Living in your subject

Just received this

In one piece Wendell Berry writes about the failed construction of a pond:
“The ground grew heavy with water, and soft. The earthwork slumped; a large slice of the woods floor on the upper side slipped down into the pond.” and the trauma of causing damage to the land: “too much power, too little knowledge.”

It is indeed a big responsibility to alter the contours, rearrange the soil, making changes that may well exist in some form for many years ahead.

Today we made progress on blending our interference with the surroundings

Wendell Berry says: “I no longer ‘go to work.’ If I live in my place, which is my subject, then I am ‘at’ my work even when I am not working. It is ‘my’ work because I cannot escape it.”

When life and place and work become one – that is contentment indeed.

It also means you are at work in time to see this in the morning

The whole of the Wendell Berry piece referred to, and Paul Kingsnorth’s introduction to the book, can be found here.