7.10.14 Thursday Tale Tellers Tattle – Wendell Berry

Remember how just a few days ago I mentioned that I was divesting myself of 50% of what I own, except of course, in the realm of books.  I also mentioned that my bookcases had a bit of room in them. Ahem.  Wellll, I went to the library on lunch break this week, and lo and behold, they had FREE books. Also, two for .25 across all genre library discards. (whistles innocently).  What?!? Okay, okay (imagine Joe Pesci here, but with a soft Southern tone and female).  I picked up some good stuffs! Things I’d never spend money on, but that piqued my unbounded curiosity.  Erotica. Classical Literature. Old-time gardening books.  Even novels that I’d never buy, despite an affinity with the authors. I’ll admit publicly that I am incorrigible when it comes to books. But hey, would you turn down Hemingway, Dreiser, Shakespeare or Dickens for free or even .12 a tome?  I think not!  Enough nattering, I’m taking away from the author of the week.

The atmosphere, the earth, the water and the water cycle – those things are good gifts. The ecosystems, the ecosphere, those are good gifts. We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn’t make them. We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn’t live without them. ~ Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry , writer, activist, farmer, poet, saw what was coming in our society back before it was ‘L33t (that’s an old school gamer shout-out) or PC to see it. He recognized the Western,capitalism-at-all-costs proclivity to turn humans into capital only, lacking soul and personhood. He foresaw the calamity to both land and people that is industrialized farming today.  He greatly understands the value of non-academic intelligence and a love for the land; the dirt under our feet that is constantly paved, plundered, poisoned or developed. He visualized the future, when rural communities would be driven to abandonment in order to make a buck, and the soul-draining proclivity of cities. It isn’t that cities are inherently bad, but rather, that we need balance; appreciation and value for all aspects of our diversity, both culturally and land-use wise.

We have the world to live in on the condition that we will take good care of it. And to take good care of it, we have to know it. And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.

~ Wendell Berry

If you’ve been reading me for more than two months, you know my personal preference is to live remotely  and grow/hunt/wild harvest as much of my food as possible; self-sufficiency and community are equally important, along with light footprints on the land.

I’m not Christian, but despite that undertone in Berry’s works, I find his rational thinking spot on. He has a wrap-around grasp of the continuity of land, food, water, man that is desperately needed today, before we genetically manipulate ourselves into extinction, or deplete our resources due to incessant consumerism.

If we can’t afford to take good care of the land that feeds us, we’re in an insurmountable mess.

~Wendell Berry

What would I recommend of his writings? Nearly every bit of his non-fiction pieces.  Premier in my thinking, from his collection of essays titled “What Are People For?” – I would extract “Waste”, “A Practical Harmony”, “An Argument for Diversity“, and “Economy and Pleasure”.  As a whole,  The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture.  If you’d like a quick overview of his thinking before buying or checking out his works, a good representation is found here: Wendell Berry: A Strong Voice for Local Farming and the Land.

If you are already familiar with Berry, what is your favorite piece?  If he’s new to you, please come back and let us know your thoughts after reading.

I leave you with this quote of his, which sums up, for me, the entirety of our requisite philosophy at this time and place in history:

We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?

Think. Do. Be. I wish you…enough.





  12 comments for “7.10.14 Thursday Tale Tellers Tattle – Wendell Berry

  1. July 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Love the point of view…AND the wit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I first read that as ‘twit’. LOL! I’m tired today, so forgive me 🙂 He has an excellent POV, and has lived what he writes about.


  2. July 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Thanks for sharing the .pdfs , will read them tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 10, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      I hope you find value there, and I know you enjoy books quite a bit. Thanks for taking the time to read his work!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. alfredsalmanac
    July 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Never even heard of him,but I have now. Thanks. Looking forward to reading his work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      There are so many great writers and thinkers, it is difficult to uncover them all, then find time to read them! I hope you enjoy him.


      • alfredsalmanac
        July 10, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Thanks. I solved your comments problem. Check your DM on twitter.


  4. July 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Good morning CTC Sister,
    I think as a society we have to ask how much is to much. When I came down off a 10 yr. hypomanic state, I was a millionaire, several rental houses, traveled, designer this and that. I feel into a dark depression and divorced my husband, blew all the money, went bankrupt, had to sell jewelry to eat. I thought I lost everything but I was very wrong I gained the person I am today. No longer shallow nor missing the things, there things. I am so much happier living honestly. I was also trying to fill a void in my soul that money can’t buy. I have received more honest feedback since blogging, it’s real, it doesn’t cost a dime. It’s the kind of life that suits me. Minus the health issues!!!!! Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Isn’t it an incredible lesson? Sucks to learn it the hard way, rather than say, easing into it 🙂 I’ve gained more in my life since my losses, than I ever had before, that has lasting value. I’m so glad to hear of your awareness.

      Perspective, it is an amazing thing!

      Thank you 🙂


      • July 10, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Perspective is reality! 🙂


        • July 10, 2014 at 2:52 PM

          That’s an interesting statement. I once had an hours long discussion on that topic with a friend, regarding perspective and language. They are directly connected.


          • July 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM

            I used the sating all the time while in sales to help my inside people understand all that matters is the clients perception. It’s true for everyday really. i love books to, even if I’ll never read them, if old and smell old I’m happy. 🙂


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