second half of the payment, a small tip each, a box of Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies for the ride home, and to Junay for his birthday, a set of antelope antlers I found on a hike. I wave them off and stand in stunned silence. Has this really happened, this thing that six weeks ago was phone calls and internet digging? Did I really find Wilson Pole Barn Company, research them, vet them, put in an order, transfer money from one account to another, send in the first half payment, fly out to the mesa and find the site, locate a jackhammer and a hauling tractor? Me, a dancer, who knows nothing of all this? Yes. I did. I cry as I imagine myself managing to do this, choosing it, learning it, and moving forward instead of thinking I can’t, or getting stuck, or saying that I’ll do it later.

It is a beautiful barn. A perfect barn. I feel such affection for the wonderful crew (Wilson Pole Barn specialists out of Wagoner, OK) who hammered in every nail by hand.

For me this is the first major endeavor where the ideas and actions remain.
As a dancer, all my work disappears—a performance that I prepare three months for is over in twenty minutes.
The same with dances that I choreograph on others.
Writing a memoir was better: it lingers as do videos,
but both of these are projects that are consumed rather quickly by others
and which once I’ve completed them, I rarely look into afterward.

The barn, however, is there. I will be going in and out.
I see it again and again as I walk the winding track between the pinions.
I think back to the moment when the ravens revealed that spot. Then, in just a few days,
the Wilson crew evolved the insubstantial into the substantial.
Not six months, or a year or two years.
No, it happened before my eyes, like old-time photographs in a dark room.
The edges sharpening, the form filling, timbers, metal sheets coalescing into a barn.

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Alia
Guest

So happy for you, so impressed by all you have accomplished–so much moving forward in so little time! <3 <3 <3!

Iscah Paquin
Guest
Iscah Paquin

It’s so beautiful!

Rebecca
Guest
Rebecca

Go Girl!!! You are awesome, Dunya.

Thank you so much for sharing this process with us, on all its levels. When I saw the first photo of the finished barn, I felt like I’d already been in there with my dancemeditation sisters and brothers, wandering through, fetching something, at a retreat…

I can’t wait to be there!

Love, love, love,
Dance, dance, dance!

Richard
Guest

I totally understand about overcoming mental blocks that make you feel like you can’t do certain physical and business things. I was like that too. Anyway, now you can give new meaning to the term “barn dance.”

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Very inspiring. You’re initiative and risk taking is awesome!!!
oxLeslie

Janet
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Janet

You are an inspiration to all of us who dare to dream of greater heights to make the dream come to life. Thank you for sharing this experience. It is a time for many of us to MOVE FORWARD with our dreams, no matter what! You have truly Blessed your Love & Truth!

Anastacia
Guest
Anastacia

I’ve seen that barn and it’s even more beautiful in person as it is in these photos! 🙂

Phoebe Neville
Guest
Phoebe Neville

Dearest Dunya,

Fantastic!! Amazing how when one is on the right path, things happen…
——if there was anything that would tempt me back from Italy, to be with you in this magic space would be it!

Cherie
Guest
Cherie

Dunya, it is a beautiful barn – a sacred space.

trude
Guest
trude

I’ve been following your blog. Congratulations on the new barn. Sounds wonderful!

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Hi Dunya,
Thank you for keeping in touch. It’s been a few years since participating in one of your workshops in Encinitas, California. Hopefully will be able to attend a future one in your beautiful new barn. Congratulations in realizing this dream !
Elizabeth

Ana
Guest
Ana

The structure looks really beautiful and ready for the spaciousness of dance meditation bodies. Finally able to catch up on weeks behind on emails and catch breath with New Mexico family post a year on the east coast. The building of course makes me miss my past New Mexico studio of the same size…..with its dance of trusses up in the ceiling. But life has its changes, like the fluctuations of a sinusoidal wavelength of light. As you know, I know building well….I can say that you did this quite efficiently with what sounds like a magical crew…..The crew makes… Read more »