Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I was delighted to find a book called
Wendell Berry Life and Work by
Jason Peters. It's in the computer
and I look forward to getting it
The first chapter is called:
Ain't They the Berries!
I love biographies and autobiographies.
This is a collection of essays about
his life and work.
The author meet him in 2004
and writes this:
He showed me a hillside field and said, "one of my great pleasures in life is to mow this field with a team of horses."
He gave me more time than I deserved that day, and since then we have had a few occasions to
meet, either at his house or elsewhere, for a drink or a meal and always for several jokes. He tells a joke as well as anyone I know.
Wendell Berry is the sort of writer you avoid reading at your own peril. Few can write sentences as clear, as immediate, and as faithful to intent as Berry can. You don't often see that these days.
His great concern is the life and health of the world, which he believes we can secure only by dismantling the extractive economy that has given us this standard of living that is neither practically sustainable nor morally defensible. He says, "we must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do." That's a sentence worthy of contemplation.