Our real work

I’ve been mulling the Declaration‘s complaint that the British people weren’t acting with magnanimity or a spirit of kinship. Almost 250 years later, are we any better at it than they were?

With that on my mind, my friend Don sent a quote from Wendell Berry, 87, a farmer, poet and writer who has inspired me over the decades. It’s from his 1983 book Standing by Words, p. 104, Catapult (Kindle edition), and it is especially helpful at this painful, almost overwhelming moment in history:

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 begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

A young Wendell Berry and a statue of his great grandfather, from “The Thing (or Things) About Wendell Berry,” by Mark Bittman, Humanities, May/June, 2012

2 thoughts on “Our real work”

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