Monday, July 7, 2008

One Of The Best Authors Alive

I know that when a person puts a post on their blog of a deep nature...or one that causes other's to think, usually "others" will not read it. I myself am guilty of this betrayal to my inner life. It is far easier to read and view pictures on a blog that require no thought and to avoid things that require mental effort. However, one of my closest friends sent me an article today by one of my favorite authors, Wendell Berry and I must share some highlights from this article as well as the link to the full reading. Wendell Berry is one of the greatest authors, poets, and thinkers of our time and all who read his works will be immensely challenged, blessed, and convicted by his wisdom. Here are the incredible excerpts from his article.

Speaking about the Bible he wrote;

"I don't think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a hypaethral book, such as Thoreau talked about--a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. That is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air, and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances, will hardly balk at the fuming of water into wine--which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is fumed into grapes."

Better still speaking of modern day Christianity;

"Modern Christianity has become, then, in its organizations, as specialized as other modern organizations, wholly concentrated upon the industrial shibboleths of "growth," counting its success in numbers, and upon the very strange enterprise of "saving" the individual, isolated, and disembodied soul. Having witnessed and abetted the dismemberment of the households, both human and natural, by which we have our being as creatures of God, as living souls, and having made light of the great feast and festival of Creation to which we were bidden as living souls, the modern church presumes to be able to save the soul as an eternal piece of private property. It presumes moreover to save the souls of people in other countries and religious traditions, who are often saner and more religious than we are. And always the emphasis is on the individual soul. Some Christian spokesmen give the impression that the highest Christian bliss would be to get to Heaven and find that you are the only one there -- that you were right, and all the others wrong. Whatever its twentieth-century dress, modern Christianity as I know it is still at bottom the religion of Miss Watson, intent upon a dull and superstitious rigmarole by which supposedly we can avoid going to "the bad place" and instead go to "the good place." One can hardly help sympathizing with Huck Finn when he says, "I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it."(n13)"

Here is the link...more than worth your time.

For anyone hearing of Wendell Berry for the first time and wanting more PLEASE read his book, Jayber Crow.

Let me just say reading this article reminded me again of why I so desperately miss a friend of mine who has moved away. He and I still talk for hours pondering the mysteries of life, faith, and a wild array of other topics. I can't explain nor thank him enough for being such a genuine person who dances to the beat of his own drum. Precious few are they who live so free, deeply, and are willing to talk about it. I miss our time and talks more than I can ever explain.

Bless you Brother Plankeye you have and continue to inspire me.


Tumbleweed King said...

Stay strong my brother.

jj said...

Please... NEVER hesitate to blog 'the deep'. thanks, judy