… even though we ain't got scratch …
Taking its name from a declaration painted on a boulder along Route 103 in Newbury, New Hampshire, this blog is a reflection of some of our most essential values and the ways we live.
As you might expect, these entries have a slightly funky, back-to-the-earth, downright humble leaning — many of them rooted in New England. There’s also taken on a meandering motion over the years as I’ve serialized a number of book-length explorations.
The first, the Talking Money series found in the Archives, is well-worth revisiting. Its exercises and reflections about wealth, work (paid and unpaid), time, possessions, and the like goes well beyond the usual financial and economics treatment these topics usually get. Poetry, equality, and spirituality all get their due here.
Add to that autumn foliage and why it’s such a part of the New England character, plus bohemian fiction, author interviews, reflections on the hippie experience, photos from throughout the region, invitations for reflection and confession, and you should find plenty to inspire and entertain you. Please feel free to comment, no matter the date of the posting — these are essentially timeless.
As for the origin of the Chicken Farmer affirmation itself, which first appeared in the early 1970s, there are varied versions but I’m fond of the fact that it’s been mysteriously repainted every few years and that somewhere along the way, the word “still” became part of the inscription. Harpist Margaret MacArthur wrote a lovely, albeit comic, song, “Mary Shiminski I love you,” about a similar message painted in 1974 on a railroad trestle over Route 9 in Brattleboro, Vermont, not that many miles to the west. Chicken Farmer, though, feels closer to what I’m doing.
The now legendary inscription now has not just one but two songs of its own. A gentle take by Karen Cardozo-Kane and Patty Morro Miller, as the duo Chattering Magpies, was featured on a Valentine’s Day program on New Hampshire Public Television. The song is included on their Waiting for You album (2001).
The inspiring confession of love has also been used as the title of a collection of poems by Lana Hechtman Ayers and a play by Susanna Hargreaves.
For biographical background on me, please go to Jnana’s Red Barn.