An American Sage: Wendell Berry

aBerry

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part I of XVIII

“People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”
aBerry1

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part II of XVIII

“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say ‘It is yet more difficult than you thought.’ This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. 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.”
aBerry2

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part III of XVIII

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
aBerry3

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part IV of XVIII

“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”
aBerry4

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part V of XVIII

“In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else’s mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one’s own place and economy.
In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers…
Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else’s legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed?
The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth – that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community – and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.”
aBerry5

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part VI of XVIII

“The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It’s proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or ‘accessing’ what we now call ‘information’ – which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.”
aBerry6

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part VII of XVIII

“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”
aBerry7

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part VIII of XVIII

“Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.”
aBerry8

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part IX of XVIII

“A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.”
aBerry9

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part X of XVIII

The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”
aBerry10a
6093-001383

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XI of XVIII

“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.”
aBerry11

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XII of XVIII

“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.”
aBerry12

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XIII of XVIII

“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective ‘Christian.’”
aBerry13

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XIV of XVIII

“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
MOUNTAIN YUCCA NUCLEAR WASTE FACILITY NEVADA DESERT WEST DUMP GOVERNMENT FUEL SPENT TUNNEL

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XV of XVIII

“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”
aBerry15

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XVI of XVIII

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”

Below – “Super! Now, once you’ve rebuilt civilization, I can do the investment banking.”
aBerry16

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XVII of XVIII

“Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.”
aBerry17

For the Sake of Community and Good Land – Quotes from the Work of Wendell Berry: Part XVIII of XVIII

“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 of 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.”
aBerry18

This entry was posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply