Skip to content

Berry's World

The Hallowed Ground blog prompted Eric to take The Art of the Commonplace from his shelf. A collection of the agrarian essays of Wendell Berry, it's a pleasant read: not too hard yet profound, full of truths you don't hear often. It's particularly good reading this time of the year, as Persephone returns. Here are a few select passages (a few paraphrased). There are no doubt better passages, but Eric has read only half of the essays so far:

Until we are able to say what is the proper value of the life of the body and to believe it is good, we will not be able to live our lives in the human estate of grief and joy, but repeatedly will be cast outside in violent swings between pride and despair.

How does a human pass through youth to maturity without breaking down? Answer: help from tradition, through ceremonies and rituals, rites of passage at the most difficult stages.

No matter how urban our life, our bodies live by farming; we come from the earth and return to it, and so we live in agriculture as we live in flesh.

A couple who make a good marriage, and raise healthy, morally competent children, are serving the world's future more directly and surely than any political leader.

There is no public crisis that is not also private.