As I was googling Berry Street to see what is on the net about The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, I stumbled upon Wendell Berry quotes. I like what he says!
“Every day ain’t going to be the best day of your life, don’t worry about that. If you stick to it you hold the possibility open that you will have better days.” –Wendell Berry
“How joyful to be together.” –Wendell Berry
“The soul, in its loneliness, hopes only for ‘salvation.’” –Wendell Berry
(Photo: Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)
"There is joy for a man in his utterance; a word in season, how good it is!" (Proverbs 15.23)
I think fiction is good, necessary, and God-glorifying. I teach my theology students to read good fiction for the sake of their preaching, if for no other reason. Those without the imagination to read fiction usually lack the imagination to hear the rhythm and contours of Scripture, much less to peer into the mysteries of the human heart. I just think schlocky fiction does just the opposite of all of that. I also think human love is a more than worthy subject of writing, including Christian writing. I just think it should be done with authenticity and honesty, and should look at love, not the hormonal utopia our culture has taught us to long for. I can think of no better contemporary example of doing this well than Hannah Coulter.
This book is a testimony of a woman widowed, twice, once by war. There are several ways the book is counter-cultural in classic Berry style. First of all, the book is indeed a romance, but written from the perspective of a seventy year-old woman. This isn’t the kind of book in which the elderly woman sees her life in the past tense, back there in the romance of youth. No, the novel honors her voice as a real human being, deserving of being heard. She isn’t an “old lady,” but a person whose character deepens as the years go by.
The chemical approach is a USA based chemical fertilizer approach. It is not a singleton approach for they have ensured that they will have a measure of organic matter in the soils that may vary from 2 to 3%. In our case our representatives never even thought of that. There in the USA the Rodale farms and the likes of Wendell Berry have forced the governments hand to ensure that the organic matter is not lost to the agricultural system. Let us compare the two systems and see what has happened in our case. The loss of comparative advantage has left us in debt and the purchase of phosphates and potassium fertilizers at a cost that is detrimental to the economic system. If to that we add the cost of inefficiency and corruption the obvious answer is the destruction of the farmer.
Last September, I joined a few thousand men and women in the nation's capital for an anti-mountaintop removal march from Lafayette Park to the White House. Our route led us past the Environmental Protection Agency, a massive building we completely surrounded while chanting, "EPA, do your job!"
Quite a few agency workers leaned out their windows, and to my surprise, a few of them even flashed us the thumbs-up.
After eight years of inaction, during which no one at EPA was even allowed to use the phrase "environmental justice," many of those standing at the windows did indeed seem ready to do their job — namely, protect American citizens from toxic air and water.
Since then, the journal Science has reported that mountaintop mining discharges dangerous levels of heavy metals such as magnesium and selenium into Appalachian streams, while nearby wells show alarming levels of lead, arsenic and beryllium.
And last month, Michael Hendryx, associate director of the West Virginia University's Institute for Health Policy Research released findings that men and women living in heavy coal mining areas are far more likely to die prematurely of heart, respiratory and kidney disease than residents living beyond the coalfields. His study also found that birth defects in communities near strip mines are 42 percent higher than in non-strip mining communities.
So this month, when the EPA finalized new guidelines to protect Appalachian waterways from toxic mine runoff, one might have expected a collective sigh of relief that the government was standing up for the people of the coalfields. But one would have been wrong.
As editor of the new book Hope Beneath Our Feet, Martin Keogh has compiled an inspiring anthology of essays that aims to answer one very important question:
“In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now?”
With an afterword by Wendell Berry, the more than fifty stories, meditations, and essays compiled in the book provide direction on how to approach the future from the visionary thinkers who have already dusted the path. This book presents diverse strategies from a variety of sources ranging from artists to policy makers, poets to CEO’s, spiritual leaders to scientists, psychotherapists to environmentalists, and more, for change as well as grounds for hope.
Someone told me I sound like Wendell Berry, so I bought his book “What Matters”. Holy cats. I had never heard of Wendell Berry, but I don’t know how I could have missed him. Read this book! He says what I am trying to say, only so much better. He is pretty riled up. Here is an example quote. “…the depravity of what in 1986 we were calling, and are still calling, “the economy” — a ramshackle, propped-up, greed-enforced anti-economy that is delusional, vicious, wasteful, destructive, hard-hearted, and so fundamentally dishonest as to have resorted finally to “trading” in various pure-nothings”.