10.25.2008

Berry's Wisdom

I picked up a book of essays by Wendell Berry called "The Art of the Commonplace". I just finished reading through the first essay, A Native Hill, and needed to share a few quotes with you from this meditative piece of text.

This first bit is from the forward written by Norman Wirzba:

"The frantic, stressful striving going on all around us indicates that we are profoundly lost. We seem unable to ask with any seriousness or depth the question of what all our striving is ultimately for."

Now for Berry's thoughts:

"We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us."

"This peace is partly in being free of the suspicion that pursued me for most of my life, no matter where I was, that there was perhaps another place I should be, or would be happier or better in; it is partly in the increasingly articulate consciousness of being here, and of the significance and importance of being here."

This last one feels very applicable to many in my generation:

"The hill, which is part of America, has killed no one in the service of the American Government. Then why should I, who am a fragment of the hill? I wish to be as peaceable as my land, which does no violence though it has been the scene of violence and has had violence done to it."

This essay was published in 1969. We would have done well to heed his words so many years ago.

1 Comments:

Blogger wilsonian said...

Love Berry. Must admit that I've only read his poetry. Perhaps I need to venture into his essays too...

3:49 PM  

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