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  • sitting with wendell berry this weekend, in his one-room long legged camp cabin that overlooks the kentucky river, that he and tanya built and lived in during their honeymoon years, where he has written most of and continues to write his novels, poems, essays. in stillness, watching the birds, the flowing wintry river, catching up on the family and the potential for man to self-destruct. he shared that the black willow is gone from the riverbanks, and no one knows why and that no one noticed because no one lives out of doors anymore. no one is ubiquitous. for all his stature in the world of literacy, wendell was there for my now grown son and me through a very dark time. very dark, as in we thought we were going to lose my son to the violent voices in his head. for personal support from wendell through some tough times, i am forever grateful. and, yes, i love his writing, though i don't always agree in lockstep with wendell, his poetry and novels get to the core of me.

    "The Man Born to Farming
    The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming, whose hands reach into the ground and sprout, to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down in the dung heap, and rise up again in the corn. His thought passes along the row end like a mole. What miraculous seed he has swallowed that the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth like a vine clinging in sunlight and like water descending in the dark?"
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