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Wendell Berry Quotes
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Wendell Berry Quote: “People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Uncle Burley said hills always looked blue when you were far away from them. That was a pretty color for hills; the little houses and barns and fields looked so neat and quiet tucked against them. It made you want to be close to them. But he said that when you got close they were like the hills you’d left, and when you looked back your own hills were blue and you wanted to go back again. He said he reckoned a man could wear himself out going back and forth.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Never forget: we are alive within mysteries.” – Wendell Berry.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A man who does not ask to much become the promise of his land. His marriage married to his place, he waits and does not stray.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Those thoughts come to me in the night, those thought and thoughts of becoming sick or helpless, of the nursing home, of lingering death. I gnaw again the old bones of the fear of what is to come, and grieve with a sisterly grief over Grandmam and Mrs. Feltner and the other old women who have gone before. Finally, as a gift, as a mercy, I remember to pray, ‘Thy will be done,’ and then again I am free and can go to sleep.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I knew what he was doing. He was walking away from his thoughts but his thoughts were staying with him.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I finally knew... why Christ’s prayer in the garden could not be granted. He had been seeded and birthed into human flesh. He was one of us. Once He had become mortal, He could not become immortal except by dying. That He prayed the prayer at all showed how human He was. That He knew it could not be granted showed his divinity; that He prayed it anyhow showed His mortality, His mortal love of life that His death made immortal.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “She seems to give a respectful credence to the statement that “God is love”only to hurry on to explore with real interest the possibility that “God is wrath.” She can read from the book of Revelation with a ringing conviction in her voice that can make the creation seem only a stage setting for the triumphant thunderation of end.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It is hard to say what it means to be at work and thinking of a person you loved and love still who did that same work before you and who taught you to do it. It is a comfort ever and always, like hearing the rhyme come when you are singing a song.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For the true measure of agriculture is not the sophistication of its equipment the size of its income or even the statistics of its productivity but the good health of the land.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “This massive ascendancy of corporate power over democratic process is probably the most ominous development since the end of World War II, and for the most part “the free world” seems to be regarding it as merely normal.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When the self is ones exclusive subject and limit, reference and measure, one has no choice but to make a world of words.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It surely is far better to be disliked by somebody you don’t love than by somebody you do. Even so, I mind. Even so, failing to love somebody is a failure.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “In health the flesh is graced, the holy enters the world.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He nearly always seems steady, reined pretty tight. But it’s no trouble to look at him now and see that it has been a long time since he has been at rest in himself.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “And yet in Port William, as everywhere else, it was already the second decade of the twentieth century. And in some of the people of the town and the community surrounding it, one of the characteristic diseases of the twentieth century was making its way: the suspicion that they would be greatly improved if they were someplace else.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “This religion that scorned the beauty and goodness of this world was a puzzle to me.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “You see, we don’t have enough sense to make these decisions. Somehow, you just get led to where you’re supposed to be, if you’re willing to submit.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “She would do a mans work when she needed to, but she lived and died without ever putting on a pair of pants. She wore dresses. Being a widow, she wore them black. Being a woman of her time she wore them long. the girls of her day I think must have been like well wrapped gifts to be opened by their husbands on their wedding night, a complete surprise. ‘Well! What’s this!?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “But whatever you hope, you will find out that you can’t bargain with your life on your own terms. It is always going to be proving itself worse or better than you hoped.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To accept that there is nothing to do is to despair. It is to become in some fundamental way less than human. Those of us who are protesting are protesting in part for our own sake to keep ourselves whole as human beings.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Aunt Beulah could hear the dust moats collide in a sunbeam.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “White people who wished to think well of themselves did not use the language of racial insult in front of black people. But the problem for us white people, as we finally had to understand, was that we could not be selectively complicit. To be complicit at all, even thoughtlessly by custom, was to be complicit in the whole extent and reach of the injustice. It is hard for customary indifference to utstick itself from the abominations to which it tacitly consents.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Even old, your husband is the young man you remember now. Even dead, he is the man you remember, not as he was but as he is, alive still in your love. Death is a sort of lens, though I used to think of it as a wall or a shut door. It changes things and makes them clear. Maybe it is the truest way of knowing this dream, this brief and timeless life.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I don’t remember when I did not know Port William, the town and the neighborhood. My relation to that place, my being in it and my absences from it, is the story of my life. That story has surprised me almost every day – but now, in the year 1986, so near the end, it seems not surprising at all but only a little strange, as if it all has happened to somebody I don’t yet quite know. Certainly, all of it has happened to somebody younger.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To owe what you had not yet earned, to have to work to earn what you had already spent, was a personal diminishment, an insult to nature and common sense.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “She was another gift, surely, to us all. She was a happiness that made me cry.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I should ask, in the first place, whether or not I wish to purchase a solution to a problem that I do not have.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed. Connection is health. And what our society does its best to disguise from us is how ordinary, how commonly attainable, health is. We lose our health – and create profitable diseases and dependences – by failing to see the direct connections between living and eating, eating and working, working and loving.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There appears to be a law that when creatures have reached the level of consciousness, as men have, they must become conscious of the creation; they must learn how they fit into it and what its needs are and what it requires of them, or else pay a terrible penalty: the spirit of the creation will go out of them, and they will become destructive; the very earth will depart from them and go where they cannot follow.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “And if we ask what are the cultural resources that can inform and sustain a proper creaturely and stewardly awareness of the lives in a farmer’s keeping, I believe that we will find them gathered under the heading of husbandry.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “People do not become wealthy by treating one another or the world kindly and with respect.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It just all of a sudden came over me, so that in one breath I was lost and a stranger, and in the next I was found.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Do we, for instance, carry on our work in our nest or do we only reside and get our mail there? Is our nest a place of consumption only or is it also a place of production?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective “Christian”.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It is the privilege and the labor of the apprentice of creation to come with his imagination into the unimaginable, and with his speech into the unspeakable.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I recently attended a meeting at which an agricultural economist argued that there is no essential difference between owning and renting a farm. A farmer stood up in the audience and replied: “Professor, I don’t think our ancestors came to America in order to rent a farm.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We see how everything – the whole world – is belittled by the idea that all creation is moving or ought to move toward an end that some body, some human body, has thought up.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “CONCERNED AS HE is that the usable be put to use, that there be no waste, still there is nothing utilitarian or mechanistic about Mr. Lapp’s farm – or his mind. His aim, it seems, is not that the place should be put to the fullest use, but that it should have the most abundant life.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “And every day I am confronted by the question of what inheritance I will leave. What do I have that I am using up? For it has been our history that each generation in this place has been less welcome to it than the last. There has been less here for them. At each arrival there has been less fertility in the soil, and a larger inheritance of destructive precedent and shameful history.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Let tomorrow come tomorrow. Not by your will is the house carried through the night. Order is only the possibility of rest.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I have this love for Mattie. It was formed in me as he himself was formed. It has his shape, you might say. He fits it. He fits into it as he fits into his clothes. He will always fit into it. When he gets out of the car and I meet him and hug him, there he is, him himself, something of my very own forever, and my love for him goes all around him just as it did when he was a baby and a little boy and a young man grown.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The preserver of abundance is excellence.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There is a use for everyone.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We’re living, it seems, in the culmination of a long warfare – warfare against human beings, other creatures and the Earth itself.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When I lived in other places I looked on their evils with the curious eye of a traveler; I was not responsible for them; it cost me nothing to be a critic, for I had not been there long, and I did not feel that I would stay. But here, now that I am both native and citizen, there is no immunity to what is wrong.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To know that I was known by a new living being, who had not existed until she was made in my body by my desire and brought forth into the world by my pain and strength – that changed me. My heart, which seemed to have had only loss and grief in it before, now had joy in it also.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Living right on called for nothing out of the ordinary. We made no changes. We only accepted the changes as they came.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Young lovers see a vision of the world redeemed by love.”
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