It's rough out there, you know? No matter what are your politics, I think we can all agree that these are some strange days with much uncertainty.
Last week I was blown away in NY by the timelessness of Chekhov. Yesterday I went to hear the remarkable Wendell Berry read from his work at NKU. In addition to the fact that he is a gentle genius in the vein of Thoreau (just replace Walden Pond with Kentucky), he is not a youngster anymore. Mr. Berry has been around the block and he has been keeping notes and taking names.
And I was reminded that while this feels like a very scary time, it is not much different than it was 30 and 40 years ago. The things Wendell Berry read that he had written so long ago seem as relevant as if he had written them yesterday.
Should that be scarier? Perhaps. Are we taking too long to figure it out? Maybe.
But I think what it speaks to is our refusal to give up hope and to find ways to connect to ourselves and each other, either through simple labor or art or laughter. Take time to read the entire Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.
You can find it here:
Or read this lovely excerpt. And then go do something that won't compute.
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 yet encountered he has not destroyed.