I am almost done with Wendell Berry's favorite book: Jayber Crow.
My favorite is Hannah Coulter. BUT I want my students to read a story
Steven Garber calls it a book of pilgrimage. " with the ability to grow one's heart."
How is the vocation of a barber similar to being a pastor?
This book illustrates many, many stories of a place called Port Williams where
many give each other a cup of cold water. Isn't that what Jesus said to do?!
How do you love your neighbor?
"On Sunday mornings I go up to ring the bell and sit through the service. I don't attend altogether for religious reasons. I feel more religious, in fact, here beside this corrupt and holy stream."
Do you see Berry's weltanschauung?
: “If you have lived in Port William a little more than two years, you are still, by Port William standards, a stranger, liable to have your name mispronounced”
Trust takes time. We feel as those in Port Williams: the crushing feeling of modern life.
There are echoes of Dante : Jayber's love for Mattie Chatham is like Beatrice and a few
lines referring to the circles of Hell made me smile. The Inferno.
Your heart feels just like it does in Jan Karon's Mitford , although it is harder to break into Port Williams and there is agrarianism , farmers abounding.: “One was, I felt at home. There is more to this than I can explain. I just felt at home. After I got to Port William , I didn’t feel any longer that I needed to look around to see if there was someplace I would like better”
I don't know of many books that give wisdom within a story as to how to be content
and to examine life. Jayber's gives us his journey of vocation and belonging. You want to have him cut your hair!
What I sent my students tonight with a map and geneology of Port Williams:
( Wendell Berry)
Wendell announces that in response to our culture of instant messaging, he has just founded a new cause, the Slow Communication Movement. Certainly we embody that spirit today, and it feels good. ( interviewer using a small notebook) It is a more leisurely, more deliberate form of communication, and it isn’t limited to 140 characters.
As you read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry:
Remember to copy sentences or ideas that strike you for beauty, goodness and truth.
Just copy in your journal Beautiful crafted sentences.
( disregard the curse words...! It is the flavor Berry gave the book )
Jayber wrestles with the big ideas of life. THINK upon how he tests what he believes.
It took him a lifetime to live into the questions he posed to Dr. Ardmire in the beginning of the book.
( in seminary)
Think about as you read:
Did Jayber become wiser? What is membership?
What is community ?
Berry pronounces so much to be good in this story which is being crushed by modern life.
Wendell Berry’s “weltanschauung” ( worldview) is mirrored in Jayber’s life story and introspection.
Think about what is important to living a life well lived.
This is a story about calling.
How did Jayber Jayber find what he was called to do?
What is education? What does his vocation do for others?
This is Wendell Berry’s favorite novel.
Mine is Hannah Coulter.
a fun quote:
He famously doesn’t own a computer and has written all of his books in longhand.