Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happy Birthday...

...to Wendell Berry, one of my favorite authors, introduced to me by my good friend Sarah (Used-To-Be-)Lower but she got married and now has a different last name...but she will always be Sarah Lower to me.

ANYWAY- back to W.B. I didn't know it was his birthday today until I heard "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor on NPR this evening. There is something about Garrison Keillor's voice that is so comforting and calming; I thought to myself that if the broadcasters of America had to choose someone to announce that a cataclysmic ending of the world was imminent, they should choose Garrison to make that proclamation. It would sound so much better coming from him than from Katie Couric or Brian Williams or Tom Brokaw... or heaven forbid, Daniel Shore. But from Garrison's mouth, this news would seem almost ordinary. Perhaps a little intriguing, in fact. Certainly no mass hysteria. But Garrison has a face made for radio, so perhaps he wouldn't be able to pull it off with the same success for television.

Okay-I THOUGHT I was going back to talk about Wendell Berry, but I find myself easily sidetracked today. So...yes, Wendell. He was born in 1934 and I assume is still living, because the little page on the internet didn't give a death date. Long live Wendell Berry! I can't say I wholeheartedly love everything about the man - I think he is perhaps somewhat of a liberal - I'm not sure- I haven't read everything he wrote. But he's not all bad. He's written some beautiful stuff.

Here is a quote:

"I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief...For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

I like this quote. It makes me think of a time when I sat by the stream which runs through the golf course next to Fairwood on a gorgeous late summer afternoon. I sat and watched the stream and the little ecosystem surrounding it and thought how perfect and peaceful everything seemed and how refreshing it was to get away from the noise of humans. And I envied the happy, oblivious bugs who got to live in this beauty. Bugs don't care who is running for president; they don't even know that Washington, D.C. or New York City exist. They live and die in rural corner of New Hampshire. They remain aloof from all the human scandals and squabbles. They don't worry about dirty bombs, or the rise of Islamo-fascists, or the state of education in this country. Sigh. Oh to be a bug.

I like finding quotes that I can relate to an experience or idea that I've had already.

6 comments:

kw said...

I'd like to be a bug too. I can't believe I just said that.

Laughter said...

I want to be a bug! We can be bugs together. Haw haw haw...

melbrown said...

I love Wendell Berry! In fact, I just got a couple more of his books from the libary. He's so REAL, somehow. Happy b-day, W.B.(Mason...?)!

gretchen said...

Claire,(or Melissa?) can you recommend a couple of your favorite titles of his? I just heard of him for the first time that I remember in the last year or two and have been intrigued but don't know where to start. Any advice?

Thanks!

Claire said...

I'd go with "Hannah Coulter" first...Many of his novels are about people in the same fictional town so there isn't really any order to them, I don't think.

Lori said...

Happy Belated birthday to my cousin Brad! That's a very handsome photo of him below!