Wendell Berry

I know that I have life

I know that I have life
only insofar as I have love.

I have no love
except it come from Thee.

Help me please to carry
this candle against the wind.

~ Wendell Berry from "I know that I have life" in LEAVINGS

Two Questions

If you provided a marriage feast
and the thankless guests crowded
at the table, gobbling the food
without tasting it, and shoving
one another away, so that some ate
too much and some ate nothing,
would you not be offended?

Or if, seated at your bountiful table,
your guests picked and finicked
over the food, eating only a little,
refusing the wine and the dessert,
claiming that to fill their bellies
and rejoice would impair their souls,
would you not be offended?

~ Wendell Berry from "Two Questions" in ENTRIES

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
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