I remember (spooky) when all of a sudden someone you know very well becomes momentarily a total stranger.
I remember they way a baby’s hand has a way of folding itself around your finger, as though forever.
I remember having a friend overnight, and lots of giggling after the lights were out. And seemingly long silences followed by “Are you asleep yet?” and, sometimes, some pretty serious discussions about God and Life.
I remember rocks you pick up outside that, once inside, you wonder why.
I remember thinking about breathing, and then your head takes over the effort of breathing, and you see that it’s “hard work,” and it’s all very spooky somehow.
A drawing by Anne Frank, which she made in the sixth class of the Montessori school. With thanks to bellswithin.
WENDELL BERRY: In this difficult time of failed public expectations, when thoughtful people wonder where to look for hope, I keep returning in my own mind to the thought of the renewal of the rural communities. I know that one revived rural community would be more convincing and more encouraging than all the government and university programs of the last fifty years, and I think that it could be the beginning of the renewal of our country, for the renewal of rural communities ultimately implies the renewal of urban ones. But to be authentic, a true encouragement and a true beginning, this would have to be a revival accomplished mainly by the community itself. It would have to be done not from the outside by the instruction of visiting experts, but from the inside by the ancient rule of neighborliness, by the love of precious things, and by the wish to be at home.
By WENDELL BERRY
(to remind myself)
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
With thanks to silencesounds.