Berry Good

Wendell Berry captures my current mood of ambivalence, ambiguity, and equivocation in three little gems:

About the tension between public and private personas…


A Warning To My Readers

Please do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full of
fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.

— Wendell Berry

About procrastination and productivity…


Throwing Away The Mail

Nothing is simple,
not even simplification.
Thus throwing away
the mail, I exchange
the complexity of duty
for the simplicity of guilt.

— Wendell Berry

About contemplation and companionship…


Except

Now that you have gone
and I am alone and quiet,
my contentment would be
complete, if I did not wish
you were here so I could say,
“How good it is, Tanya,
to be alone and quiet.”

— Wendell Berry

I know he’s the “Mad Farmer” and i am a middle-aged city boy, but I can never read him without a nod of acknowledgement and agreement.

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