I have a tattoo on the inside of my wrist. It's Sanskrit, and it reads "satchitananda," which translates to "truth, consciousness, bliss." It was this text that led the philosopher Joseph Campbell to coin the phrase, "Follow your bliss." And it was this philosophy that led me here, to this farm. To the sunsets. The snuggling, baying goats. The boisterous pigs, and clucking chickens. The fresh eggs, cheese-making. Raising food to feed our community. All while looking beautiful and holding hands with my husband as we coo at each other and watch our son's eyes grow wide with wonder and discovery. It's what friends and visitors tell me all time: I'm living the dream.
But really it's this:
It's burning an iron around the budding horns of a week old baby goat while it screams for mercy. And as the smell of burning flesh and hair fills my nostrils, I hope I'm pushing the iron firm enough, for long enough, that horns don't grow anyway, making the pain that I've imposed on this fragile being all for naught. BUT... not too long that I cause brain swelling. Yep. Because that's a very real possibility. Oh, the bliss.