Thursday, February 22, 2007

You tell 'em, Wendell!!

There is nothing more absurd, to give an example that is only apparently trivial, than the millions who wish to live in luxury and idleness and yet be slender and good-looking. We have millions, too, whose livelihoods, amusements, and comforts are all destructive, who nevertheless wish to live in a healthy environment; they want to run their recreational engines in clean, fresh air.

The Unsettling of America
The Art of the Commonplace - The Agrarian Essays
Wendell Berry

Wendell, Wendell, where have you been all my life?? I don't know if I would have been ready for you 10 years ago, but it would have been nice if you could have telekinetically transported your wisdom to my teenage brain from Kentucky to Stanwood, Washington. I would have listened, I promise.

Reader, if you want to have your mind blown over and over and over again, read this book. One of the main things I like about Wendell Berry, aside from my affection for the fact that he is similar in age to my paternal grandfather (mid-70's), is his shockingly simple and obvious observations on culture and history. His essays are so well-written that it seems like he is stating something that I should have known, but didn't. Things thought about in muddled fashion; theories brewing in my brain; answers only partially grasped; the path traveled these past few years; the importance of asking questions normally tossed to the wayside by the Public: all these things, he states so simply. this book.

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