Saturday, May 15, 2010

Labyrinth 3 - Utech's Rainbow Dairy Goat Farm - Merril, WI

What's that? You think labyrinths are only for religious and New Age people? Are you saying that because my first blog was about a Catholic basilica labyrinth and the second was a Metaphysical store? Well guess what, suckas?



Where's your preconceived judgments now? I went to a goddamn goat farm in Wisconsin for this labyrinth! Fit goat people into your closed mind, maaannnnn. (That was supposed to be a hippy saying "maaannnn" not a goat. Although I find the goat-speak strangely appealing.)

I was on my way to a stand-up comedy gig in Wausau, WI, and decided to head nine miles north to the little town of Merrill and check out a labyrinth I discovered in The place is called "Utech's Rainbow Dairy Goat Farm" (click here for all the info on their labyrinth)

Awkwardness factor: Through the roof! Here's an uncomfortable phone conversation:

ME: Um, hello, is this 3880 Rainbow Drive?
ME: Yeah...are you the people with the labyrinth?
GOAT FARMER: Yes we are.

Can you imagine how weird that would've been if he said no?
ME: Are you the people with the labyrinth?
ME: Ok-ayyyy, I'm a freak. Bye-bye then.

But he did say "yes". And then I said:
ME: So can anybody just, you know, come over and look at it?
GOAT FARMER: Yes, but it's not mowed. So you'd probably have to give us some warning so we can take care of it.
ME: I'm in your drive-way.
GOAT FARMER: Oh. Well, I'm busy but I suppose I can just point you to the field.

Possible serial killer factor: Pretty good! The goat farmer I spoke to on the phone wasn't outside when I pulled up, but two teenage kids listening to Screeching Weasel of all things were. One wore a hat and spoke, while the other remained speechless and did a lot of mouth-breathing. I asked Hat-guy if they've ever had anybody come out to look at their labyrinth. "We get visitors everyday," he said. "Lots of Japanese." Huh. Then, as we were walking towards the field, I asked if they were the ones who put up the info on the webpage. Hatty stopped, looked me dead in the eyes and said "Weren't not webpage people." Something about the way he said that, plus the supposed "lots" of Japanese who I didn't' see anywhere made me think I may have stumbled into the Wisconsin Chainsaw massacre.

State of Labyrinth: Unkempt. For the second time, I believe I got to a labyrinth before it was amply ready for the season. It was barely visible and flooded with dandelions. It felt like I was walking the yellow brick road, but instead of Munchkins, there were creepy-eyed goats and cockleburs. That being said, I actually think this is a time of the season I should be taking advantage of. When the labyrinths are nicely mowed and kept-up I'm sure they look great and you know where you're going without question. But when it's all scraggly you are intensely doubtful that you're going in the right direction. That's the whole point of the labyrinth: To put faith in the fact that no matter how long it takes, you'll get there. It's a metaphor for life and/or the spiritual path. Both going to the center (called "Jerusalem" sometimes) and on the way back, I doubted that I was going the right way. But I kept going. And both times I got through without fail. It's a good exercise in trust.

(Caption: The Beginning.)

Holy cra
p that's not what you want to see at the end of a "spiritual journey" factor: 100%

What is that, a goat-man? The Devil?! Why does he have a mustache? All creepy! I'm not easily weirded out, but that gave me the willies. I half expected to turn around and see the kids standing behind me as they calmly say "It's hoe-down time" and hit me over the head with a Garden Weasel. But no, they weren't there. I later found out that they were all tiles they made at school. If I'd have looked closer I'd have noticed two Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Tom Servo from MST3K, and Burt Reynolds if he were a star-system of some sort. Not entirely evil, I suppose. But still...Zen and peace and then Hitler Goat is not exactly what I expected.

Overall rating: This was somehow was the worst and best labyrinth so far. Worst because it was in shambles and barely perceptible. And the best because it truly tested my trust. For one, it didn't go or end how I expected. This was the first time that I wasn't sure if I was going to finish correctly. But I kept going and decided to put my faith in the path and I came out okay. This is the stuff I want to apply to my life, when I'm feeling stressed or scared about life. Just keep going...there's cockleburs and creepy goat-tile men, but in the end if you persist you will survive.

For further reading:
Labyrinth blog #1
Labyrinth blog #2

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