I went to go see farmer, poet, essayist Wendell Berry speak at the Arlington library on Tuesday night. A boyfriend in college gave me a book of his sabbath poems and reading them has always given me a wise, still place (almost like i am burrowing deep down into the ground) to be for a few moments. He's 75, speaks with a deep southern accent and when he reads, the whole room was right there in the passage.
A few of his ideas I was most struck by:
--his differentiation between education, influence, and knowledge and another between a network and a community. in a community, no one's work is done until everyone's work is done. he says a community is when someone else occasionally handles your problems. meaning that 1) you are vulnerable enough to let people know your business, 2) people are kind enough to help with you that and 3) it is reciprocated again and again
--creating a separation between a job and money~do the job well and the money will take care of itself.
--finding richness within boundaries (he is big proponent of fidelity within a marriage and a community)
--accepting yourself for all your strangeness and extremism and finding a way to create out of that. he proposes just writing one page a day because we never know which day is going to allow a little greatness to leak through (again this idea of practice).
--acting as a conservationist for land and traditions and stories and family members
The Real Work
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.