We’ve been milking for four days. Working our proverbial asses off. On Thursday we milked for five hours without stopping. On Friday I worked from 5am until 12am, eight of those hours were spent in the milking parlor. On Saturday things eased a little: we got down to four hours of milking. Today we milked for three hours and hinted at that blessed goal: a rhythm. I’ve been kicked and bruised and and pushed around by my sheep. I’ve been soaked in their shit and piss and blood and milk. I’ve cried once or twice, not from anger or from frustration, nor from any other miserable state that I’d have expected, but rather, from a kind of ecstatic exhaustion. And I know now, more than ever, this is exactly what I want to do. I feel this work in every part of me. It is hard work. It is transforming and shaping work. It is an angle grinder, taking your hard edges, the things that make you jagged and mean and just blasts them away by the hot virtues of pressure and friction, making everything that was stopping you, everything that was holding you back disappear in a shower of sparks. As they say, pressure makes diamonds. These few days have seen our first few handfuls.