Skip to main content

. . . and St. Wendell too.

Local cultures and economies, forest communities, small shares of private land, and health--these are the themes explored by Wendell Berry in the latest book of his that I have devoured. Six relatively short essays only add to the imperative that Western culture has some serious problems with it. That fact is not news (nor even literature ala E. Pound) but Berry's solutions could be considered a new antithesis to the G.O.D. complex of our political masters (that's Grow Or Die).

I suppose one could say that Farmer Wendell says nothing here that he hasn't already said. But wisdom doesn't come in a vaccination i.e. one shot of it doesn't keep you for life, instead one needs a regular dosage of wisdom to truly be at home in our skins and on the earth. So, Berry will keep writing until enough of us get the message and do something about it.

A couple of excerpts (note I've posted a couple of different quotes from this book earlier in "What Hath Economics to Do with the Environment?"):
There are . . . two laws that we had better take to be absolute.
The first is that as we cannot exempt ourselves
from living in this world, then if we wish to live, we cannot
exempt ourselves from using the world. Even the most scrupulous
vegetarians must use the world--that is they must kill creatures, substitute
one species for another, and eat food that would otherwise be eaten by other
creatures. . . . The second law is that if we want
to continue living, we cannot exempt use from care.

And again in the same essay " The Conservation of Nature and the Preservation of Humanity"

There is simply nothing in Creation that does not matter.
If you haven't read Wendell Berry yet, I honestly don't know what to tell you other than Wisdom is calling in the marketplace, can't you hear her?


Anonymous said…
Scot, finally read my first Berry book: Life is a Miracle. Fantastic! Looking forward to reading more.
Scot said…
It has taken me this long to figure out who the heck DDH was. Initials are not enough, Mr. Hayes! For your next assignment read "The Unsettling of America."
Anonymous said…
My library doesn't have it. You'll have to loan it to me.
Mr. Hayes (DDH)

Popular posts from this blog

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

Worth Quoting

"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum

Another Publishing Triumph (with a new journal!)

I've got a piece on benthic macroinvertebrates in this new fantastic journal: Jesus The Imagination. It's filled with essays, artwork, and poetry. I haven't finished reading it, but I'm impressed so far.

Check it out--it's available on Amazon.