I have read two books by Jon Katz; both of them this year already. Jon Katz began writing about dogs when he adopted a troubled Border Collie who disrupted his very calm, predictable suburban life with an explosiveness that only a highly intelligent, dysfunctional, and frightened creature with endless energy could. Jon writes so honestly and vulnerably about his relationship with his dogs, how this one sometimes brought out the worst in him, and how his dogs have taught him much about himself. Border Collies are working dogs bred to herd sheep. This particular dog led him to dare to think beyond mediocre surburbia and do something "rash". He up and bought a farm, some sheep, and a couple donkeys. He and his dogs moved in and set about running a farm and it was in so doing that he seemed to find himself. He lives in upstate New York where he continues his writing while running the farm.
I enjoyed his books (listed at right) so much that immediately after closing the 2nd book I jumped onto Google to see if he had a website. What I found was a wonderful surprise. Not just a book-promoting website, but a beautiful site and blog (Bedlam Farm) filled with his photography of the farm, his animals and his life in rural New York. He has several blogs within his site, the largest is called Bedlam Farm Journal. He also has Live Your Life, Today at Bedlam, and his Hospice Journal. He and his dogs volunteer visiting hospice patients. This has been such a blessing not only to the patients and families, but also to him. He often posts several times a day, either writings or photos. He continues his open vulnerability about life, conquering anxiety and fears, writing, art, his farm, and of course, his beloved dogs. After having written several memoir style books about his dogs and the farm, he is returning to fiction. He’s sharing the writing process with his blog readers and it is so interesting.
I just love this blog. I appreciate his openness about his weaknesses, about his quest to grow as an individual, his search for "a spiritual base" (I think that’s how he put it), his love for dogs, his pursuit of art beyond his writing. And I am totally envious of some aspects of his situation. I’ll save expounding on that for another post sometime.
Take a look at some of his sheep - they have these beautiful cinnamon colored faces!