Sunday, November 29, 2009
These two leaves caught my attention when I was walking recently. Of course the larger one did, because of its color. But I took the picture because of the way they were there together. They look like friends.
I've decided I want to read Wendell Berry. I've been reading excerpts from his work here and there for the past decade or more, and each time I do, I feel less lonely, even though I don't go around thinking that I am lonely.
It's just that he is so connected. Not connected to the Internet or to a network of friends on Facebook. In fact, I wonder if he ever has given in and bought a computer. He certainly wasn't planning to back in 1987, according to an essay I read.
But he is so connected to the land, to values I share. He believes in the importance of the local and of community among people. He believes technology should be seriouly evaluated before being accepted and used; like the Amish and Menonnites, he sees that technology can often harm or destroy community if not carefully chosen. He believes in taking care of the earth and living carefully, thoughtfully, slowly. Like a human being, on a human scale.
When I read or hear his words, I have the comforting thought that I'm not the only one who thinks our world is more than a bit mad. Not in a funny way--people are often saying, "Oh, this world's just crazy, isn't it?" and then going right on to join in the craziness. But I mean realizing that the world really is significantly messed up, and trying to find ways to resist the craziness.
Recently I came across the following, and I guess that's what had made me decide I need to not be satisfied with discovering excerpts, but actually seek him out and learn from him:
When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be -- I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.