:: what i'm reading ::

-Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith & Art by Madeleine L'Engle.
-The Son of Laughter by Frederick Buechner (some of the best writing I've read in a long while).
-The newspaper.

I finished Makoto Fujimura's River Grace in one night. It's a short read, but 21 pages full of greatness - one to be read again and again.

I'm re-reading parts of The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and "Women's Work". So good. One of my life-manuals.

I've also been reading fan-tastic quotes lately (thanks to goodreads), such as:

"The silence is all there is. It is the alpha and the omega, it is God's brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blinded note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings. You take a step in the right direction to pray to this silence, and even to address the prayer to 'World.' Distinctions blur. Quit your tents. Pray without ceasing."
[-Annie Dillard]

"What a hideout: Holiness lies spread and borne over the surface of time and stuff like color."
[-Annie Dillard. I love her brain.]

"The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention."
[-Flannery O'Connor. I love her brain, too.]

"If grace is so wonderful, why do we have such difficulty recognizing and accepting it? Maybe it's because grace is not gentle or made-to-order. It often comes disguised as loss, or failure, or unwelcome change."
[-Kathleen Norris. Need I say I love her brain?]

There were many others, then I ran across this amazing poem:

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection


Anonymous said...

Jenni, it's funny that you posted this poem. I just printed it out last week and put it where it's in plain view at work. I got Berry's collected poems from the library too and read a bit this weekend. It's pretty good.

Love these quotes! Thanks for the inspiration :)

jenni said...

Lindsay, I must confess - I saw part of this poem on your facebook profile (and Alissa's). I LOVED it so much that I looked the whole thang up and posted it here.

So, thank you.

jadunham said...

I LOVE Walking on Water... definitely one of my favorites.

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