Wendell Berry

What we need is here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

~ Wendell Berry, excerpt from "The Wild Geese" in THE SELECTED POEMS OF WENDELL BERRY

Practice Resurrection

So, friends, every day do something that won't compute...Give your approval to all you cannot understand...Ask the questions that have no answers. Put your faith in two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years...Laugh. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts...Practice resurrection.
~ Wendell Berry, excerpt from "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"

Our real work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ by Wendell Berry in Standing By Words

Though I am silent

I part the out-thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.
~ "Woods" by Wendell Berry

Good human work

Good human work honors God's work. Good work uses no thing without respect, both for what it is in itself and for its origin. It uses neither tool nor material that it does not respect and that it does not love. It honors nature as a great mystery and power, as an indispensable teacher, and as the inescapable judge of all work of human hands.
~ Wendell Berry in THE ART OF THE COMMONPLACE

Grief Gives the Full Measure of Love

Grief gives the full measure of love, and it is somehow reassuring to learn, even by suffering, how large and powerful love is.
~ Wendell Berry

This would be work worthy of the name human

To learn to meet our needs without continuous violence against one another and our only world would require an immense intellectual and practical effort, requiring the help of every human being perhaps to the end of human time. This would be work worthy of the name "human." It would be fascinating and lovely.

~ Wendell Berry in OUR ONLY WORLD

Less reason to not give yourself away

Every day you have less reason to not give yourself away.

~ Wendell Berry

To work is to pray

In an essay on the origin of civilization in traditional cultures, A.K. Coomaraswamy wrote that "the principle of justice is the same throughout: that each member of the community should perform the task for which he or she is fitted by nature." The two ideas, justice and vocation, are inseparable. It is by way of the principle and practice of vocation that sanctity and reverence enter into human economy. It was thus possible for traditional cultures to conceive that "to work is to pray."

~ from IN THE PRESENCE OF FEAR by Wendell Berry

The real work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
~ Wendell Berry
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